UNBELIEVABLY it has been thirty years since the Happy Mondays, led by Shaun Ryder, released their debut album ‘Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out).’

Now, as they take that 24 Hour Party People Greatest Hits on a nationwide tour, they’ll land in Newcastle at the O2 Academy tomorrow night having begun in Bristol on November 14 and taken in venues in London, Cardiff, Liverpool and Leeds among others before finishing with four dates north o’ the border just before Christmas – it’ll certainly be a party…

As an artist in her own right, the Mondays, consisting of Shaun Ryder, Mark ‘Bez’ Berry, Gary Whelan, Mark Day and Paul Ryder being joined by the lovely Rowetta, the multi-award winders continuing to take the music scene by the scruff of its neck and shaking it, Madchester style.

Joining in 1990, Rowetta, who was the last lady standing when finishing fourth in the first series of the X Factor thirteen years ago, in 2004 (won by Steve Brookstein), featured on the Step On single which charted at number five.

Speaking ahead of the Newcastle date she said: “I’ve had an amazing career and fantastic time with the past year having been one of the best I’ve had in the industry.

“This tour just adds to it but as we’ve never really done big, long tours, living on a tour bus but I really enjoy it all

“Bez has it the worst though bless him as he’s doing the after parties as well – he’s like a brother to me though as we’ve been around each other for some time now and the way he is, that’s just natural madness now.”

When the band burst onto the scene three decades ago, it was more about having fun and playing the music than anything else, Rowetta adding: “We just wanted to be there.

“The next thing you know, we’re up there on Top of the Pops and playing at Wembley.

“I’ll take all the credit for that,” she joked, “as the Mondays were more indie before I joined them.

“But now, there’s no need for sound checks and rehearsals when we’re out and about, we’ve been together that long, including the sound crew, we know it all inside out.”

Former a decade prior to Rowetta and Bez’s respective arrivals as female vocalist and dancer/percussionist, the Mondays, with Shaun and Paul Ryder, Mark Day, Paul Davis and Gary Whelan bridged genres between Manchester’s alt rock scene as well as a combination of the rave, acid house, funk and psychedelia sounds.

Mondays’ frontman Shaun Ryder added: “I am really looking forward to the ‘Mondays’ shows leading up to Christmas.

“We're performing better than ever and I love getting together with the band, blasting out all our great tunes we've made together over the decades.

“It's gonna be great.”

Whilst Bez, the group’s dancer and percussionist, added: “Just as I thought it was all over, the party's starting again.

“I look forward to seeing you all.”

  • The Happy Mondays appear at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Friday December 8, doors from 7pm.