So when asked what I think is unique about Manchester, the first thing I would say is, 'Mancunians love their music and they know how to throw a good party'!
Manchester is renowned for its music scene and has given birth to bands such as The Smiths, Joy Division, James, New Order, Oasis, and The Stone Roses to name but a few.
There seems to be new music venues popping up all over the city and pretty much every night of the week there is somewhere you can go and catch some live music.
Band on the Wall, is one of the oldest music venues in town and was opened around 1862 by a brewery as their flagship boozer in town.
It has recently celebrated its 80th birthday and hosted a free birthday bash with Denis Jones, Hot Botz Brass Band, and The Breadwinners playing great tunes to the party-loving crowd. It was a great night but there was no jelly and ice-cream or pass the parcel!
The Manchester Apollo has to be one of my favourite venues to watch live music. It’s a listed building and was originally built as a cinema and variety hall in 1938. The interior has a beautiful art deco vibe and I’ve had a few messy but magical affairs there. Some amazing gigs have taken place there by the likes of Iggy Pop, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and the Clash. I’m sure trumped by my mate Lucy’s first gig there which happened to be Bros! I recently went to see Friendly Fires after a jolly good party at Lomography Manchester HQ! These are some of the first shots I have taken at a gig as I am usually half cut for a change!
The folks of Manchester have a strong passion for music and once they get behind a band, they will carry that love in their heart forever. This summer has been massive for Manchester as it has seen its famous sons, The Stone Roses reform to quench the thirst for their timeless songs, showmanship, and the original Mancunian swagger. The atmosphere across the city in the build-up to the Heaton Park comeback gigs has been electric. I decided I would go on the Friday and Saturday shows and even went down on the Sunday night show to try and do a treble, only to find tickets being sold for £120 outside!
The gigs and atmosphere that weekend were certainly memorable; people around me were actually in tears at the sight of their heroes taking the stage together. A sight they thought they would never see.
You only have to walk 5 minutes out of the city over a bridge and you are technically in Salford. There are some fantastic gig venues around these parts and more recently, the city’s churches have been opening their doors to house some great musical endeavours. I recently went to see the Manchester-based outfit No Ceremony at the Sacred Trinity Church.
No Ceremony have released two singles, “Hurtlove” and “Heartbreaker”, while the Guardian have also recently hailed them as new band of the day.
They’ve received high praise from radio stations across the land performing XFM and Radio 1 sessions after only playing live twice. With endorsements of support from the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs, Eddy Temple Morris, and Zane Lowe at Radio 1, it makes me think that this band is set for big things.
If you fancy seeing No Ceremony live, there’s a run of European gigs over the summer, you can find information here.
So for me, the thing that is unique about Manchester is its people and their ability to create great music and of course, throw a fantastic party!
Big love x