They can take away our pubs, gyms and cinemas. But one thing’s for certain, they can’t take away our music. And definitely not our memories.
Life’s hard at the min, right? That’s why it’s good to reminisce about the good times.
With such a rich creative history, it’s no surprise Manchester has been home to some of music’s greatest moments.
During a time when everyone is revelling in nostalgia – craving for live music – we’ve decided to look back at some of the most iconic gigs to grace the Manc stage.
The Beatles at the Oasis Club – 1962
The Oasis Club gig in 1962 was the first professional scheduled gig outside of Merseyside that The Beatles ever performed.
They’d visited Manchester before, but this was the first time on official band business.
An entry ticket cost the equivalent of £3.60 in old money.
Just before the gig, their new manager gave them a swift rebrand. He chucked out their scruffy jeans and leather jackets and got the boys suited and booted and looking the part – just as we recognise them now.
The owner of the Oasis Club at the time claims she doesn’t even remember the band. Back then, they were just another group of lads to play at the club.
Little did she know she’d helped plug the band’s success.
David Bowie at B&Q – 1972
Okay, okay, it wasn’t a B&Q at the time. But let’s agree it’s an amusing thought.
Bowie played on the opening night of The Hardrock in Stretford, just around the corner from Morrissey’s house.
The venue was turned into the DIY store in later years. Now, the site on Greatstone Road is derelict.
Oddly enough, David Bowie died in the same month that the B&Q closed down in January 2016.
The Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall – 1976
This Sex Pistols gig has been widely documented as changing the UK music scene forever.
Only 40 people attended the show at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Amongst the 40 people was a lesser known Morrissey, now with fire in his belly. He formed The Smiths shortly after.
Elsewhere in the crowd was a young Peter Hook who decided to form the band Joy Division that very night.
The bunch of students that organised the gig were also left wanting more. They got to work on forming their own band, Buzzcocks, after first seeing the Pistols.
Six weeks later, Ian Curtis, the Fall’s Mark E. Smith and a pre-Factory Records Tony Wilson all attended a second Sex Pistols show. They caused more ripples in this thriving local music scene that night.
To think, without the Pistols we could be without the Madchester scene that helped shape the city…
True, some say Sex Pistol’s Johnny Rotten experienced a slight fall from grace owing to his Country Life butter adverts a few years ago. But we’ll let that slide.
Madonna at The Hacienda – 1984
This was Madonna’s first appearance in the UK. It was recorded live and broadcast on The Tube, a popular rock music TV show at the time. In the performance, Madonna can be seen prancing around the dancefloor between the iconic hazard painted pillars.
But some say that the pop star was actually shit. There were even accusations that she mimed. Her pop sound, flailing arms and swinging hips were lost on the punk rock music lovers in the crowd.
She left the venue shortly after her performance, despite reports that she was asked to sing again later in the evening. Wrong crowd. Sorry, Madge.
But the wider UK public received the performance well.
Despite flopping with the Hacienda heads, Madonna has gone on to become one of the biggest pop stars in history. Props to her.
The Stone Roses at Heaton Park (The Reunion Tour) – 2012
This iconic tour was the homecoming for The Stone Roses, nearly 20 years after their last tour.
They played three dates at Heaton Park in June and July 2012.
The shows became the fastest-selling rock gigs in UK history. A massive 150,000 tickets for the initial two shows sold out in 14 minutes.
Demand was that high that they added a third date to the bill straight away.
This took ticket sales to 220,000 in just 68 minutes.
One Love Manchester at Old Trafford Cricket Ground – 2017
The fundraising concert One Love Manchester was held two weeks after the Manchester Arena bombing where 22 lives were taken and 500 people were injured.
55,000 people attended the gig and more than £17m was raised through donations, ticket sales and fundraising.
Performances from Take That, Coldplay, Liam Gallagher, Black Eyed Peas and Justin Bieber were broadcast all around the world, along with video messages from other notable musicians such as Paul McCartney, U2, Rita Ora and Chance the Rapper.
