REVIEW: Happy Mondays
* * * *
MAVERICKS and survivors, HAPPY MONDAYS gave every reason to hope they’ll be the darlings of the care home scene in 20 years’ time – on the evidence of their Ironworks gig.
Thursday saw the place packed and excited as support DJ Jon DaSilva rubbed his hands, either with anticipation or the Inverness December cold, as his final tracks tuned your ears to go back in time with the Mondays.
Back in the Eighties, Mondays created a sound that summed up a city - Manchester - and mashed up drugs, the rave scene and a swagger all their own. They represented the spirit of Madchester - maybe even created it – and did it with a soundtrack that could only be theirs with funk, psychedelia, dance grooves and Shaun Ryder’s bossy, nasal whine.
You’re thinking this as a few old geezers wander onstage – with a shock you realise it’s the Mondays. But to the crowd they’re legends. People’s expressions are worshipful, glowing with love and downright mad for it.
The musicians come on first, then the Big Three – mainman Shaun Ryder, dancer Bez and singer Rowetta Idah.
The crowd goes mad as Loose Fit opens a show of big hitters - Step On, Hallelujah, Kinky Afro, 24 Hour Party People, Wrote For Luck, Clap Your Hands and sex litany Bob’s Your Uncle.
The understated dark-specced cool of Shaun and his cabaret-style sarky banter - “F*** me, we nearly got that one right!” Rowetta’s stunning soul diva vocals. Bez’s zombie-dancing with maracas and crowd-blessing reach-outs. The almost expressionless solid presence of the rest of the band and the undeniable power of the grooves.
It all made this shameless nostalgia-feat something special.
Book me and my zimmer in for 2037. MC