REVIEW: Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, Stereo Mc's - Rock City 16.3.24

REVIEW: Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, Stereo Mc’s – Rock City 16.3.24

Someone once said 3 is the magic number. Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets and Stereo MC’s have been matched together perfectly just like ‘our Cilla once did on Blind Date, tonight’s romance is due flowers, chocolates and the finest dining at Nottingham’s Rock City.

A sold out venue always results in an atmosphere aka the thundering launch pad of Apollo 11. Stereo MC’s bring their Brit hip hop, Bob Marley and The Wailers excursion live and direct to their home town. 90’s smashes Connected and Step It up wake the early risers to their feet, nodding heads and similar moves aka lead singer Rob Birch are displayed looking like an 80’s breaking dancing competition, the break beat heavy tunes would make Bernard Purdy quake.

Inspiral Carpets manoeuvre on stage to moos from their udder lovers. Straight in the treble like a dart thrown by Luke Littler with their homeless anthem Joe, Stephen Holt holds the crowd’s attention as he bounces on stage. I Want You (with Mark E Smith), Two Worlds Collide and This Is How It Feels does little but remind the gathered thousands of their unique 60’s garage appeal. Clint Boon’s organ grinding continues to marvel and hold the throngs to his spell, similarly with the backing of founding member guitarist Graham Lambert, bassist Oscar Boon and Graig Gill replacement Kev Clark, his drumming certainly packs a punch especially on She Comes In The Fall, solo ‘n all.

Headliners Happy Mondays need little introduction. Kinky Afro, Loose Fit, Hallelujah and Step On, anthem after anthem bring the crowd to a climax not matched in Nottingham since Torvill and Dean danced so gracefully have Robin Hood’s quarters seen such majesty displayed, or maybe I should say funkadelic psychedelic madcapped mayhem. Everyone’s eyes are naturally focused on Bez, well into his 60’s he’s still as lean, mean and ready to gyrate those hips of his as youthfully as he’s always done.

Original member guitarist Mark Day is underrated, an equal atleast to John Squire, his playing on 24 Party People, Gods Cop and Bob’s Yer Uncle doesn’t go unnoticed. Gaz Whelan still has the vibrancy he had when he had shoulder length hair back in the 90’s whipping his kit into action, backing vocalist Rowetta mixes sassiness with Donna Summer like vocals, the once proclaimed lioness has a voice that reaches the heavens, unmistakably on Step On.

Hidden to the back of the stage Shaun Ryder doesn’t do much on stage, he doesn’t need to apart from bark out orders down the microphone, his uniquely some times out of tune vocals fit in perfectly with the man made daft funk on stage, there will never be a band quite like Happy Mondays ever again, Wrote For Luck see’s the band make their bows on stage to a wall of feedback and noise, the heaving East Midlands crowd just cant get enough, with a second date by the trio booked a few weeks time, go and see these bands before its too late.

All photos copyrighted to Nigel King 

Matt Mead

Matt Mead

Freelance writer who likes anything with heart and soul