For some reason, Madchester is in the news. Or at least in the Observer. The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays (again) have reformed, as have New Order (never really a Madchester band), minus Hooky.
If Madchester was a real musical movement at all, it was a pretty sorry one. Don’t get me wrong, I spent most of my youth buying anything by bands with baggy jeans and a shaggy haircut. But the only ‘Madchester’ bands that still bare repeated listening are the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays.
In case you feel like being reminded, here are 6 forgettable acts to come out of the Madchester phenomenon:
A reasonable start with the jangly ‘Shall We Take a Trip’ – dull drug reference excepted. However from there it was all downhill, despite everything going for them: Central Station designed covers, Factory label, support slots with the Mondays. The album missed the boat by a good year or so, and that was it.
The hype = ‘Madchester supergroup’ containing former members of the Stone Roses and the Inspiral Carpets (of whom more later).
The High = BORING.
One good track (Perfume) and a lot of crap. Saw them at the Camden Underworld in 1991, they could hardly play their instruments. Again, album missed the boat and sank without trace. Still, shamefully, in my record collection somewhere.
The ugliest band in christendom. Let’s be honest, despite their success relative to others on this list, they were still pretty rubbish. Early stuff was good in a Monkees-ish way, but soon the Hammond became annoying and gimmicky and Tom Hingley’s voice sounded increasingly like a foghorn. Plus, they were definitely not cool as f*ck.
My Jealous God
Londoners rather than Mancs, but very much on the baggy bandwagon. Bought their first 12″ ‘Everything about you’ in original AND remix versions. £8 and 30 minutes of my life I will not get back. Disappeared after their next single. Justifably so.
Loved it at the time. ‘The time’ being before I developed taste and discernment, and thought that drum machines and ‘acid tops’ were cool. Now, I can think of little more offensive than covering one of the Beatles’ greatest moments in such an offhand and cynical fashion.