The Happy Mondays were always good copy being to drugs what Shane McGowan is to drink. Ryder and Mark Bery (Bez) were a devilish combination and their live shows were ecstatic affairs. ‘Pills, Thrills & Bellyaches’ is their high watermark, containing pretty much all their essential moments. The rest of their back catalogue has instances of greatness but lacks clear consistency. ‘Hallelujah’ is taken from the revered ‘Rave On’ EP that boasted a gaggle of remixes. This version is my favourite even if trims Kirsty McColl’s screeching vocals to a minimum. This is the quintessential baggy anthem, pitching acid house atmospherics alongside accomplished guitar asides and Bez’s flailing maracas. Ryder gruff vocals are superb, almost out of tune and laboured they provide the perfect foil for the hedonistic rhythms. Ryder’s slow metamorphosis into a mongoose is sad to watch but thankfully Bez remains the stick insect of yore even finding time to win a celebrity reality TV show in-between those 10-hours-long practise sessions in his front room. The band are scheduled to appear this summer in London at the prophetically titled ‘Get Loaded In The Park’. KD
Happy Mondays – Hallelujah
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