TIME does funny things and seems to go faster as you get older.

Just ask Shaun Ryder who is having a hard time believing that the last time he performed at Warrington Music Festival was six years ago.

The icon of the Madchester days brought the newly reformed Happy Mondays to the Old Fish Market in 2013 and he is returning to the open air stage to perform with Black Grape on Saturday, May 4.

“That wasn’t six years ago was it? Bleeding hell,” said Shaun.

“We had a great time. It was brilliant but I can’t believe it was that long ago.

“Time goes quicker and quicker the older you get. I remember the five years you have in secondary school feeling like 20 years. And now five years goes in the click of a finger.”

Time also makes things change and has replaced the party lifestyle Shaun was notorious for with dad duties.

He also admitted that his finger is well and truly off the pulse in terms of cutting edge music.

“I’m rubbish at keeping up with things now,” added the 56-year-old.

“Because of the age my girls are, all the stuff I hear at home at the moment is all the stuff that’s on Capital.

“Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande and all that lot are talented but that’s the sort of thing I’m hearing when I walk through the door.

“I’ve probably only got about another three years and then I’ll be the dad that drops them off at indie clubs. I might have more of a clue what’s going on when they start hitting their teens.”

Shaun might not be much use on the music round of a pub quiz these days but in terms of his own bands, things couldn’t be going better.

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When he spoke to Weekend he had just finished a tour of Australia with the Happy Mondays and was going straight into the Black Grape UK tour.

Shaun is protective of Black Grape – where he fuses funk and electronic rock with rapper Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge – and thinks it deserves as much of a legacy as the Happy Mondays.

He said: “We sold a hell of a lot more records with Black Grape and had a lot more success at the time than the Mondays.

“It just happened that Black Grape finished too soon. It really did – and we had a lot more in us.

“It fell apart as things do when you’re young and other things get in the way. Kermit and I fell out.”

It was a long time coming but Black Grape finally reunited to mark a milestone year for their debut album, It’s Great When You’re Straight...Yeah.

Shaun, who is on the roster for Alan McGee’s Creation Management, added: “All the Black Grape stuff is in America and we still have people over there who work on things for the band.

“How it all started off again is I got a call saying it was 20 years since the first Black Grape album and asking if we were going to do anything.

“At the same time Paul Oakenfold got in touch and asked if I’d do this European Cup song.

“After that we just stayed in the studio and carried on writing and we ended up with an album.

“The Mondays got back together in 1999 so that’s what’s been going on since then.

“But I intend to spend just as much time on Black Grape as I did with the Mondays.”

Part of that approach saw Black Grape release their comeback record, Pop Voodoo, in 2017.

Shaun said: “I think the new Black Grape is better than ever and the stuff goes down really well live.

“Our audience now for both bands goes from aged seven to 70-odd. A lot of that is to do with mine and Bez’s ventures into reality TV.

“That’s why you do that – to pick up fans and get new people into you.

“Of course we took fans over with us but a lot of people who enjoyed Black Grape didn’t like the Mondays.

“The Mondays didn’t have a number one album for a start. Black Grape did and I’m really protective of that.

“We picked up a different kind of music fan. A lot of people didn’t get the Mondays first time around.

“Alright, we weren’t the first to mix rock, dance and funk together. Parliament had been doing that for years.

“But we did something a bit fresh which people didn’t get at first.”

It took everyone by surprise too. Happy Mondays acrimoniously split in a drug-fuelled haze in 1993 and many thought that would be the last they would see of Shaun for some while.

Shaun added: “Everyone was surprised because when the Mondays ended there were a lot of accusations and various band members saying things to the press.

“Then out of the blue out comes an album that goes straight to number one. Drugs had nothing to do with the Mondays splitting up.

“That wasn’t the problem. The problem was when Bez and I became bigger than the rest of the band.

“When the doors were held open for me and Bez at Top of the Pops and closed shut for the rest of the band, egos stepped in and that’s what killed the band.

“It was absolutely nothing else. I didn’t answer what everybody was saying at the time. I was even getting knocks on the door from Tony (Wilson) saying I’d blown it. My only answer was that album that went to number one.”

That is well and truly water under the bridge now though.

Shaun said: “The Mondays are better than ever. The days of partying, sex, drugs and rock and roll is gone but we enjoy it more than ever because we’re not on the treadmill. When you’re young you move to the next album then move to the next tour and just go and go and go.

“Eventually that catches up with you. I take the work when I want it and do what I want to do. Now we can look back on what we’ve done.

“Because for years there’s no time to think, you’re just doing it. Now we respect what we do, we love what we do and we love playing.”

Shaun met Kermit through drugs but their connection has become stronger since getting clean.

He added: “With most drug buddies you don’t have anything in common with them when the drugs end.

“But we always did. We’re still great pals and write brilliantly together. When we started writing again it was still there after the years apart. It was as if we’d never stopped doing it.”

Talking of drugs, Shaun overcame heroin addiction in an unusual way – by taking up cycling.

He said: “I was in a lot of rehabs. It didn’t work for me. A lot of that was because I didn’t want it to work but when I eventually put my mind to it, I cycled from morning to night.

“I went from 5am or 6am to 11pm cycling through withdrawal symptoms in the Peak District. If you keep your legs moving it really takes your mind off it.”

Black Grape headline Warrington Music Festival on Saturday