23 Aug 2004
Get Loaded In The Park yesterday did indeed take place on a sunny English afternoon amid much merriment, dancing and a bit of heckling. On arrival it quickly became apparent that the programme, as well intended as it may have been, was merely a very vague guide as to who was on. The timings contained therein bore no resemblance to who was actually playing. Silent Partners, billed at 2.15, were actually on at 1.30pm. Similarly, Domino Bones featuring Bez were nowhere to be seen at their allotted time of 3.30pm. Timetabling gripes aside this was a fun day out in a predominantly relaxed atmosphere.

The afternoon's entertainment on the main stage featured DJ's as varied as Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke ('The Only One I Know', 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', 'Fame'), Arthur Baker ('Dance To The Music') and Graeme Park ('Voodoo Ray', 'Bango Bango').

Tony Wilson came on stage saying that in half an hour he would be introducing the greatest English poet over the age of 20 but that now he was introducing the four greatest English poets under the age of 20 - RAW-T - the new act signed to his Red Cellars label. This was very brave because for the next 15-20 minutes his new charges were roundly booed and heckled. Their brand of 'grime' MC-ing did not please 15,000 fans baying for Happy Mondays. The talent and the tunes were definitely there though.

And so, after a brief interlude, the return of Happy Mondays to the stage. Unfortunately it was about 10 minutes after their return to the stage that the music actually began due to a technical hitch. Once things did get going it was a good show with birthday boy Shaun on form and Bez wearing some bizarre headgear. After each number Shaun seem very pleased announcing: "Fookin' ell we didn't fook it up!". He also (somewhat incorrectly it has to be said) declared: "Happy Mondays are sponsored by EasyJet".

All the hits were present and correct including Kinky Afro, Step On, Hallelujah and a mighty closing WFL. The Reverend Black Grape was also thrown in for good measure. And Shaun got nearly all of the words right too!

Check out the photo gallery and full setlist here.

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