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Shaun Ryder || The Ecstasy & The Agony || 6*6 || HQ

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Uploaded on Oct 24, 2009

If you've seen Shaun Ryder on TV of late, you'll have noticed that the former Happy Mondays and Black Grape frontman does not look in the best of health. However, it's not all the result of Shaun's infamously hedonistic lifestyle and legendary substance abuse, as this fascinating fly-on-the-wall documentary, made by Richard Macer, reveals. Filmed over eight months, we follow the singer-songwriter as life hits a depressing low during his time in Australia around 18 months ago. Having been locked in a messy legal battle with his former Black Grape management team for the past six years, all Ryder's assets were frozen. Facing a life ahead being totally skint while battling with ongoing drug problems, his family feared for his life. Any self-respecting Mondays fan should not miss this chance to see the legend that is Shaun Ryder piecing his life back together. Because of their notoriety, it's easy to forget that both Ryder and the Happy Mondays are rightly acclaimed as musical innovators. Formed in 1981 in Salford's Little Hulton by Ryder, they were signed by Factory Records legend Tony Wilson in 1984 and with the release of their second album, Bummed, in 1988, the public were finally tuning into a band whose glorious mix of shambolic punk, funk and dance, combined with a rock and roll attitude that reeked of hedonism of the highest order, would see them being feted as working class heroes and a cultural phenomenon. Despite continuing to look like scally car thieves, by 1990, The Mondays were bona fide stars. Their indie-dance anthem, Step On, and musical masterpiece, third album Pills, Thrills & Bellyaches, saw them playing Wembley Arena with Ryder the mouthpiece of a generation. Who will ever forget the era defining moment when the Roses and the Mondays shared the stage of Top of the Pops- Mancunian magic at it's best. Sadly, the dream couldn't last. Self-combusting amidst inter-band feuds and escalating drug abuse during the recording of ill-feted fourth album, Yes Please, the eventually split acrimoniously in 1993. Ryder's main post-Mondays highlight was his glorious 1995 return with Black Grape and their superb debut album, It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah! - which makes it ironic that the management of Black Grape have been the very ones causing Ryder, and his accountant, so much grief. But now, thanks to the success of his Get Loaded DJ tour, Ryder is back: The Happy Mondays are playing live once more and Get Loaded has mutated into a fully-fledged festival of all things musically Madchester. Thankfully, Shaun William Ryder's long legal battle has finally been resolved. Having reached a settlement with Black Grape's former management team, he is now free to resume his musical career and keep his earnings, once he's paid back his debt to them. Even though Shaun lost a lot of cash during the prolonged legalities, we're sure he's merely relieved it's all over - not least because, at one point during the court case, Lord Justice Thorpe observed that Shaun had "said he was freaked out by paperwork and that it 'did his nut in'". Brilliant. "The Dude Abides!"

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