A quarter of a century after their breakthrough second album, the irresistible, dance-influenced Bummed, introduced the Madchester music scene to the world, the Happy Mondays’ “classic” line-up continued their revival by performing the entire track listing, plus some greatest hits for good measure.
Happy Mondays - 02 Academy, Glasgow
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There was none of the new material they’re reportedly working on, but tonight’s retrospective wasn’t the occasion for that. All anyone wanted to hear was the established, feelgood blend of scuzzy psychedelia and soul over booming house, so much so that Bez’s appeal for a minute’s silence for the victims of the Clutha bar tragedy initially fell on insensitive ears.
After that slightly surreal, awkward beginning, the band launched straight into a sparky rendition of Performance, with Bez dictating the bobbing and weaving in the crowd, gurning and gyrating magnetically for a grandad.
Shaun Ryder’s voice will always veer towards the mediocre live, but he was on atypically strong form, backed by the lusty lungs of Rowetta, truly belting it out on the leery Bring A Friend.
With its homage to The Beatles, Lazyitis has endured well but it took a raw stomper like Clap Your Hands, transformed here into a punkish take on disco, to truly recall the Mondays in their heyday, all effortless swagger and cheek.
A storming version of Wrote For Luck, perhaps the album’s definitive track, buoyed the show up nicely for an encore of their subsequent chart-toppers.