Anybody remember the Shaun Ryder-fronted late-period Madchester outfit Black Grape? They were, for one album at least, the band the Happy Mondays could have been. And they’re back, for one night only, this Easter.
Formed after the Mondays collapsed into a long, dark, maudlin Tuesday of the soul, Black Grape managed to shuffle out one unexpectedly great album, 1995’s It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah. Featuring a cover image of Carlos the Jackal, It’s Great…. saw the rump of the Mondays pull it together for just long enough in the studio to emerge with a dozen decent tunes and a surprisingly strong chart showing, reaching platinum status in the UK and spawning a number one hit, the Catholic church-baiting “Reverend Black Grape”. But the group’s trajectory was short and explosive: 1997’s sophomore release Stupid Stupid Stupid stiffed in the charts, and Ryder fired his bandmates shortly afterwards.
Speaking about the reunion, which will coincide with the release of a Shaun Ryder greatest hits album, Ryder said: “It’s great, it’s interesting, it’s part two. I’ve had a break and now I’m back to do it. [fellow Black Grape member] Danny Saber and I have a great working relationship and the time is right.”
Rapper Kermit is confirmed to appear in the reformed band alongside Ryder and Saber.