Happy Mondays played their first comeback show at Hereford Leisure Centre last night (April 21) as Manchester United fans celebrated their 3-2 victory over Juventus. The band tore through a set of old favourites in front of a sell out crowd.
Shaun Ryder is using the tour to raise money to help Kosovan refugees by charging everyone on the guest list at the shows a minimum donation of ‘5.
Ryder told NME he got the idea after seeing an appeal for Kosovo in the Manchester Evening News and that all money raised will go towards the paper’s fund.
“We’re going to ask for ‘5 for fuckin’… you know… Bosnia (sic) or whatever,” he told NME, “because, at the end of the day, it’s the people on the list and in the music industry who can afford to pay to get in anyway.”
When NME asked if any of the money from ticket sales would go towards the donation, Ryder replied: “Fuck me, what do you want kid? It’ll come just from the guest lists, not from the ticket sales. We’ve got, like, 100 people each on our guest lists.”
Speaking last week as the reformed Mondays – Shaun, Bez, Paul Ryder, Gaz Whelan, Paul ‘Wags’ Wagstaff, original backing singer Rowetta and new singer Nuts – were on their way to Birmingham to start production for the shows.
Ryder said: “It’s going well, really well, a lot better than I thought. We’ve listened back to remixes we had done in the 1980s and 1990s and we’ve worked it all out with the songs like that.
“Nuts is fitting in fine, he’s not a rapper, he’s a singer and we share lines and split things between us.”
They play their homecoming gig at Manchester Evening News Arena tomorrow (April 23), then Glasgow SECC (24 & 25) and London Brixton Academy (27, 28 & 29).
The band will also be playing at this year’s V99 Festival at Staffordshire Weston Park (August 21) and Chelmsford Hylands Park the day after (22).
See next week’s NME for full review and gig report.
Tickets for Reading and Leeds 99 are available from nme.com‘s 24-hour ticketline on 0870 121 0125 or click here to go to our online gig guide and ticket service.