REVIEW: Shaun Ryder, O2 Academy.

Shaun Ryder performing at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. Picture Glenn Ashley
Shaun Ryder performing at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. Picture Glenn Ashley
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The legendary Happy Mondays and Black Grape vocalist relaunched his career in the glare of I’m A Celeb, reminding many of former glories that include positive collaborations with Talking Heads and Gorillaz.

Shaun emerges to loud cheers, cigarette in hand, looking cool in shades and a black hoodie. With Kinky Afro a great Mondays starter all bodes well. Never the most dynamic performer, his delivery seems particularly laboured tonight, however, and he is struggling to keep time.

Sidekick Julie, a great singer, and top MC Tonn do their best to rescue things but an obviously troubled Shaun has other ideas and tries to bid the crowd farewell after just 20 minutes. He is persuaded to persevere for another 10 and gives a patient audience Never Mind The Quality Feel The Wit and Loose Fit before seemingly calling it a day.

Slow forward 20 minutes and he reappears, delivering an expletive-filled tirade at persons unknown under cover of Step On before departing to more jeers and booing.

Saviours of the evening are Brummie support The Twang, their raucous indie rock delighting much of the big early crowd.

They deliver an impressive if slightly low key set, not quite in top gear but still driving us to exciting places with Wide Awake and wonderful closer Cloudy Room.