Last Friday, I headed into London to The Water Rats to catch the live “In Conversation With Tour” with legendary Happy Mondays and Black Grape front man, Shaun Ryder.

The event was organised by Agents Toura Toura Ltd and the QnA was being hosted by The Magic Mod. Plus there was music support from the band The Gulps.

Upon first arriving, it was clear that this evening was going to be fun. The place was heaving. It literally was standing room only. I met Toura Toura founder and owner, Kevin Fitzgerald at the door. A lovely down to earth man who clearly has no ego or pretense about him. He greeted me with a big smile and warm welcome and explained that the band, The Gulps, were up first and that Shaun Ryder would then be interviewed by The Magic Mod an then in a somewhat unusual and perhaps some might say, dangerous turn of events, the floor would then be opened up to the audience where they could pose their own questions to Shaun with no vetting or prior approval of these questions at all!

I got myself a beer and fought my way through the throng to the front of the stage so that I could get a good look at the band. They were something pretty special and despite performing in front of a room packed full of Happy Monday’s fans, they were received extremely well (see full review of the band on a separate post).

After The Gulps had finished their set, there was a short interlude where the room cleared presumably for folk to grab a quick smoke, toilet break and a drink at the bar.

Upon returning into the function room, I was shocked to see it was even more packed than before, there was literally not a spare space in there. This had obviously proved to be a very popular event.

Not being deterred, once again, I fought my way through the crowds to where my friends were waiting for me. Despite the place being packed to capacity, it was a really friendly and relaxed vibe. There was no undercurrent whatsoever and it was clear that we were all there for the same reason, to have a great night listening to a legend tell all!

Ben (The Magic Mod) was a great host, the patter between him and Shaun was very relaxed and easy like two old friends having a chat. They bounced off one another with the jokes and had the audience in stitches.

Now, I don’t want to give too much away here, but my god that Shaun Ryder has lead quite the life hasn’t he and most surprising of all is probably the fact that hes still alive and here to tell the tale!

After the formal part of the interview (if you can call it that) the floor was opened up to the audience. It was simply a case of if you had a question you wished to ask, raise your hand and a mic would find its way to you. No question was barred or vetoed and Shaun to his credit wasn’t phased in the slightest. He took time and interest in each and every question and answered them with absolute brutal honesty.

In summary, I’d say that these nights are a once in lifetime experience for fans to get up close and personal to their idols. It’s all set in a relaxed and informal atmosphere and it was clear that every single person there that night had an absolute blast.

Check out the agents, Toura Toura Ltd for further information on dates and venues. Aside from the Shaun Ryder tour there is also “In Conversation With Evenings” with Creation records music mogul Alan Mcgee and IDLES front man Joe Talbot. Follow Toura Toura on social media for updates on these tours and for first hand knowledge as to who their adding to their books next!!


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Live review written by Sally Newman

Photo credits 1, 4, 5 & 6 Jeff Moh @jeffmoh69696jeff 2 & 3 @thesongbird_HQ