Manchester and music have always gone hand in hand with each other. The city’s popular music roots in the jazz cafes and ‘blues’ parties of the 1950s and 60s spawned the cult ‘Northern Soul’ scene, putting Manchester on the musical map even before the dawn of ‘Punk’.
It was with the ‘do-it-yourself’ ethic of Punk that Tony Wilson began his infamous Factory empire, borrowing a few hundred pounds to record Joy Division’s first album. Later, as New Order, they returned the favour, investing money into an old yacht warehouse… the Hacienda was built. Along with the Boardwalk, the Hacienda provided a stage for up-and-coming bands such as The Smiths and James, before the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses hit the headlines, and plain old Manchester became ‘Madchester’, the most talked about city on earth… until of course it became ‘Badchester’. The legendary Konspiracy Club was lost, and even the Hacienda’s doors closed. For a time it seemed that it was all over…
By the late 90s a new Manchester had emerged. Fresh clubs; new independent record shops; well over one hundred city centre bars; the stunning Bridgewater Hall; a massive BBC relocation; and a thriving underground music scene sum up the city today. With this rich musical heritage it is no wonder that Manchester is such a focus of productivity in music.
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