THE HAPPY MONDAYS ROLL BACK THE YEARS

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The bands play the first of their two special '48 Hour Party People' gigs in London...

THE HAPPY MONDAYS and THE FARM rolled back the years last night (March 25) for the first of two special gigs at LONDON’s BRIXTON ACADEMY.

Both headline bands, who were at the height of the baggy scene in the late 1980’s and early ’90’s, received an ecstatic reception when they took to the stage for their opening ’48 Hour Party People’ show.

The concert was The Farm’s first in ten years and the Mondays’ second gig since 2000, following their one-off Get Loaded In The Park appearance last summer.

Primal Scream and former Stone Roses bassist Mani, who rushed down from Blackpool following his onstage reunion with Ian Brown the previous night, was also there to cheer on the two headliners and spin the turntables for a DJ slot.

“I was sitting around scratching me balls so I thought I’m gonna have to get up and make meself fucking useful you know what I mean?” joked Mani. “It’s like 1989 all over again. I should have got me flares out man. Fuck all that Manchester/Liverpool rivalry – we’re all in it together and we’re all at it every time we meet up. It’s great having all these bands reforming. I can see the Stone Roses doing it after Manchester City win the European Cup.”

The Primal Scream bassist stood with maraca-wielding Mondays legend Bez at the side of the stage as The Farm kicked off the night with an eight track set which included ‘Groovy Train’, ‘Family Of Man’ and former Number One hit ‘All Together Now’.

Speaking after their performance frontman Peter Hooton told NME.COM: “It was fantastic we really enjoyed it. We haven’t played for ten years but it just felt like it was last week. It was a surreal experience really.”

The Mondays, who were supported by backing singers Ron Carroll and Angie Brown, arrived onstage to huge cheers as they kicked off their set with ‘Kinky Afro’.

Singer Shaun Ryder stood static with a bottle of beer for most of the show while Bez strutted the stage with a ‘Drop Acid Bombs’ t-shirt, in between filming the fans with an amateur video camera and chucking t-shirts into the crowd.

Typically the set never went according to plan with Ryder constantly cursing the order of the songs as they went on to perform classics ‘Step On’, ‘Loose Fit’ and Black Grape hit ‘Reverend Black Grape’ before closing the set with ’24 Hour Party People’.

Fresh from his Big Brother triumph Bez told NME.COM after the show: “I always said you can never say never about us playing again and tonight shows there is proof in the pudding. It was better than winning Big Brother playing here tonight, by a mile. I don’t know about everyone else but I had an alright time.”

The ’48 Hour Party People’ weekend continues at Brixton tonight (March 26).