The dreary grey skies of Glasgow are anything but uplifting, especially in the infamous Gorbals district. A haven that has boasted feared gangs and council estates stocked with detonators and a Trainspotting-esque charm is the last place I thought I would end up. Yet within this hotbed of gloom and doom stands the Carling Academy, a local pillar of music and nightlife. Within these decaying walls I chatted to the Leeds-based Sunshine Underground who were supporting their raver forefathers, the Happy Mondays, during their UK tour. Getting Scotland to dance isn’t a hard task, and little did I know I’d be spending the weekend with the Underground taking over Glasgow- and a little seaside town called Greenock, proving that these boys know how to pack venues and inject some neon nightlife even in the dankest of places.

What is it like touring with the Happy Mondays?
Craig: We were saying hello to the Mondays the other night, and they’ve got a huge rider, there’s like five bottles of champagne, four bottles of red wine, five bottles of white wine, six crates of beer and we had like, half a crate! We were knocking on their dressing room door and they were like, ‘to be honest, half of us don’t drink anymore, so help yourself!’

Were you hanging out with Shaun and Bez?
Craig: Shaun turned up at the gig and think he just called a car and left after it!

He’s not his old crazy self anymore!
Craig: Bez was hanging around, being quite cool and chatty.

So Madchester is over! [laughs]
Craig: The rave is over! [laughs]

The new wave is taking over! What do you think of the NME classifying you as Nu Rave? Does it get on your nerves? Craig: I think it’s alright for a while and I can kind of see why, I think the NME likes to put people into categories when they write about you. That’s what kind of had to happen to us to get to touring, etc…. But I think it’s kind of obvious from the people that know us and people that come to see us, that we’re not a Nu Rave band. There is an energetic dance thing going on, but the new album will be tend to less ‘Nu Rave’.
Matt: It was written on lots of Sambuca.

[laughs] So it was written when you were hopped up on Sambuca?
Craig: [laughs]. Yeah, we were in Leeds most of the summer in between during festivals and writing the album and it was kind of happening slowly and one song would happen now and again. It’s kind of easy when you’re back at home to just go at it. We decided to go to Scotland for a few weeks and just wrote the majority of the album then.

So you’re working on a new album already, but the first album wasn’t as pushed in America, especially as you’ve never been since SXSW.
Craig: I think the point was to try and break the record in America and then to just make another one. I think it was to build on what we have here [in the UK], then conquer America, as you can’t simply tour it in a month. We are signed out there as well and they tried to push it, and that’s what the whole SXSW thing was kind of about. But our English record label wanted a record out by the end of the year.

Were you happy with how things panned out, or did you really want to do something with America now? Did that disappoint you?
Craig: I think we will probably do that with the next album, we’re really confident about, and we were itching to make some new stuff, as we’ve been playing the same live set for about two years. I’m pretty confident that the new album is going to do well.

So promoting the first album was all about keeping the momentum going in the UK.
Craig: We’ve been releasing singles for a year and a half. I think it’s important to not go away for too long or people will forget about you.

–Andrea D’Alessandro

  1. Good internview – its nice to hear the new albums coming along nicely. If its anything like the last one you’ve definatly got nothing to worry about.
    Keep it up lads