Richard Ashcroft Support Act Confirmed!

Find out who's joining the former Verve front-man for his show here in Birmingham this April!

To be honest I’m not sure if I’m more excited to see Richard Ashcroft or the band who have just been announced as his support…Black Grape!

Just announced this week Black Grape head on tour with Ashcroft in April, including at date in Birmingham. Formed back in 1993 by Shaun Ryder, following the split of the Happy Mondays, the band took a bit of a grittier, less understated, funky, electro, rock/pop, soul, hip-hop angle, moving further away from the classic Madchester scene. Taking Bez with him, they bought in amongst others b-boy Paul “Kermit” Leveridge and drummer Ged Lynch (of Ruthless Rap Assassins – great band name!), guitarist Wags and bassist/all-round musician and producer Danny Saber – and biased as I might be, a little bit of magic was made!

I was probably just a fraction too young to fully appreciate the Happy Mondays at their peak, but Black Grape fit perfectly into my baggy-jeans-and-questionable-bucket-hat wearing phase. A band that, in my opinion never quite got the credit they deserved and over shadowed by the Happy Mondays, those of you younger than myself you might know Bez better for his stint on Celebrity Big Brother 3 in 2005. And Shaun Ryder as runner up on I’m A Celeb in 2010 (the one that Stacey Solomon won) and his Madchester themed menu on Come Dine With Me.

The group parted ways (to put it politely) in 1998 after Ryder fired the rest of the band while touring, awkward. But Ryder, Bez and Kermit managed to put differences aside in 2010 for a one of gig in London and then announced a reunion tour in 2016 to celebrate the 21st anniversary (yeh, I feel old too) of their seminal album ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’. With a tour under their belt and the band recording their first studio album since 1997’s ‘Stupid Stupid Stupid’ it’s fair to say Black Grape are well and truly back!

See Black Grape, along with Mr Ashcroft, on 20th April 2017 right here at Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham. We’ll meet you at the front!