I know it may be frowned upon in the sphere of music snobbery but I have been a lifelong Oasis fan. In spite of this, even I cannot appreciate the years of utter dross that the Manchester music scene churned out in the aftermath of the Gallagher brothers’ lengthy fall from grace, as replica after replica failed to bring anything new to the table. When a band like The Courteeners is able to sell out the MEN Arena, there must be a clear dearth of anything remotely listenable coming out of the city.
Manchester is evidently one for the nostalgia trip, with record sales of Ian Brown’s divorce payment coming only a couple of weeks ago. The sad thing being that every single one of those paying customers will walk away questioning how a voice that sounded so brilliant twenty years ago could now be compared to the sanding of an old school desk. With this in mind, I feel now is a time to finally applaud the new waves of music coming through the city at the moment. A time to finally break from the days of old.
To be a student in Manchester, the door is open to a whole world of up and coming acts shaping the landscape of popular music. This city has been the protagonist in a fantastic wave of art-rock bands in recent years, with NME favourites Wu Lyf taking a lead role. Dutch Uncles and Everything Everything display astonishing musicianship in their formation of tracks that quite such abstract time signatures, yet still manage to retain mass appeal. Throw in Wild Beasts from a little further afield, and the guitar music coming out of the city has taken a huge turn away (for the better) from that being produced in the mid-nineties.
The boom in local bands is not just restricted to guitar-based productions. D/R/U/G/S are one of the most exciting producers in electronic music at the moment, whilst Broke-n-£nglish showcased UK hip-hop and production at its finest just this Friday, in support of DOOM at HMV Ritz.
So I encourage Manchester’s student public to shake off two decades of music cobwebs from the past and applaud the present, the abundance of first-class acts coursing through the veins of our fair city.