It was the perfect tribute to the lives lost.
What was the most iconic gig of your life? Let us know!
Neighbourhood Weekender announces massive warm-up show with Ian Brown, Happy Mondays and more
Neighbourhood Weekender has announced a warm-up show on the Friday before the festival proper kicks off, with the likes of Ian Brown, Happy Mondays and more already confirmed.
With Neighbourhood 2023 set for the weekend of 27-28 May as festival season gets into full swing, the increasingly popular Victoria Park-based crowd-pleaser is effectively starting a day early with their ‘Live At The Big Top’ event.
Although the local favourite has previously put on a number of performances on the Friday before the Warrington Weekender as we know it, this is the first time this event has been held and will serve as a warm-up show for the impending gig-goers.
Effectively acting as a warm-up party for the main event, the North West crowd will be treated to the likes of 80s and 90s Manc music icons Ian Brown and Happy Mondays, as well Liverpool indie band Cast and up-and-coming Welsh psych-rock band, CVC, a.k.a. Church Village Collective.
The lineup also denotes a landmark occasion, with this being the first time that Brown and Happy Mondays — two of pioneering artists of the ‘Madchester‘ scene — are sharing the same bill in their long and illustrious careers. Well, aren’t you a lucky lot?
While we’d say this is an absolute must if you truly want to make a full go of Neighbourhood Weekender, this is technically a separate event and it’s well worth attending if you can’t make it on the Saturday or Sunday for whatever reason.
Tickets go on sale at 9.30am on Friday, 10 February. You can grab yours HERE.
Featured Image — Ian Brown (via Wikimedia Commons)/Supplied/Happy Monday (via IG)
Harry Styles wins Album of the Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs
Harry Styles has beaten Beyoncé, Adele, Kendrick Lamar, and more to clinch the coveted Album of the Year win at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
On what was a record-breaking night for the US Recording Academy and in the music world as a whole, Cheshire‘s finest Harry Styles claimed the somewhat shocking win for Album of the Year – which is largely-considered to be the biggest award of the night – at the 65th GRAMMY Awards, and he fought off some tough competition for the trophy.
Beyoncé, Adele, Kendrick Lamar, and Lizzo were just some of the heavy-hitting names that the local lad beat out to take home to beat the title.
The former One Direction member won for his 2022 smash-hit third solo album Harry’s House.
The 29-year-old called making the album the “greatest experience” of his life.
“I’ve been so, so inspired by every artist in this category with me at a lot of different times in my life,” Styles gushed as he accepted the award on stage alongside the album’s producers, “I think, like on nights like tonight, it’s obviously so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as best in music.”
Styles added: “This doesn’t happen to people like me very often and this is so, so nice.”
The coveted Album of the Year title isn’t the only award Styles took home from last night’s ceremony, as the the celebrated singer and actor also won Best Pop Vocal Album too.
Styles was just one of several Brits who won big last night.
Singing superstar Adele took home the Best Pop Solo Performance trophy to add to her ever-growing GRAMMYs collection, while previous multi-award winner Sam Smith took home the Best Pop Duo Performance for the song Unholy, alongside Kim Petras – who became the first transgender woman to win the award.
Isle of Wight indie rock duo Wet Leg took home both Best Alternative Album for their self-titled album and Best Alternative Music Performance for the smash-hit single Chaise Longue after their breakout year in 2022.
Ozzy Osbourne also clinched the win for Best Rock Album.
Aside from Brits, Beyoncé became the most decorated GRAMMY award winner of all time after claiming multiple trophies, Kendrick Lamar also took home several, Taylor Swift won Best Music Video, and Lizzo, Steve Lacy, and Willie Nelson all won big, while jazz singer Samara Joy saw off competition to be crowned Best New Artist.
One of the most surprising wins of the night, though, came as for 73-year-old blues singer Bonnie Raitt beat the likes of Adele, Beyonce, Styles, Lizzo, and Taylor Swift to win the award for Song of the Year for her single Just Like That.