Madchester and the baggy movement was over ............................... or was it?
Not for bands like The Space Monkeys it wasn't. They were even signed to the doomed Factory records and for a while a handful of bands came out of the Britpop movement that were referred to as Post-Madchester. They digged the Madchester dance scene and loved the acid house movement of the late 80's and this was reflected in the bands overall sound. Drum machines with Fat Baggy beats, synths and distorted guitars made up the general sound of The Space monkeys and that's just fine for me!.
Forming in Manchester in around 1995 they signed to the doomed Factory Records they would go on to release a handful of singles and one official album. For a short time, the band kept the Madchester torch alight with their baggy, Hip Hop and acid house sounding guitar tunes.
Debut single Keep On Tripping On is a fantastic post baggy single for 1996. When other bands were singing about very British things that involved the use of lots of trumpets we find the Space monkeys playing like it was still 1991 and loved up to the max. This was the only single that was not released on their debut album The Daddy Of Them All and was a cross between Flowered Up, Northside, The Dylan’s and The World Of Twist. For their next release we find the band releasing the bass heavy Blowing Down The Stylus with its big beats and lead guitar swirling around like a drunk Hammond that fell off the back of an early Charlatans single. Acid House Killed Rock And Roll would be the bands third release with early 90's rave influences. With its synths and double beats, a plenty, we find the band releasing a very drum and bass heavy single with the guitars turned up to full distortion, many a pill was dropped to this tune I bet ya! The last single taken from the album is heavily drug referenced Sugar Cane and I still think to this day that if this single was released a few months before it would have been a massive summer smash. Full to the brim with cultural references for the time and a chorus that would have not been out of place at any indie disco of the 90's.
The release of the debut album The Daddy Of Them All had all the early singles apart form Keep Tripping on which would have been out of place in the slightest. If you were a fan of the bands singles, then the album was what you were hoping for. Sitting slap bang in the middle of Britpop which was just getting over the Madchester scene a couple of years before we find one of the best bands to come out of Manchester in the late 1990's. The band would tour with the likes of Smash Mouth, Third Eye Blind and record a follow up album but due to Factory Records going out of business the album was unreleased and the band disbanded in 2000.
The follow up album was called Escape From The 20th Century and would eventually find a release in late 2013 and in 2015 we find the band reforming to play a selection of shows across the UK.
As of writing this we find the band playing the Shiiine On Weekender in November along with a host of bands from the 1990's which looks like a 90's indie kids ultimate line up.
So if you have never heard of the band before make sure you go and buy both albums from the usual outlets and you will find a long lost hidden jem of a band. The Daddy Of Them All is a blissful look back at a time when British music meant something to be proud of. A band twisting a magical blend of Madchester and the British sounds of the Britpop scene of the 90's and a band that for me will never be forgotten.