Black Grape have pulled out of all their scheduled live dates for the year, including Universe ’98 and Glastonbury Festival.
A spokesman for Shaun Ryder (pictured, left) said it was because he wanted to focus on making his first feature film, which he described as “Trainspotting meets The Full Monty meets Goodfellas in Manchester”. Ryder is making the movie with longtime collaborator ‘Too Nice’ Tom, the man responsible for Black Grape documentary The Grape Tapes, as well as many of the band’s videos.
The spokesman told NME: “They’ve got a licence to make this film and more besides. Shaun is taking a more behind-the-scenes role, producing and directing rather than acting, as the pair wanted to develop new talent. Shaun’s got a lot of ideas.” He added that as a result, Black Grape’s future was on hold and there would be no more releases or live appearances for the foreseeable future.
Shaun fell out with fellow Black Grape members, Kermit and Carl ‘Psycho’ McCarthy at the end of last year just before they were due to play Essential’s New Year’s Eve bash at London’s Alexandra Palace. The trio have not yet reconciled their differences. Black Grape had been expected to continue as a duo of Ryder and producer Danny Saber. A friend of Ryder told NME: “He’s just trying to sort himself out and he just wants to do his own thing for a while, including some film work.”