Some of the world’s greatest music has come from Greater Manchester.
Indie. Electronic. Hip-hop. Whichever genre you explore, you’re sure to find Mancunian fingerprints in there somewhere.
Even in a category as niche as early mobile music.
Case in point: The Kersal Massive.
This infamous trio of MCs recorded a rap video in a Salford shed back in 2006 and cemented their place in history as some of the first ever viral video stars.
Sure, their music was great for a very different – and unintentional – reason. But it was still great nonetheless.
Even today, the very mention of Kersal can prompt an impression of: “Get on the bus with me daysavahhh, smoke da reefa in the cornahhh”.
In the mid-noughties, The Kersal Massive were as big as their name suggested – with their freestyle being bluetoothed between more mobiles than Akon’s “Smack That”.
The group – which consisted of Clio-driving leader C-Mac, helium-voiced bus enthusiast Lil’ Kev, and hypeman Ginger Joe (essentially Kersal Massive’s very own Flava Flav) – only ever shot one music video.
But whilst most media from the blurry-looking, scruffy-sounding world of mobile videos – which was largely populated by happy slapping and donk music – has died out, Kersal’s track lives on.
With fingers in the air and frowns on their faces, the wannabe rappers managed to squeeze lyrics about drugs, money, cars, women, public transport and a hatred for Levenshulme into their 45-second freestyle.
Kevin Powder – a presenter known for his zany schtick – actually ventured up to meet the gang on their own stomping ground several months after the video appeared, asking Kersal to perform a second rendition of the song that became synonymous with the Sony Ericsson.
The gang – by this point a little older with broken voices – generously obliged, reciting the lyrics word-for-word.
Powder is then flagged out of the estate, the video ends, and poof, Salford’s young Gs disappeared.
The popularity of their video, though, was a sign of things to come.
Little did they know it, but Kersal were the first faces of the original viral content boom – which suddenly began turning obscure figures in Britain into overnight celebrities via the magic of the internet.
One of the most successful examples was market trader Muhammad Shahid Nazir (AKA One Pound Fish Man), who earned a recording contract after being captured on camera singing about the price of seafood at Upton Park.
Still, despite the increasingly congested arena of viral stars, The Kersal Massive continued to resurface on social media from time to time. And, whenever they did, people would always ask the question: Whatever happened to those guys?
It’s been thirteen years since the gang were seen on camera together, and all signs seem to suggest their lives have taken very different paths.
The Tab claimed they’d tracked down frontman C-Mac in 2016, who didn’t appear to look back on his five minutes of fame with too much nostalgia.
He apparently told the website: “The video still does the rounds now and then, but that’s about it. I don’t get noticed about it anymore so it’s done and gone for me.
“I am not in touch with the other two lads anymore.”
C-Mac’s sidekick Kev made his own headlines in 2017. But not for the right reasons.
Local police posted an image, whom the Reddit community believed to be Lil’ Kev, online in the summer of that year, appealing for information on his whereabouts after he was suspected of gun offences.
The enigmatic Ginger Joe, fittingly, has yet to resurface.
But we like to think he’s still out there somewhere. Over in the corner. Being the main man he always was…
The first wave of acts has just been announced, and it looks like it’s going to be an awesome weekend.
There’s been lots of rumours circulating about who will be playing, but Greg James put these rumours to bed on the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show this morning, The Hoot reports.
Taking to the main stage next year as his first time headlining a major festival will be Tyneside indie favourite Sam Fender, US pop megastar Billie Eilish – who this year became the youngest Glastonbury headliner ever – and indie rock legends The Killers.
Other headliners include Oxford rockers Foals, Scottish singer songwriter Lewis Capaldi, and American pop band Imagine Dragons.
And it doesn’t just stop there either.
Also performing at the festival is British MC Loyle Carner, Isle Of Wight indie-rock duo Wet Leg, and dance heavyweight Becky Hill.
Also confirmed for the 2023 festival is Bicep, Central Cee, Chase Atlantic, Declan McKenna, Don Broco, Eliza Rose, Georgia, Inhaler, LF System, Lil TJay, Lovejoy, Meekz, Nessa Barret, Nothing But Thieves, Shy FX, Slowthai, Songer, Steve Lacy, The Snuts, Tion Wayne, Trippie Redd, Yung Lean, and You Me At Six.
More than a 100 artists are expected to grace the stages at Bramham Park and Little John’s Park next year.
Further exciting announcements are expected to come over the following months.
As always, Reading and Leeds Festival 2023 will once again be happening over the August Bank Holiday weekend between Friday 25 – Sunday 27 August, with tickets set to go sale next Monday 12 December 2022 at 9am.
With a lineup like that, and even more to come, we expect they’re going to fly off the shelves, so make sure to get your alarms set ready.
Grab your tickets here on the Reading and Leeds Festival 2023 website here.
Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons
Watch Eurovision star Sam Ryder surprise Mancs with busking set at St Peter’s Square
Eurovision star Sam Ryder caught local Mancunians off-guard when he popped up to perform a surprise busking set in St Peter’s Square.
Making the unexpected appearance on Thursday, 8 December, the ‘Space Man’ singer left passers-by and locals simply going about their workday chuffed to bits as he played a number of recognisable hits.
While Mancs were wrapped up in their winter layers, they were more than happy to stand around and listen to the soulful singer do renditions of Queen, Stevie Wonder, as well as a couple of his own songs.
The 33-year-old who came second to Ukraine in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest obviously played his smash-hit entry as well as one his most recent tracks, ‘All The Way Over’.
He went on to explain he and his team had decided to travel across the country to perform a number of these surprise sets to not only promote his upcoming album, but to spread some festive cheer and return some of the love he’s received from the nation this year.
Ryder wasn’t the only one to surprise Manc music lovers with a live performance this week either.
The Essex boy seemed to have a lot of appreciation for the city of Manchester and it certainly looks to be reciprocated.
His new record, There’s Nothing But Space, Man!, drops on Friday 9 December and he’s hoping to whip up regional support with surprise sets like this to send his album to number one in time for Christmas.
You can watch Sam Ryder’s surprise set back again in full on our Facebook Live below: