IT’S 9am on an autumnal Saturday morning and my world-leading not-so-full English breakfast is missing one vital ingredient.
I get a packet of Cauldron’s world-class Lincolnshire sausages from the Tesco Metro in Stretford Arndale and then head upstairs to check out the new record shop Suzie has been talking about.
Reel Around the Fountain’s doors are open but there’s nobody about as I quickly scan the sleeves poking out of the tops of a couple of dozen racks dividing up a pretty generous amount of retail space. There’s even a settee.
“Morning,” I say to the guy who emerges from the back.
“Is it?” he says, rubbing his head.
After a long day at work yesterday, Nigel got home to find DIY awaiting him, one glass of wine turned into another and, long story short, he’s now in work at 9am on a Saturday morning, hungover as fuck.
He was in the market downstairs for a couple of years but he’s only been in here for three weeks, and you need to put the hours in. The shop opens every day of the week, apart from Sunday.
Am I looking for anything in particular? Mate, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
I like disco, house music, old punk rock and – I noticed you’ve got some Gong albums in, have you got any Hawkwind or Here & Now? Or Can? I’m always after any Fall albums I don’t have already – mostly the 1990s releases – and I wouldn’t mind having a look at any Steely Dan or old Roxy stuff you have.
And maybe any bossa nova, and interesting easy listening albums? And I’m always interested in any Sergio Mendes stuff I haven’t heard before.
And, while we’re at it, do you have any Hannett-produced 12s where he went a bit dubby disco – like Basement Five, Portion Control, that kind of stuff. Have you got any? And also any pre-digital dub, particularly Scientist and Shaka. And I’ve been buying a bit of On-U Sound lately, so if you have any of that …
But yeah, mainly disco, and house, and punk and indie. And bossa nova and reggae.
That’s about it really.
It’s not even half nine yet. He looks a little nonplussed.
“I’ve got a mate who’s bringing a copy of Ege Bamyasi in actually”, he says. But it’s for him, he clarifies. “To me that album was really groundbreaking, predating disco, punk, dub …”
I’m clearly in the right place.
Nigel tells me that most of his Morrissey memorabilia – including a genuinely charming handwritten note where Morrissey reveals the Smiths are expanding to a five piece (“Craig comes from Salford and is very shy”) – comes from some guy he knows who went out with Morrissey’s cousin or something.
We’re close to the area where the singer grew up so this is entirely plausible. You can tell the forgeries, Nigel tells me, because they don’t get the very distinctive slender, elegant, almost art deco-style double S in Morrissey’s name:
“They just end up looking like the SS logo,” he says.
Making jokes about the irony of Morrissey’s recent disappointingly reactionary pronouncements on immigration and Hitler’s comedy vegetarianism just doesn’t seem right, given the apparent re-emergence from the sewer of history – like a ghastly misshapen and sweaty homunculus of loneliness, ignorance and fear somehow solidified into an appalling hydra-headed yet barely sentient semen/fatberg – of the completely fucking unfunny worldwide reborn Nazi knobhead zombie nation.
I’m going to have a look in here, I say, pointing to the nearest rack.
Among other delights, there is a treasure trove of Manchester classics like Joy Division’s extravagantly packaged posthumous Still double live album and a nice selection of early, mid-period Fall stuff (that I will no doubt be revisiting at some point).
I grab the Happy Mondays second album, Bummed, and the Fall’s Seminal Live, both of which I loved and lost and lost back in the dim and distant days of yore.
I decide to not get too involved in the reggae, funk, soul and disco sections and save them for another time, focusing instead on the ‘three for a tenner’ section at the back.
After a short period of deliberation – I’m supposed to be cooking breakfast remember – I end up with an Attica Blues mix of Alison Moyet’s version of The First Time I Saw Your Face (trip hop by the numbers, tbh), Propaganda’s Nine Lives of Dr Mabuse (including a great Femme Fatale cover with Claudia Brucken doing the Nico thing – not heroin) and What’s Up Dog? By Was Not Was (Spy in the House of Love, Somewhere in America There’s a Street Named After My Dad, Out Come the Freaks etc – say no more).
I figure no one is likely to buying another live Fall album any time soon, and I actually want to hear Bummed more, so I stick Seminal Live back in the rack. I’ve just been paid but there’s no need to go mad. Nigel knocks three quid off and I get the lot for twenty-five notes. Bargain.
I only nipped out to get some sausages.
Reel Around the Fountain is the one positive in a grim and misery-inducing archetypal 60s shopping centre with its very fabric seemingly constructed from stagnation, low expectations and disappointment. Literally half of the units are empty. Footfall is low and getting lower. It is, as they say in the retail trade, on its arse.
Stretford Arndale was always up against it. Manchester city centre is just a couple of miles away, but for the last few years the Arndale has also had to compete with the Trafford Centre just a couple of miles down the road in the other direction.
The philanthropic and community-minded asset management company that owns the Arndale has proposed a solution to the centre’s woes that involves knocking half of it down, and replacing it with more lucrative apartments. The proposal comes complete with a vague promise of some kind of outdoor street market.
