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ManchesterMusic - Farewell

By David Edwards
21 December 2012

a completely unsolicited and unofficial picture of Mr Edwards - Thanks DE -

For once (and anyone who has ever read any of my ramblings on here over the last few years will attest to how bizarre this is), I知 entirely lost for words. Though it wasn稚 necessarily a surprise to hear about the closing days of Manchester Music, it still made me terrifically sad to consider and reflect upon.

But not just as a writer necessarily. Granted, I値l miss the opportunity to happily drone on about the type of beer at the venue, the strange man gabbling in the corner, the particularly attractive keyboard player or the various comic meanderings that make up the average under-the-radar gig in Manchester. And I値l certainly miss sitting writing with a genuine feeling of freedom and happiness, feeling that I知 imparting some great secret to the readers. No-one else would ever indulge me such freedom to tap away happily at my keyboard. I値l miss that.

No, the reason I値l miss Manchester Music is as a citizen of the city itself. When I moved down from Newcastle in 2007, I largely moved for the music. It makes the city move. I never realised until I moved here but you can feel the heritage of the city still reverberating through the concrete: like the fading sound from the amps after a show, dragged through the decades. It is surely the quintessential music city of the UK. No-one appreciates music like Mancunians. They池e justifiably proud of what they致e given the world over the years. They look after their own. They need music.

But then, anything that inspires love attracts those who wish to turn such love into profit. And Manchester is ripe for the picking. How many times do we see venues advertised to bands with the caveat that 典he Smiths played here. 典he Stone Roses had a drink here. And 的an Curtis might have once taken a piss over in the corner there? Too many. And for a young band trying to start out, with that passion and enthusiasm that only a young band can have, such enticements are often ample reason to part with hard-earned money for the chance to be like their heroes.

You know why I know that? Because I did it. For two long years. And for us, like many before us, it got us the sum total of nowhere.
Because you don稚 need to do that as a band. Believe it or not, there are promoters out there who will put you on for nothing. Fuck it; they might even give you a few beers or a cut of the takings. It痴 not a fortune nothing in the industry is. But you can be assured that true fans of music will be risking their own wallets to put bands on. And those are the sort of people who Manchester Music has given a chance to over the years. Promoters like Now Wave, Underachievers, Stroke Club, Grey Lanternthe list goes on. But it wasn稚 always like that. Pay to Play was rife in the city only three or four years back. Nave and decent folk being ripped off for the empty promise of nothing. Cath and Jon took a firm and admirable stance against Pay to Play and (by and large) it has been eradicated from the local scene. People know nowthe city痴 music scene has its independence back. If there痴 one great legacy of Manchester Music, it is that particular achievement.

But it痴 also the opportunity for bands to get their stuff out there. To get a review, a few words of encouragement or advice when you池e trying to find your feet is priceless and can be the difference between sticking to your guns and giving up. And Manchester Music was a great outlet for that. But like a child you致e nurtured now grown heading off to University, sometimes you can sit back and share that jusxtaposing sorrow and pride at them standing on their own two feet. There are blogs everywhere. Facebook is finally getting better at integrating music onto its pages. And the new MySpace looks ever more promising by the day. When Manchester Music started in 1999, there were few websites out there like it. Now there are so many avenues. Chase them down people. You値l always find someone willing to give you a chance. There aren稚 many people in this world like Cath and Jon (though I really do fucking wish there were!) but there are a few. And they値l be waiting for your band.
And finally, I壇 like to say thanks too. To Jon and Cath - for giving a nervous and unconfident late-twenty something an opportunity to publish his musical ramblings on the site. I値l never forget how thrilled I was to see my first review on screen and the three years since have been absolutely wonderful taking me to so many places and giving me so many opportunities. I値l always appreciate and value your support and, with taking on the Drowned in Manchester column on Drowned in Sound (again, wouldn稚 have happened without you two) I値l be hoping to keep alive the ethos of Manchester Music within that. It痴 the best tribute I can try to pay to Jon and Cath for putting their faith in me back in 2009.

And finally, to you lot. To everyone who has laughed, smiled or rolled their eyes at my ramblings over the past few years. To all those bands who gave me a shout out. To everyone who gave me CDs or arranged me entry to gigs. And to those amazing acts I致e discovered over the last few years in basements and bars across the city: Air Cav, Christopher Eatough, Ed Cottam, The Louche, The Black Knights, Janice Graham Band, From The Kites of San Quentin, Patterns, Shinies, Kirsty Almeida, Frazer King, I See Angels, Honeyfeet, Dr Mahogany痴 Goat Circus, Nowhere Again, Beat The Radar, The Answering Machine, Egyptian Hip Hop, WU LYF, The Plague Doctors, Santiago Street Machine, Performance, Daniel Land and the Modern Painters and so many more I love you all. You池e fucking awesome and you can beat the industry and make it. Keep believing. If you池e good enough then enough people will realise and magic will happen.

See you down the front. Somewhere, sometime

There is a light and it never goes out

David x

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