Everybody is very excited about the upcoming Coachella appearance by Happy Mondays. Everybody, that is, except U.S. immigration officials.
According to NME, Bez, hype man/onstage energy provider/dancer/castanet shaker for the band, has been denied a Visa for its appearance. It will be the Happy Mondays' first U.S. performance in 15 years but, sadly, an appearance without their heart and soul.
A statement released the morning of April 26 reads:
"Due to tightening immigration and working visa legislation, Bez was not, unfortunately, able to secure a visa to perform at Coachella this weekend. Happy Mondays apologize to all their U.S. fans that they will not, on this occasion, be able to enjoy the spectacle of Bez shaking his stuff for them at Coachella."
No worries for the U.K. faithful, though, as Bez will be out in full force for the band’s sold-out U.K. tour following the Coachella appearance.
The band is prepping a follow-up (if, by this point, you can still call it that) to 1992’s Yes Please! They are working with famed hip-hop producer Sonny Levine and Bjork/U2 maestro Howie B.
So after all the the drama and everything else this seminal band has gone through (watch 24 Hour Party People for a brief but potent synopsis), they’re back on the road in fractional form. If you ever enjoyed the onstage entertainment provided by “what the hell is that guy without an instrument’s job” members in bands from Beck to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, you understand Bez’s impact.
It won’t be quite the same at Coachella without him.