Let the good times roll

Black Grape frontman SHAUN RYDER has spent most of his life pleasing himself.

So why stop now? Chris Sharratt


Shaun Ryder (right): 'My life has always been about the pursuit of making things nice'

‘.\l\' l.ll"li ll.»\S alua) s heen ahutit the pursuit in" making things nieef sa_\s Black (irape head

hunehu Shaun Ryler. ‘ur pleasing inesell. ur

ha\ing a guud time. It's prett} sellish reall} hut it’s ahutit entertaining unesell all the time. I‘m un that hit//.'

Shaun l{_\der has heen pursuing ‘that hit// lur inust ul' his lile. lung hel'ure the inusie hi/ sueked hint in. There \\ ere thuse earl} da} s as a teenage heruin user. duing eriine tu leed his hahit: thuse mad. niad times in the ntidStls \then R)der and his entuurage \\ ere neeking and dealing liestas} with equal relish: and then there \\as the llapp} .\lunda_\ s. l‘ui'ined when R)der “as still a teenager. 'l‘he antithesis ul e\er} uther hand tr}ing tu make it un the Manchester gig eii'euit. the} lunked tip and lucked up and nu reeurd euinpan) in the land \\t)tlltl tuueh theni. l'ntil 'liun} \\‘ilsun's

l‘aetur) Reeurds sputted their ul'leiltet‘


‘l inst nanted tu he in the inusie hi/ and luekin' nut du a 'iuh. nut \turk. and part} aruund lur a ten .\ears.‘ gullaus l{_\der. It “as

sunie part}. lle gut niure than ten )mts ul

madness uut ul' the hand. nut tu nientiun a eraek eueaine hahit l‘ruin his time spent in Barhadus reeurding the .\lunda_\s' linal [’1’ li'.\ I’/t'ii\t’.' :\ltet‘ that i‘eeurd llt’l‘l‘s‘d. l’aetul'.‘ eullapst‘d and the .\lulttla_\s split. it luuked like his lile \\;ts tlt‘sliltt‘tl [u he hL‘ltl up it\ it eautiunar} tale h_\ thuse \\hu leeture un the

el'leets ul drug~use. .\'u une hargained un the man‘s resilienee.

But it has al\\a.\s heen ahuut inure than just drugs. 'l‘he thing that keeps deer un a high \shen he's nut high is the intisie: ‘.\le head‘s alua) s heen elugged tip \\ ith luekin' tunes and sunnds and e\er} thingf he eruaks.

Yuu ean alniust \ isualise it. a s\\ irling ntish niain ul niurk} suunds. heats. l‘ll}ltlL‘\. all ini\ed tip in his head. hattling tu get utit tln‘uugh the nareutie have. It's the \\a_\ it has tu he: Shaun ean't pla} a musieal instrument despite spending \ irtuall} all his adult lite in a hand.

‘I dun‘t think I'm eapahle ul' pla_\ing an instrument. I just reall) dun’t. I mean I can luek ahuut. l ean make suntething happen . . . lt'siust huts lani.’

It‘s une til the man) things that sets Black (irape apart Hunt the pust—()asis ‘authentie' guitar hands \\lltt ha\e heeuine s_\nun_\niuus \\llll British pup in the ()(ls. \Vhat Black (il'LlPL‘ llit\L‘ l\ ltHHL‘l'. l‘l'L‘SllL‘l‘. lL'\\ \L‘ll.” eunseiuus. 'l‘he next alhuni. althuugh less immediate than the hands dehut It's (irml ll'liwi )im'rt' Slmig/il . . . lea/if. has gut that Bishf Bitslli Btklli leel (ll. ettl‘luun capers Lintl e\eessi\ e lunae). a inusieal minel‘ield ul‘ suunds drawn lrunt the \sidest .speetruni ul‘ pup's eanun. l‘runi hip hup and ragga. will and lunk. thruugh tu the pure. tired-up ruek energ) ul the Stunes and the tneludydrnen sungeralt ul'l’he Beatles.

'l‘hese da_\s liu\\e\ er. it's nut just the niusie that keeps R)der ueeupied. .»\t the nut su lL‘lltlL‘t' itgL‘ (ll 35. he's .lllsl IllittlL‘ his leattn‘e lilni dehut in 'l'lie Art'ngvrs. a small part pla} ing a \ illain surprise. surprise.

‘I didn’t reall} du anyhing in that inuxief l{_\der sniggers. ‘l just gut tu lire sunte l'/is and Inn e a knile light. I mean I thuught l “its reall} guud. l eniu} ed it. _\un knuu. l eniu} ed spending se\ en huurs in me trailer haxing a nee/e and \tatehing 'l'\' and then guing uut lur an huut‘ tu lire nie l'/i. l thuught it \\as \tunderl'ul.’

.\'ul l‘ui' hint the l‘aetur} path ul gi\ing the ne\t Shaun Ryler. the persun \shu nu reeurd lahel \tants tu sign. a ehanee tu get a hit til the pup pie.

‘lt’s fucking hard \\t)l'l\ that] he sa_\s. ‘l’\ e \satehed uther peuple \\ hu reall} eare. \\ hu are

reall_\ passiunate ahuttt uhal the} tlu . .‘ 'l‘uu sellish lui' that then'.’ ‘l’in just . . . liust dun‘t \sant tu he in\ul\ed in aii_\thing. l reall) dun't . . . l \\‘;tlll tu keep it simple.

'l.uuk.‘ he linall) eunt'ides eunspiraturialI}. like a hig kid \xhu's gut aua) \\llll suniething e\tra-naught_\. 'at the end ul' the da). suineune still gi\ es us mune} tu gu in a studiu and luck ahuut. And that‘s prett) euul.’

Black Grape are at Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 6 Dec. See Rock listings, page 54. i -s 'THELIST 15