After the untimely demise of The Happy Mondays in 1993 front man Shaun Ryder formed Black Grape, teamed up with rappers Paul Kermit Leveridge and Carl Psycho MacCarthy the band was intended to draw a line between his past life and his new one. It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah received critical acclaim in the UK, and despite the success of the the debut album the subsequent album Stupid Stupid Stupid was less favoured and in 1998 Black Grape went their own ways…
Fast forward to 2015 and now signed to Creation and to coincide with the 20 year anniversary of ‘Its Great When Your Straight…. Yeah’ the band has reformed minus Psycho.
Opening for BG tonight is another Creation band ’Alias Kid’ and with the boss man Alan McGhee watching from the wings the guys play and absolute blinder, playing their debut album “Revolt To Revolt ‘ they have all the swagger of Oasis with the charm of the Charlatans.
The Garage is a slightly smaller venue the Ryder must be used to and gives the fans a chance to get up close and personal, Black grape are led on stage by a new invigorated and fit looking Kermit followed closely Shaun Ryder who himself is looking well and up for the gig and open with the excellent ‘In The Name Of The Father”. By this time the venue is packed to back wall with punters swaggering and dancing like demented lunatics singing every word, the groove is continued with ‘Tamazi Party’…. brilliant.
“its Great When Your Straight…Yeah’ hasn’t got a bad track on it which also meant the gig set list didn’t have a bad song in it but ‘Kelly’s Heroes was the standout track of the night with the almost drowning out the band with the sang the lyric “Jesus was a black man….no Jesus was batman” hair raising stuff.
Shaun Ryder was the most up for a gig tonight more than I have seen in a long time and with his buddy Kermit on form tonight’s gig was a cracker….
All Images © Stuart Westwood Photography 2015