NOVEMBER 23, 1989 was a fateful day for British pop. That Thursday evening saw the birth of the phenomenon known as ‘Madchester’, with the Top of the Pops debuts of its two leading lights, the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays.

Both Mancunian bands went on to have considerable cultural impact, selling hundreds of thousands of records and creating a distinctive sound (a crossover between indie and dance music) as well as prompting a fashion for flares and baggy tops.

A little over 22 years later both groups are back with full-scale reunion concerts.

Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder is quick to credit his contemporaries for his own band’s decision to bury the hatchet, nearly two decades after their acrimonious disintegration.

“You have probably got the Stone Roses to thank for that,” he says. “After they announced their shenanigans our manager’s phone started going silly. We were getting offers in from all over the place.”

Though various permutations of the Mondays toured in 1999, 2004 and 2006, their upcoming UK dates will be the first that the classic seven-piece line-up have played since the heady days of Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches.

“To do it again we had to consider doing something different,” explains the now 49-year-old Ryder. “It was a bit of a no-brainer – get the original band together. It’s been 19 years since we were last all together.

“I was quite optimistic about it. The only person I thought would not do it was Bez [the band’s dancer, Mark Berry]. He’s pushing 50, though he’s as fit as a 25-year-old. I thought perhaps he did not feel he should be doing it. But we told him, ‘Bez, we all love you’; he noted and agreed to it.

“Getting everyone else involved was quite easy. I’d not spoken to my own brother [Paul, the bass player] since 1999. He lives in LA, so that was tricky, but when we all got in the same room it was really easy. We forgot what we had been arguing about in the first place.”

The Mondays’ set on this tour will be purely nostalgic. “There’s going to be stuff from Squirrel and G-Man, Bummed and, obviously, Pills and Thrills and Bellyaches and the 2006 album [Unkle Dysfunktional],” says Ryder. “The only thing I will leave out is Yes Please! [the Monday’s ill-regarded fourth album].”

Last year Ryder published his autobiography, Twisting My Melon. That, he says, allowed the father-of-five the chance to get “a lot of things off my chest that I had not spoken about ever” about a colourful past that included losing his virginity in an underground car park at the age of 13, teenage burglary, stealing mail when he worked as a postman and dealing ecstasy to clubbers from the the Hacienda, the Manchester nightspot co-owned by New Order and Tony Wilson, boss of their record label, Factory.

Being so open and honest, he says, was “sweet” but reviewing his life could also be also “quite Twilight Zone-y”.

“I’d be talking about people from 35 years ago then the next day I’d go to the barbers and half of them would be in there. People I’d not seen for 35 years I’d suddenly pass them in the street in Manchester. I would not say I was thrilled when I was writing it, but I’m thrilled I did it – it worked out for for the best.”

The book also allowed Ryder chance to give his own account of the notorious recording sessions for Yes Please! in Barbados in 1992. The in-fighting, the car crashes, his own addiction to crack cocaine are all detailed. It is, he insists, “my version of the truth. I’d hate anyone to argue with that – that’s how it was”.

Not that Happy Mondays didn’t play up to their tabloid image from time to time. “To try to generalise: when I got into the music business you had an image, but there wasn’t the 24-hour surveillance like there is now. We played the rock and roll game. Music and bands had got boring in the 80s. We grew up with the Rolling Stones and the Pistols. We invented roles, a manic version of ourselves and played it.”

Today they’ve moved on. “Now most of us are in our 50s – there are granddads in the band – the things we were arguing about as kids are not relevant any more. Gary Whelan was 15 when we started, I was 18, no-one gives you a book of rules about how to behave in the media as youngsters, you deal with it. As grown granddads we’re more relaxed and more refined. We were a bunch of crazy young men; now we’re a bunch of crazy old men.”

Shaun Ryder

Ryder’s appearance on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here – he was runner-up to Stacey Solomon in 2010 – may have helped to change many people’s perception on the singer. He’d had reservations. “I’d knocked back reality television for years – it was frowned upon. But then at the age I was I did it and it was brilliant. It led to me getting television shows and all sorts of other things.”

He is only real regret is becoming embroiled in a decade-long legal battle with his former manager (a court ruled Ryder had to pay him £150,000). “I was young and angry,” he says. “Everything else, no. We played the game. I think we did it right. We’re still here now.”

Drugs seem very much a thing of the past. “It was not difficult whatsoever [to give them up],” he says.” As far as I’m concerned that sort of stuff goes with being young. As soon as you get out of your thirties it’s a natural thing. It gets left behind. That sort of thing does not come into my world or my universe. It’s a natural progression. You grow up.”

Though there’s definitely no new material in the offing from the Mondays, Ryder does have a solo album prepared. “We have been waiting for the right time,” he says. “It will definitely be out by the end of the year. It’s waiting, ready to go.”

He is also busy working on a television programme for the History Channel. “It’s an eight-part series about UFOs and the universe and all sorts of other things – physics and interesting stuff,” he says.

It’s a subject that’s close to the singer’s heart (in his book he claims as teenager to have spotted fast-flying objects in the skies over Manchester). “I have seen things in the late 70s and early 80s that defied the laws of physics when it comes to crap that we suppose. I have seen stuff around that should not be happening.

“[My personal experiences] started it off. I always thought as a little kid it was naive to think we are the only life in the universe. It’s like cavemen thinking they’d reached the end of the world. From what I did see in the 70s I’ve been thinking more from then, really.”