YOU would have thought that Shaun Ryder would have seen it all in a career which spans over 30 years.

But as he prepares to head out on the road with his ‘other band’ Black Grape, the Happy Mondays’ main man is positively bubbling over with excitement.

“Going out with Black Grape is still new and exciting to me,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, the Mondays are great but it’s the Mondays, people are all over the place and it’s so difficult to organise things.

“I have pretty much complete control over Black Grape because basically its just me and Kermit. It’s dead easy. Plus I’ve got new material so it’s all shiny and new.”

That new material is the album Pop Voodoo which was released last summer, Black Grape’s first new album in 20 years which received universal acclaim.

“I’m over the moon the way it has been received,” said Shaun. “We couldn’t have hoped for it to have gone better. We were pretty confident when we were doing it. Maybe because it’s new but both Kermit and I prefer it to the first album - we think it’s our best yet.”

Pop Voodoo sees Shaun on sparkling form as he rails against Donald Trump and makes acute observations on modern life.

“It’s all swapped around a bit hasn’t it?” he laughed. “The world is in a strange place now and back in the day I was in a strange place and so was Kermit. It just shows how old and grown up I have become.”

Having spent the summer playing festivals with the Happy Mondays. Shaun is now turning his attention to Black Grape who come to King George’s Hall, Blackburn, next Saturday.

“My plan is to pretty much dedicate the next couple of years to Black Grape. With the Mondays we do festivals in the summer and we’ve got something planned for them at end of next year but really I want to get out there with Black Grape.”

Shaun’s battles with addiction have been well documented but he is now clean and enjoying life.

“I’m more at ease with myself and happy with me,” he said. “I wish I’d known how easy life could be. I used to think it would be easier being off your face and just blocking things out but it’s not. It makes everything 10 times harder.

“Now I’m busier than ever but it doesn’t seem it. I suppose it could have always been like this.”

Both the Happy Mondays and Black Grape are as popular now as in their Nineties heyday with many new fans discovering their music.

“We’ve got quite a few sets of fans,” said Shaun. “We have the Sun readers lot then when we were coming up we had all the university kids who are now doctors and dentists and lawyers. Then we have the original fans and the anoraks and now we have fans that me and Bez picked up on our reality television things. The age of fans for both bands goes from those about eight years old up those in their 70s.”

Shaun’s reality TV exploits include going into the jungle in I’m a Celebrity in 2010 when he finished runner-up to Stacey Solomon.

But, he reveals it could have been another TV show which brought him to a wider public.

“Strictly Come Dancing was on the cards when I went into the jungle,” he said. “The record company wanted me to do one of the big reality shows as we had a Greatest Hits out and I ended up in the jungle and I’m so glad I did.”

Shaun’s inspiration to endure bush tucker trials came from an unlikely source.

“I’d seen John Lydon (from the Sex Pistols) do the show and I thought ‘if it’s good enough for him I’d do it too.

“I’m glad I did. In all the years that I’ve been in this business it was the first time people got to see what I’m really like. I’d grown up as this sort of cartoon Shaun Ryder. I was only 18 when I started the Mondays and not much older when we were doing our first interviews and going on TV with a band.”

Shaun’s early career was before the explosion in communication took place.

“Then you were the moody dude in black in a band and that was it. You might mutter a few words in an interview but that was all.

“Now you’ve got social media and reality TV and that’s how we sell seats now. Every time you do a TV show it picks up a lot of people who come and see you in concert.”

Shaun is no stranger to playing Blackburn and vividly remembers his first visit to King George’s Hall with the Happy Mondays.

“The venue got smashed up and we got staged jumped by members of Blackburn Youth,” he said. “Bez was arrested and taken away because the police thought he was one of them. It was an interesting night.”

Now with Black Grape the shows may be less chaotic but Shaun is having as much fun as ever.

“It’s always great to play Blackburn and I can’t wait to bring the new stuff to the fans,” he said.

Black Grape, King George’s Hall, Blackburn, Saturday, November 24. Details from 0844 840 1664 or