Hartlepool musician shares a stage with Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder at sell-out gig

A Hartlepool musician and his band received great feedback after they shared the stage with an icon of Britpop music.

Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 8:49 am
The Carousels performing during the gig. Copyright Damian John Photography.
The Carousels performing during the gig. Copyright Damian John Photography.

Jeff Best from town and his band The Carousels provided support to the Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder at a sold-out gig in Birmingham.

The Carousels, an indie four-piece band, were selected to play a set at The Mill live music venue, before Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape performed.

Hartlepool's Jeff Best (left) of The Carousels with Black Grapes member Paul Leveridge and guitarist Seth Leppard.

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Lead singer Jeff, originally from Clavering, said: “A year ago we played The Studio to around 50 people supporting the North East Britpop cover band The Baggy Mondays.

“Now, here we are playing a sold out show to around a 1,000 people supporting Shaun Ryder from the Happy Mondays! Quite surreal.”

The Carousels played a half-hour set consisting mostly of their own original songs including one called So Clever, which Jeff wrote in Hartlepool, and Cold Feet which references driving back to Hartlepool and crossing the River Tees.

Jeff, who lives in the Midlands where he works as a pilot, and the band were supported by a number of friends from back home who went to watch them play.

Shaun Ryder

He added: “The atmosphere was great in there – great lighting rig and a sold out crowd.

“The set went great and the crowd feedback was amazing – especially from friends from Hartlepool who travelled down to watch us play.

“A few moments later a figure dressed in black with sunglasses and a cap on came on; Shaun Ryder.”

Ryder was the frontman for Happy Mondays who were one of the biggest bands of the ‘Madchester’ music scene in the late 1980s.

Jeff, 42, added: “They launched into their set with Name of The Father.

“They were great – rock/funk/hip hop – it was all in there.

“Kermit (Paul Leveridge) was full of energy and Shaun stood there and did his thing looking very cool indeed.

“We got a thumbs up from Kermit as they kicked the song off.

“We are still unsigned but it was definitely a validation of what we have been doing for the past two years.

“It was a great night and we had amazing feedback from people there – one saying we were the best support band he had seen in a long, long time.”