After The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets were the third band of the late-eighties Manchester boom. Noel Gallagher auditioned to be their singer on 21 December 1988, the night of the Lockerbie disaster. Noel recalls: “The first song we did was ‘Gimme Shelter’ and I shouted my fucking head off. I was winging it. They asked me to be their roadie instead.” All quotes in this gallery taken from ‘The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996’, by John Robb. Pic: www.iantilton.net
The Chameleons are one of the city’s great lost bands. Their lack of success still rankles with drummer John Lever: “We were ignored by the press, ignored by the radio, by the clubs, the other bands – even though we were selling out US tours.” This week we are celebrating Manchester music on NME.COM. Throughout May, NME Radio will be broadcasting in FM across Manchester, on 87.7FM. Pic: www.iantilton.net
The Charlatans were catapulted to fame by their 1990 single ‘The Only One I Know’, which briefly looked like it was headed for Number 1 in America. Tim Burgess recalls: “With hindsight we could have been the number one band in the world. I think we had the songs. We were the biggest British band since Johnny Hates Jazz, according to The Daily Mirror!” Pic: www.iantilton.net
Ian Brown first met future Stone Roses guitarist John Squire in 1977. The singer recalls: “He was getting his head kicked in at school. I jumped in and helped him out. That night, because I felt a bit sorry for him after the fight, I took some records round: ‘God Save The Queen’, the first Clash LP and The Adverts’ ‘One Chord Wonders’.” Pic: www.iantilton.net
Happy Mondays’ second album ‘Bummed’ was recorded almost entirely under the influence of ecstasy. Shaun Ryder recalls: “We was all off our tits on E, dancing everywhere. Fuckin’ lunatics dancing in and out of cake shops, stopping our cars at traffic lights and getting out and dancing. We thought it was fuckin’ normal.” Pic: www.iantilton.net
James crashed the charts with ‘Sit Down’ in 1991, but fame came late: they formed back in 1981. Initially their music was weird and downbeat. “When the band started we wrote depressing songs,” explains frontman Tim Booth. “Living in Manchester you couldn’t help but sounds like Joy Division, the city had a depressing atmosphere.”. All quotes in this gallery taken from ‘The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996’, by John Robb.
Female-fronted glam-pop act Intastella were tipped for great things but ended up as one of Manchester music’s might-have-beens. Guitarist Martin Mitler says the problem was arrogance: “There was a bit of over-confidence. We got a deal really easily, on the strength of five songs. It felt like things were happening for us. That and the class A’s…” Pic: www.iantilton.net
World Of Twist (1990 – 1991)
Another great Manchester ‘lost band’ are World Of Twist, whose charismatic frontman Tony Ogden died in 2006. According to Intastella vocalist Stella, the band’s downfall was greed: “They could have signed to Creation but they wanted the bigger money and Creation wouldn’t give it to them.” All quotes in this gallery taken from ‘The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996’, by John Robb.
New Order came together in the immediate aftermath of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis’ death. Peter Hook recalls: “His funeral was on the Thursday, we had a drunken weekend, and on the Monday we turned up at the rehearsal room. We didn’t know what else to do.” All this week on NME.COM we are celebrating Manchester music, in recognition of the fact that NME Radio is now broadcasting in the city on FM. Throughout May you can tune in at 87.7FM.