Richard Ashcroft dedicates ‘Sonnet’ to Happy Mondays’ Paul Ryder during Leeds show

The former Verve frontman began his gig over the weekend by honouring the late Happy Mondays bassist

Richard Ashcroft began his show at Leeds’ Millennium Square over the weekend with a dedication to founding Happy Mondays member Paul Ryder, following the bassist’s death a day earlier.

As Ashcroft and his band took to the stage on Saturday (July 16), he told the crowd: “This one’s for Paul Ryder and Happy Mondays. Rest in peace. Incredible band.” They then began to play ‘Sonnet’, lifted from The Verve‘s 1997 album ‘Urban Hymns’.

Footage of the moment was shared on social media by Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta. Watch that below:


Happy Mondays announced last Friday (July 15) that Ryder had died that morning at the age of 58. No cause of death has been disclosed. Ryder, who co-founded the band alongside brother Shaun Ryder and others in 1980, was remembered as “a true pioneer and legend” in a tribute shared on the band’s social media.

“He will be forever missed,” the statement continued. “We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time. Long live his funk.”

Following news of his death emerging, there was an outpouring of tributes from those in the Manchester music scene and beyond, with The Stone RosesIan Brown, Oasis‘ Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, Ride‘s Andy Bell and former Haçienda DJ Dave Haslam among those to honour Ryder.

Ashcroft, meanwhile, will play an open-air concert at London’s Crystal Palace Bowl on August 6 as part of this year’s South Facing Festival, joined by Ride. In October, the former Verve frontman will play two headline shows at Manchester’s AO Arena.