Amateur Night In The Big Top > Clowns and Pet Sounds < Happy Mondays

Amateur Night At The Big Top
Amateur Night In The Big Top - Clowns and Pet Sounds; album cover detail featuring artwork by Central Station Design

New album and single from Shaun Ryder

Shaun Ryder's album and single project under the group name 'Amateur Night In The Big Top'. The single Scooter Girl was released on 16 June 2003 on 12" and CD and the full album, sub-titled 'Clowns and Pet Sounds' will follow on 7 July 2003. Artwork is by Matt Carroll of Central Station Design and features arresting images of Margaret Thatcher and Adolf Hitler. The releases are on the Off World Sounds label run by Pete Carroll who is the brother of Matt and Pat from Central Station and who is lead collaborator on the project.

Press release

Introducing the return of the legendary front man of Happy Mondays & Black Grape - Shaun Ryder - an original and icon of his age. He represented the voice and the attitude of a generation.

- "Amateur night in the big top" was conceived in Perth, Western Australia, where Happy Mondays performed their final ever show.

- The project was conceived and put together by fellow Mancunian and Ryder's cousin Pete Carroll, aided by Shane Norton from Soundlab/Ku-ling Bros and Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire. The album also features Grammy award winning pedal steel player Lucky Oceans (Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson)

- "Amateur night in the big top" is a personal document that is at times painfully introspective, angry, sarcastically cutting and extremely witty.

- The album is a project with many common threads and cross-references - it works as a single piece, featuring Ryder in strong vocal form and full poetic flow.

- The cover features a gallery of "Clowns" (Adolf Hitler adorns the front cover) Artwork by Central Station design - responsible for all Happy Monday and Black Grape covers.

- Video for the single "Scooter Girl" also conceived by Central Station who was responsible for all graphics in the film "24 hour party people".