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Monday, 27 January 2014

#241: Welcome to Manchester - A Guide to Some of the City's Best Bands


As a city, Manchester’s musical heritage arguably far outweighs any other of its exports. Over the last 50 years, the city has given rise to an inordinate number of acts that have gone on to become household names; from the vocal harmonies of The Hollies and The Bee Gees, to the colloquial twang of The Brothers Gallagher; the dissonant poetry of John Cooper Clarke to the euphoric, almost angelic sounds of contemporary acts such as MONEY to the euphoric for very different reasons, funk of The Happy Mondays. The point I’m making is that every generation, every decade, has given us another musical legend and no matter how you personally feel about them as a band or solo artist, it can’t be argued differently.
Even now, with the buzz surrounding the reformation of the Inspiral CarpetsThe Stone Roses - and the aforementioned Happy Mondays – finally dissipating, one can’t help but think that despite what some people say, Manchester’s music scene never really went away and such musical royalty reforming isn’t the pinnacle of our city’s scene. It’s far from it, and in fact it’s a result of it. There’s a slew of bands and artists coming up that keep the crowds flocking back to such eclectic venues as the Night & Day, The Deaf Institute, and The Ruby Lounge, supporting a scene that in itself seems completely oblivious to the pressures of the wider industry, ignorant of generic convention and seemingly living by the time-old axiom of “Fuck you, this is Manchester, we do what want”. And in a sense they do. While, yes, there are those bands that adhere to the cultural stereotyping of being bandLADS, there are far more acts doing something more than that, something on a more intellectual level than your average Fred Perry sporting philistine, recanting his amorous antics with all the colloquial verbosity of a Lancashire hotpot. From hardcore inspired garage rockers, to atmospheric and haunting producers and even reggae bands, there really is something for everybody in Manchester, no matter what your musical persuasion. Below is just a handful of acts that we think will be making waves in 2014 and beyond.