Obviously the people at HMV Market Street seem to think so as the city is a genre inspiring its own section in their flagship Manchester city centre store:

Some of acts featured are only tenously Manchester like the Charlatans (orginally from Northwich, Cheshire although Tim Burgess later moved to Camden) and New Order (technically from Macclesfield and Salford). The same applies to Take That often seen as a Manchester Act although some of their roots are pretty far off the mark eg Stoke on Trent, Robbie Williams’ hometown, georgaphically nudging the midlands.

Yet the myth of rainy city looms large. Bands from Manchester and its environs have in the past resisted the temptation to relocate to the nation’s capital and even joined forces to big up the city: click here for a review of the “From Manchester with Love” tour of 1986 featuring New Order, the Smiths and Fall – surely a bill to die for. As the piece brings home the Manchester sound was always an eclectic thing spanning (i) hypnotic synths (ii) jangly bedsit miserablism and  (iii) punky rifferama. As the 80s mutated into the 90s the whole Mad-chester tidal wave hit, throughut which the constant refrain “there’s always been a dance element to our music” became as consistently audible as the omnipresent wah wah pedal from groups like Happy Mondays et al.

Indeed as befits a Musical mecca, independent record shops in Manchester can be found not just in the obvious northern quarter and central bits but also cheeringly in an age of downloads etc present in south Manchester suburbia (eg Sifters, the Fog Lane institution immortalised by Oasis and Chorlton’s King Bee in M21 (which I assume is still there although I didn’t make it down on my visit last week). In short: Manchester rave on.

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