LIVE: Happy Mondays @ 02 Academy

This week hasn’t been great. The weather’s getting colder, work is starting to kick in, and the last two days have been an onslaught of terrible news. So this weekend I didn’t want anything artsy, clever, sad or intelligent, I just wanted fun.

“watching an older Bez and Shaun Ryder is like watching two dads MC-ing a stag do”

Thank God I went to see the Happy Mondays then. Sure, it was shambolic (there seemed to be multiple monitoring issues and Shuan Ryder underestimated the length of his own album – they played the whole of Pills and Thrills and Bellyaches in about fifteen seconds flat) and sure, the audience were a weird mix of forty-something blokes and millenials cursing the fact that their only true experience of the nineties was rolling around in nappies…but the keyword here is fun.

Having said all this, I wasn’t without my worries at the start of the night. For one thing, the rain was relentless; Jack (my Mancunian consultant) and I bundled into the O2 soaking wet. For another thing, the support act Alias Kid was surprisingly average given all their praise from Shaun Ryder. I mean, I like the nineties too, but the amount of bands out there doing pseudo-Brit pop in 2015 is getting fairly annoying.

However, when the Happy Mondays came on stage and started playing, everything made sense. Of course, watching an older Bez and Shaun Ryder is like watching two dads MC-ing a stag do, but when about forty dads in the audience are yelling their heads off to ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Step On’, the fun is infectious. There was something fantastically un-cool about the affair, Happy Mondays are one of those bands that have reached the age and stage of not giving a crap about their appearance, only caring about bashing out the tunes for audience members to eagerly recite.

“they played the whole of Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches in about fifteen seconds flat…but the keyword here is fun”

By the end of the gig I came out with a massive grin on my face. Sure, Jack and I didn’t travel back in time to 1991. We still came out to a 2015 riddled with fear and self-loathing. But we had fun, and a hell of a lot of it as well. The Happy Mondays really are the face of a generation that knew the meaning of the word.

Daniel Pye 

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