The Happy Mondays performing their Pills ‘n’ Thrills And Bellyaches tour at Rock City on Thursday 26th November 2015.

Review by Kevin Cooper

With the Manchester scene really buzzing at the moment; The Charlatens coming to Nottingham next month and The Stone Roses announcing a tour next year, The Happy Mondays reminded us last night what a unique bunch of talent that city spawned thirty or so years ago.

At Rock City last night to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their album Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches, the Mondays were more than happy to showcase an album which had spent 31 weeks in the 1990 UK album charts, to a packed crowd that remember or have indeed forgotten their 1999’s or 2004’s miserable comebacks.

Kicking off with Kinky Afro, the crowd went absolutely mental. Ensuring a raucous start to the night, and with Bez strutting his stuff on stage, the party had well and truly begun. Playing the album in its entirety, up next was God’s Cop which allowed Day to showcase his guitar skills as his riffs collided gloriously with an old stomping northern soul rhythm.

Whilst this band may be more famous for their off stage antics and various stints on reality TV, it is sometimes hard to credit just what an extraordinarily original band they were, and last night they showcased just how talented they are. Whilst Ryder’s sobriety is strikingly noticeable, his continuous banter with the band and audience was totally natural. Bez’s legs may not be what they used to be, but that did not stop him running around the stage as though he was in training for a marathon.

Rowetta very nearly stole the show with her incredible voice as she hollered through Loose Fit, whilst other tracks from the album showed that the Mondays have lost none of their magic. They were still funky, down right vulgar, but so endearing.

When Ryder’s memory failed him, the soulful Rowetta stepped in to help. He was instantly forgiven especially as it is nothing short of a miracle that he is still alive and going at it. For Step On he was ably assisted by the crowd who sang their hearts out before the main set was brought to a close with Holiday and Harmony.

The Monday’s gave a short encore of Hallelujah before finishing with the brilliant track Wrote For Luck, which, like the Mondays themselves, is still a classic. With their unique sound and laddish charm The Mondays are welcome back to Nottingham any time.