Madchester to descend on Macclesfield this Summer

By Dominic Smithers at Macclesfield Express

The Happy Mondays are headlining this year's Macclesfield Festival, but lead singer Shaun Ryder says their hell-raising days are behind them.

 

One of Madchester’s biggest bands are returning to where they played one of their first ever gigs - although the lead singer confesses he doesn’t remember much about it.

Iconic 1990s band the Happy Mondays, will step on to the stage to headline Macclesfield Festival in June.

 

And it will be a homecoming of sorts, as the group’s hell-raising frontman, Shaun Ryder, says they are returning to the town where he played one of their first gigs.

“One of the first main gigs we played, and at the time we thought it was massive, was at Macclesfield Leisure Centre with New Order in about 1983”, he said.

 

But Shaun added that because it was such a long time ago he can’t even remember whether it went well or not. A lot has changed in the intervening years. Now in his 50s Shaun says the 24 hour partying has stopped and the group’s hectic lifestyles have mellowed.

 

He says along with his brother Paul and the rest of the Mondays; Gary Whelan, Mark Day, Rowetta and Bez, he is on his best behaviour these days.

 

Salford-born Shaun said: “We don’t even drink these days. I’ve got Manuka honey and bananas on my rider and that’s me. We really enjoy the festivals and I really enjoy them it’s brilliant. It’s all rock and roll these days and the sex and drugs have gone.”

 

A family man, Shaun says you’re more likely to find him listening to Hannah Montana than partying late or searching out new bands. He added: “Our Paul [Ryder] listens to new young bands and it’s great but I don’t really get to these days. My sort of music now is Hannah Montana or Katie Perry because I’ve got two young kids.”

 

But Shaun, who at one time played to a packed audience at the Brazil’s famous Maracana stadium, says he isn’t looking back to the glory days.

 

The maverick front man says the Mondays enjoy performing more than ever and they are just doing it for the love.

 

He said: “It’s great doing the shows now.

 

“Back in the day when we were starting out we were making albums and doing press and did what we had to do, but now we just really enjoy it. When you are young you don’t appreciate it as much at the beginning of your career, you do what you’ve got to do, but now we love it.” The band will top the bill ahead of local talent, with Macclesfield duo, the Virginmarys, also performing at the event on Saturday, July 21 at Priory Park.