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Wednesday, July 15, 1998 Published at 22:31 GMT 23:31 UK


Black Grape splits

The indie band Black Grape have signed off for good, according to the controversial frontman Shaun Ryder.

The singer told Melody Maker magazine he will continue to make music, but there will be no more records or live shows under the group's name.

Black Grape achieved chart success with singles such as Reverend Black Grape and In The Name Of The Father and their debut album, It's Great When You're Straight, Yeah.

But the group, which mixed dance beats with Ryder's anarchic vocal style, saw their popularity slump with poor sales of their last album Stupid Stupid Stupid.

Ryder told the paper: "There won't be another Black Grape record. I wanna carry on and make CDs every now and again but I don't want to tour, man. I can't swing my little skinny butt any more."

He said he was in no rush to release any more records.

Drug problems

The singer first found fame in the late 1980s with the Manchester band The Happy Mondays.

They scored a string of hits that included Kinky Afro, Step On and Hallelujah. But the group dissolved in 1993, partly because of Ryder's drug problems.

Ryder has shown ambitions outside the music business. He is set to be seen making his acting debut as a villain in the forthcoming movie The Avengers, although he said this will be a one-off.

He said he was working on scripts with film-maker Tom Bruggen who made a documentary about the band, The Grape Tapes.

The singer has also moved into journalism, writing a column for the Sport newspaper in which he challenges celebrities to pose topless for the paper.

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Rune Thorstein's Black Grape page

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