Manchester U.K. – The magic of Manchester is, in a single word…inescapable.
There is a reason why this city has been touted as the original playground for art. You’ve more than likely heard about all of the powerhouse artists that hail from this Holy Grail of artistry:
The Bee Gees,
The Chemical Brothers,
And that’s just a smattering of the city’s prominent musicians!
No matter where you are, which genres you lean towards, and your other predilections, Manchester has something for you. And the beauty of Manchester, you don’t even have to look for it!
As an expat living overseas for the last 17 years, I spent nearly a decade of them living in Germany – specifically Berlin – and over the years I acquired many friends that were British and would always boast about Manchester being such a great place for art. But of course, since they were always in Berlin doing shows and I, as a Berliner at the time, could not afford to go to the UK unless booked (and then it was only London), it took me nearly twenty years to find out about this mecca. But?
I made up for lost time.
From the moment I landed, I was deluged with art in all its forms.
Manchester is definitely the working man’s town, and is and has always been known for churning out some of the most iconic bands in the world. The reciprocity of the musicians and the support of the streets has led to a nurturing that has lasted generations and continues to dominate the scene. Although Manchester has been overshadowed by London since the beginning of the modern era, that isn’t to say that it lacks for anything. Buoyed by the scene and everything around me, more than a few musicians caught my attention, surprised me when I didn’t think I could be surprised, and left an indelible mark on me that is nothing short of inspiring.
Eromeda Entertainment dabbles in all areas of artistry and have made their mark on the indie Manchester scene, with their record label Eromeda Records boasting a roster that is as eclectic as the town it permeates. They have maintained a cult following and established themselves as a significant force on the Mancunian market and beyond. Konducta Music, aka Dave Clarke, has recently signed with the label and his track ‘Julia’ is sure to connect with his fervent fans as well as introduce him to a new audience. Two more releases are scheduled for later this year on the Eromeda imprint.
On April 17th, Gulliver’s was the location for the release of Big Unit’s next single on Eromeda’s label, which is sure to cause a stir on the local scene.
How did I manage to find all of these underground performers while I was in Manchester for the month? None other than my hosts, Leonie and Ben, who it seems have a working knowledge of everything there is to do and see in Manchester. Referred to as The Connector in certain circles, Ben gave me a history lesson literally per block as we made our way through the Northern Quarter by foot. So of course, The Deaf Institute was referenced, and it still one of the most well-regarded venues for live acts.
One of the most popular establishments in the Northern Quarter district of Manchester is Gulliver’s, which is basically the Cheers of the city – everyone knows your name and if not, they soon will. The bar manages to welcome artists across all genres, and during my stint there, I met more than my fair share of indie and commercial performers milling about. There is never an off night in Manchester and quite by incident, Ben turned around and discovered a band playing there that evening.
Täpp is a new duo that have taken their love of classical music to produce an innovative sound that combines their love of Bach with their passion for electronica. Since forming last year, the group, comprised of Rebekah Reid and Polly Virr, have been on a mission to showcase their brand of music to audiences that are appreciative of artistry and musical craftsmanship. Quite simply, they have broken down classical music, re-structured it, and re-fashioned it into a sound that celebrates both old and new, chipping away at the notions of stereotypes and shattering expectations in the process.
Smashing Lads, Gabrielle’s Wish, Rachel Grey, Prime Perception, Jas Kalli. If you have not heard of these names, fret not. They are all known and respected, just below the surface, but still resonating in the big hood of Manchester. For a city that still looms not quite as large as its big sister, Manchester has shown that even despite this notoriety, it still has more than most have to offer in terms of being a substantial creative environment, and with each passing day, it threatens to be the go-to place for vetted and respected artistry.
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artist, writer, event organizer, and promoter. As a
freelance journalist, he has covered both the underground and
mainstream aspects of the arts, culture, music, entertainment, travel, and
fashion in several cities, including New York, London, Berlin,
Istanbul, Sydney, Bangkok, and Hong Kong to name a few. Fluent in
English, German, Dutch, and Spanish, Triston has been published in The
Huffington Post, Trespass (London), FashionTV, as
well as featured in publications such as the New York Times, Vogue
Italia, Turkish Huriyet, InStyle, and other on-line and print
magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He recently released the first volume
of his memoir on life in Europe, 'Heaux Confessionals: The
Sintroduction'. As a solo performer and with his project band $kandal
Du$t, he has toured in some of the world's most renown clubs,
simultaneously maintaining an underground renaissance,
blurring the lines of all that is traditional and leaving his
indelible, and ultimately unforgettable impression. There is no divide
- brace yourself.