Formed as long ago as 1980, the Happy Mondays are that rare breed of band signed to a label on the strength of losing a competition, rather than winning it. The legend goes that erstwhile Factory head-honcho, the late Tony Wilson, saw them at a battle-of-the-bands contest, loved them, saw them come last (so the story goes) and inked a deal with the outfit, regardless. That, ladies and gentlemen, is proper talent-spotting.
Singer and upbeat-poet Shaun Ryder, alongside his brother Paul, Mark Day, Gary Whelan and the later arrivals of ubiquitous 'vibe' provider and dancer Bez and lung-busting soul-singing vocalist Rowetta, turned Manchester on its head with a string of huge funk-punk dance classics that oozed surprisingly feet-friendly rhythms, a confident swagger and Ryder's acerbic, comedic and sharp-tongued lyrics.
They weren't just about 'twistin' your melon, man' - the band released consistent albums and singles, from the debut 'Delightful' EP, via the euphoric 'Freaky' Dancin'', past the 'Madchester' classics of 'Step On', 'Wrote For Luck' and 'Hallelujah', right up to 'Kinky Afro', 'Loose Fit' and the under-rated 'Sunshine and Love'. 'Bummed' and 'Pills Thrills and Bellyaches' were, and still are, the stuff of legend and spot-on albums to boot.
After reforming earlier in 2012, Happy Mondays have been performing tours and festivals, recreating the chaotic madness that dogged their early live shows with a slick delivery and a party atmosphere. This autumn sees the band and Rowetta join forces with another classic Manchester outfit for a brace of shows in London and Brighton - 808 State and their celebrated soundsystem set-up will provide support. You know you want to go, right? For free? Read on (or step on).
We have a pair of tickets to see Happy Mondays perform in Brighton on 30th November 2012 and all you have to do to win is click on the Enter Competition button and follow the easy-peasy instructions.
Closing date for entries is at the end of the day on Monday (of course) 17th September.