Mondays reviews

MOJO

January 2015 issue

Happy Mondays:

Excess All Areas

four stars

An amazing musical narrative compellingly told.

There are 16 index references for labelmate and Happy Mondays producer Bernard Sumner, two for Bobby Gillespie and 48 for heroin. The band who Barbadian drug-dealers knew as the “white niggers” – during the recording of the Mondays’ … Yes Please! album – were often a brutish whirlwind, seemingly purpose built pour epater la bourgeoisie. But brothers Shaun and Paul Ryder were surprisingly bourgeois-bohemian themselves. Dad Derek had bought a tidy family home in a pleasant Salford suburb. He was also half of a busy musical-comedy duo and contributed to scripts for The Two Ronnies. Written by the author of The Stone Roses: War And Peace, this account is built on fascinating – and convincingly detailed – perspective, a solid foundation for a tale of musical innovation, astonishing misadventure and the bewildering behaviour of a frontman who Tony Wilson proclaimed as a crack cocaine James Joyce.

Roy Wilkinson