Music, Media and Manchester: The Search for North West England's Best Band
If you’ve ever read any of my writing previously you’ll know I’m prone to mention various elements of pop culture, music, film or television as references in my writing, sometimes even how they coincide with each other. Along with football, writing and the occasional book, those few entities make up the majority of my hobbies, interests and general time wasters.
In all of my hedonistic pursuits, it’s only a matter of time before the borders and lines of those mediums cross each other and interact. Such it is that I somehow find ways to relate certain bands to certain films, TV shows to films, or even bands to football. This very topic has been written about on EPL Talk before in the past, the intersecting of different forms of media, art and elements of culture. But speaking specifically, it never ceases to amaze me how music and football often mesh together to form such a large part of my life.
English music in general somehow (maybe subconsciously) paved the way for my obsession with football at a young age. When introduced to the Clash in my sheltered teenage years, I somehow associated their punk sensibilities and their being English with the mythical yet actual reality of a chaotic, violent and troubled history of English football in the 80′s. At that point in my life and at such a young age, music had influenced my thoughts on football like it would go on to do time after time during my teenage years and into my early twenties. Two cultures, music and football, would clash (pun intended) and it wouldn’t be the last time in my life they would meet.
Soon after the Clash incident, a band widely regarded as being the most important band in the British music independent scene would be introduced to me well after their prime. In fact, they were likely broken up upon my first listen. Remember, I was a sheltered teen. Obviously I’m talking about the Smiths. I won’t take another long stroll down memory lane except to tell you that music and football again combined when I found out that the Smiths were from a North West city in England called Manchester. I won’t say the Smiths are the sole reason I support United to this day, but the point I’m trying to make is that football and music had once again amalgamated to form some divine idea in my intellect.
Whether it was the romantic idea of this far away land called Manchester – where there was a historic football team and bands I related to - or just a simple twist of fate, a new love and respect for all things English had emerged. I again had been affected by one or the other, but in this case both.
Fast forward some seventeen years and a few hundred bands in between and I still find myself mentally returning to Manchester to search for the next great English band. Who knows, maybe they’re reading this very post before heading to band practice to become the next Oasis or Arctic Monkeys, Sheffield’s finest sons. With all the great Manchester bands over the years such as Joy Division, the Stone Roses and more recently Elbow and Doves, I have become curious as to which band other people think is the greatest to come out of Manchester and I’m ready to settle the debate once and for all.