Old and new in Manchester city centre always looks good in the sunshine we've had a lot of this past week or two. But I suggest people head just over the Irwell into Salford's Chapel Street today (3 p.m. to late, £18) for the 10th annual Sounds From The Other City festival . There are new bands from all over the place including Adult Jazz, Broken Twin, Horrid, Yellow Ostrich et al. Gigs take place in churches, mills, pubs and galleries all in the Chapel Street area. Wonderful.
Talking of music, I read another one of those "Xxx is the best city in UK to live in articles" this week (published on 3 April)- one that appeared in the free right-wing weekday newspaper Metro (copies to be found littering a tram, bus station, train platform or pavement near you).
It states reasons why Greater Manchester is the best UK city (by which I assume they include Salford and the other boroughs). It includes the 1980s music scene being a factor. Only the week before last I saw a Leeds friend post a similar article from the same newspaper's website proclaiming that Leeds was the best city!
The reality is of course that it's all relative, there is a good case for many cities- it depends on what you like and what your income is. Greater Manchester is great for me because of its heritage, culture, coffee/cafe bars and the proximity of lovely countryside.
I'm sure many cities can claim this too though. I cannot believe that yet another article bangs on about Manchester music of the past citing the usual suspects, (but without taking that small step beyond to other 1980s bands like Magazine, Crispy Ambulance, the Chameleons etc.)
More galling is when people write about (Greater) Manchester's rock and indie music scene as if it were a unique phenomena (it surely isn't- many cities have their own home grown bands to shout about). I wish they'd at least mention some current day and up and coming bands and artistes, rather than relying on the ancients - no matter how influential and good that many of them were- that are always mentioned...
Hey Metro music journalists- how about getting along to Sounds From the Other City today (or taking a leaf out of The Skinny's pages- Independent Cultural Journalism).
There are plenty of new and new-ish Greater Manchester bands across several genres for the mainstream to write about such Delphic, The Minx, Positronik, Ingested, Delaplains etc. (and in other cities too)...