As you may have guessed, it was The Inspiral Carpets and The Stone Roses that got me in to the Manc scene. I was always into music but never knew how much talent actually existed in the place I was born and bred. I started to delve into the archives of Manc bands and couldn't believe the tunes and excellence I had overlooked! As a teenager I was wrapped up in hip hop and house music which is why I didn't get what was going on in the bass, vocal, guitar, drum world. I worked on New Smithfield Market at the time and a lady I worked with kept banging on about The Smiths. Because I was a naive fool who read my dads copy of The Sun I was always under the impression they were depressing! How wrong I was. I bought The Queen Is Dead on a gamble and I fuckin won big time!
It was the best record I'd heard for a long time. Morrissey and Marr are probably up there with Lennon and McCartney for songwriting. Johnny Marr will always be in my top five best ever guitarists in the world. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out will remain my favourite ever song and is on my funeral playlist. This album as you know is always in the top ten albums ever made list a deserves it! My favourite Smiths album though was Meat Is Murder.
Songs like Rusholne Ruffians and The Headmaster Ritual were classic. And the actual track Meat Is Murder was a stark grim song which freaked me out a bit. Marr's guitars and Morriisey's lyrics were menacing but with sheer brilliance. All in all The Smiths never made a bad record.
What can I say about this band??? Everyone had heard Love Will Tear Us Apart and most people will only associate Joy Division with this song. I had listened to a lot of New Order stuff in my teens due to Blue Monday being in rotational play everywhere. When I discovered Joy Division I stumbled on a Manc gem. They were way ahead of their time and no band sounded like them. Dark shit with lyrics that were personal and biographic. I bought the box set years ago and ending up selling it to my mate Colin who owned Breakdown Records in Afflecks Palace when I was on my arse. My partner rebought it me for my 40th birthday and it remains a prize possession! Their music was dark, brilliant, immense and thrilling. A few bands have done quite well imitating them like Interpol and Editors (who I like by the way) but cannot cone close.
Another band I have to mention is James. A friend gave me a copy of Hymn From A Village on vinyl and I loved it. First time I saw them live they were supporting David Bowie at Maine Road and I will never forget them performing Promised Land live. It was fucking brilliant and sent shivers up my spine. Who can claim going to see Bowie and mentioning this a the gig highlight??!! I've seen them since at Castlefield Bowl and they are still a relevant Manc band to be treasured.
The Happy Mondays just made me piss laughing! They sounded like a car crash with funky shit going on with a North Manc scally twist. This album was a starter to what was going to be a massive boost to the Madchester cause. Bummed, the second album was awesome but Thrills Pills & Bellyaches totally upped the game. It was a classic and cemented Shaun Ryder and Bez into Manc history! Funky as fuck, funny, druggy and a mass statement to the Manc cause.
The band that have always been in my heart most though are The Fall. They have made almost 30 albums and were John Peels favourite. I own every album and can never decide which is my favourite. You cannot categorise their sound. They own it! Mark E Smith is a living legend who should be knighted for his services to music. He would probably tell the queen to go fuck herself though!! These are a band you have to see live once in your lifetime! Tightest band I have ever seen. Smith is like a teacher studying his pupils, wandering the stage like a tyrant! My favourite Manc band by miles!
This band are the band that should have been massive in my eyes. Hailing from Middleton and having a classic 80's sound which was in the mould of Echo & The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes. Mark Burgess is a great lyricist and is still touring as Chameleons Vox. Script From A Bridge was a fucking great album and should be up there in the best of polls. Who can;t say Up The Down Escalator was a moment of triumph? Dave Fielding went on to form The Reegs which were another great Manc band who should have made it but didn't. I will never forget losing my match ticket for a City game and Mark (who worked at City at the time) sorted me another one! City Till We Die!!!
Anyway, enough for now. Hope you all check out these bands. They are all legends!