Shaun Ryder does a Freddie Mercury and records Barcelona...

Shaun Ryder completed filming the video for his new single ‘BARCELONA (FRIENDS UNTIL THE END)’ at MANCHESTER’s BARTON AERODROME yesterday (June 9).

Ryder features on the single, the debut release from Salford-born tenor Russell Watson, which is a cover of the Freddie Mercury/Montserrat Caballk collaboration, made famous by the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

The pair spent last week filming the bulk of the video on location in Barcelona, before shooting the opening sequence in Manchester. The promo opens with Ryder waiting on the airfield next to a “clapped-out Allegro”, with Watson arriving in a #42,000 black Lexus. The pair wait in the clubhouse bar, before being seen on holiday together in the Spanish city.


“We can’t give too much away,” said Watson, “but basically the video is about two geezers going on holiday having a lark.”

Ryder joked, “chasing the birds, trying to cop for the birds, only we end up copping for each other. We got on straight away. He’s a normal lad isn’t he? And I’m semi-normal, but I’ve been in the business a lot longer. When he’s been around as long as I have he’ll make me look like a fucking Tellytubbie.”

Ryder and Watson, as well as growing up in Salford, are united by a shared support for Manchester United. The idea for the track came about after Watson, the self-confessed “voice of sport over the last 12 months” sang the song at Old Trafford when United won the championship against Tottenham.

The reformed Happy Mondays had substituted the sample in ‘Hallejulah’ for the chorus of ‘Barcelona’. Watson‘s management found out and suggested that the unlikely partnership should get together.

Of the single, Watson commented “I think really it’s about two geezers from Manchester having a bit of a crack. Obviously I take the music very seriously, but you can’t take yourself too seriously in this business or you’re gonna get slaughtered.”

The single will be the first from Watson‘s upcoming album which aims to bring classical and operatic music to a mainstream audience.


‘Barcelona (Friends Until The End)’ is out on July 10 through Decca/Universal. Happy Mondays play Glastonbury Festival on June 25.

For tickets, go to the nme.com Ticketshop – click here

Or call the NME 24-Hour Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663. Calls are charged at national standard rate. Russell Watson releases his album later in the year.

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