Without music, there is no Manchester as we know it because the buzzing atmosphere in our great city was built by roaring guitars, scratching vinyls, shimmering strobe lights and booming microphones.
It’s no secret that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has flipped life as we once knew it on its head, and the satisfying, rhythmic hum that once used to echo through the city air on a daily basis has been ground to a halt over the past couple of months.
Not only has it been sorely missed by Mancunians, but it’s also come at an unfortunate cost.
Live music in Manchester and across the UK is on life support and the industry needs our help. Without it, 30-50% of the live music workforce will become unemployed, 90% of grassroots venues will close, and the industry will lose at least £900 million.
A coalition of live music artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and industry figures successfully launched the campaign last month to highlight the importance of the sector to the UK’s economy and it’s recieved widespread support on social media.
Let The Music Play is hoping to achieve the following three aims:
A clear conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing.
An immediate comprehensive business and employment support package and access to finance.
Full VAT exemption on ticket sales.
And they’re working – but the fight is still a long way from over yet.
After witnessing the traction that this campaign has been gaining over the past couple of weeks, and with the intent to keep the conversation continuing, it prompted us to begin reflecting. Here at The Manc, we always want to know where you stand and in this case, we want to experience the wonders of our city’s live music culture through your eyes.
A chance to fondly reminisce.
So, we took to our social platforms this week – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – to ask you, our loyal audience of Mancunians – ‘What’s your favourite Manchester gig memory?.
Here’s what you said:
We received hundreds of replies to our question across all social platforms, so we unfortunately haven’t been able to include every single one in this article. Instead, we chose to feature a few that seemed to resonate the best with our audience and received the most interactions overall.
Are you keen to have your say? Do you have a different view? Got a musical memory you’d like to share?
Well, there’s still time to chip in, so make sure you head on over to The Manc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to take part, leave your thoughts and discuss with other Mancunians in the same position as you.
Find out more and keep supporting the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign here.
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.
Featured Image — @.millr (via TikTok)/@evie_ire (via Twitter)
The Lathums announce biggest-ever headline show at Castlefield Bowl
Coming off the back of a hugely successful year or so, The Lathums have announced a massive headline show at Castlefield Bowl later this year.
The Wigan four-piece shot to number one with their debut album, How Beautiful Life Can Be, in October 2021 and Radio X gave their track, ‘Say My Name’, Record of the Year for 2022. Mint.
On top of a successful turn on the UK festival and gig circuit, the local lads also delighted Manchester crowds when they opened up as special guests for Snow Patrol during a big performance at the Bowl back in 2021 too. Safe to say they’ve been busy boys.
Now, though, ahead of the release of their sophomore album, From Nothing To A Little Bit More, the pie-eating Platt Wazzers are returning to the open-air venue to no doubt sell the place out and put on their biggest headline show to date. That’s what we like to hear.
Taking centre-stage at the 8,000-capacity amphitheatre once again — the very same place where they debuted the lead single for their new second album, ‘Sad Face Baby’, which has become an instant fan-favourite — you’ll get your chance to see The Lathums headlining this summer.
This news arrives not only fresh off the heels of the latest single ‘Struggle‘, the honest and full-hearted opening track off From Nothing To A Little Bit More, but a recent personnel update confirming that Matty Murphy is joining the band full-time after the departure of their original bassist, Johnny Cunliffe.
Set to play the show on Friday, 30 June, we’re glad to hear the beloved Manc band will be back to full strength in time for the landmark gig, as well as their sold-out show at Albert Hall on 11 March.
Announcing the news on Instagram today, they wrote: “We are delighted to announce we’ll be headlining Castlefield Bowl, Manchester on Friday 30th June. This is by far our biggest show we have ever done and we can’t wait to see everyone there. This will be very special indeed.
“Pre sale goes live on Wednesday 1st Feb from 9:30am. If you haven’t already, pre order our new album ‘From Nothing To A Little Bit More’ from our official website for access to pre sale. It’s honour to play such an iconic venue! See you very soon.”
Tickets for The Lathums’ Castlefield Bowl show go on sale at 9:30am on Friday, 3 February 2023. You best be quick.
From Nothing To A Little Bit More releases on Friday, 3 March 2023 via Island Records.