I’m sure there must be some people who like the place but Stretford Arndale isn’t somewhere that inspires affection in most. It’s been as bleak as fuck for years but it seems there’s now some impetus to sort it out because footballer-turned-property developer Gary Neville and his mates from the Class of 92 have cooked up a plan to open a college just down the road – and an area across the road from the Arndale has been earmarked for high-rise student accommodation.
There seems to be a horrible inevitability about it all. The redevelopment plans make for an uncertain future in the short term for independent traders like Nigel – and the whole process will be a massive pain in the arse – but you’d hope there’d be room for him, whatever form the revamp of this soon-to-be-valuable piece of real estate eventually takes. And that he wouldn’t have to pay a silly amount of rent.
Unfortunately, demolishing half of the Arndale couldn’t make it any worse than it is already. At least there’d be a less of it to be miserable in.
Trafford Council’s attitude is that redevelopment brings money into the city. End of. Next door, Manchester City Council is similarly willing to wave through plans to redevelop iconic and much-loved spaces – old pubs, clubs and bars, municipal swimming pools, libraries, dispensaries – essentially selling off assets to ‘rationalise’ services, with modernised hubs supposedly serving larger catchment areas more efficiently. There’s less central government money coming in so the council have to prioritise resources.
On the one hand, civic Manchester’s refreshingly unsentimental and forward looking approach is entirely in keeping with the character of this big, bold, brash city. On the other hand, they’re pig-ignorant philistines who wouldn’t know proper culture if it came up and kicked them up the arse. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
The decidedly unloveable Arndale is handy for people who live around here and don’t want to shop too far from home. It might be unfashionable and anachronistic but you could argue it’s as authentic and valuable a slice of Manchester culture as anything you could see at Manchester International Festival or the City Art Gallery.
Either way, the city’s heritage, its history, its psyche doesn’t really come into it.
People might moan about the more outrageous philistinism and straight up cultural vandalism of, for example, the city council’s planning department (and there are plenty of stupid, mystifying and shit decisions to choose from) but I don’t think many people who live in the city – and who actually went to the place when it was open – really give a fuck that the Hacienda isn’t there anymore.
People don’t seem to have a lot of time for nostalgia (tedious football shite aside, obviously). It’s one of the things I like most about Manchester. It is dependably iconoclastic, bolshie, bloodyminded, a place where being a gobshite is pretty much a way of life.
It’s very rare to walk into a shop, bar or club in the city and hear Oasis, the Smiths or the Stone Roses – or the Mondays for that matter. There seems to be a view that the Scousers have got the NW rock n roll heritage market all sown up. If only phoney Beatlemania really had bitten the dust.
True, there is a very popular Smiths night at the Star & Garter (itself still facing an uncertain future with the redevelopment of Mayfield Station next door). You might hear Joy Division when you’re out, occasionally. But the Inspiral Carpets, James and the Mock Turtles? Not so much.
And, while we’re at it, I’d contend that any actual Mancunians at those Hacienda Classical events, Stone Roses reunions and Peter Hook and his Live Flogging a Dead Horse Experience tours would be much more likely to be found on stage than in the audience.
I can say all this with the absolute certainty that can only come from never having been to a single one of these lamentable ‘Weren’t Manchester great?’-type things.
If the people I know who went are anything to go by, these events were in fact full of bull-buggering builders from Bradford hugging each other with overly-long sweaty embraces, pilled up and bawling their eyes out, popping more and more super-strength dark-web ecstasy-ish pills in an ultimately futile attempt to feel like the invincible, irrepressible, unstoppable teenagers they once were.
Were they actually brought to tears by the joyous crescendo of Let The Beat Hit Em by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, or were their tears, in fact, the only rational response to an achingly poignant anthem for their own doomed youth?
Either way, I get the number 15 bus back home and am delivered, practically straight to my front door, mere minutes later. I mean, I’m playing these records literally 10 minutes after buying them. This is what I call instant karma.
Fittingly, there was a similar rush of instant gratification when I got a Pinnacle delivery with the Mondays’ debut album in it – do I really need to type out the title? – when I was working my weekly Wednesday shift in a record shop that no one ever visited in a small and dreary market town in the north Lincolnshire countryside space/time vortex of 1986. Pinnacle distributed a lot of metal, so I wasn’t usually that arsed, but they also did Factory too.
Most of the time, I remember being bored shitless by the total lack of any custom whatsoever. I used to go outside to smoke endless poorly engineered spliffs packed with low-quality sputnik, stumble back inside and listen to Hawkwind and John Lee Hooker and Camper Van Beethoven and Madonna and Roxy Music at excessive volumes on the shop’s top-notch soundsystem.
I just went bananas for the Mondays. Their debut album was the most interesting thing that Factory had released in years. Nobody else really seemed to agree with me. Even the sleeve – a typically elaborate Factory affair, with the title printed on the plastic outer sleeve, not designed by Peter Saville but someone called Central Station Design – was just fantastic.
By the time I’d relocated to Leeds a few years later, I was gagging to hear their new stuff. This piece of vintage Tony ‘corrupter of youth’ Wilson lol only heightened the anticipation.
Me and my Leeds 6 chums Paddy, Debbie, Alan and maybe Tris (who were all in an excellent band named Sharon), went over to Sheffield to see the Mondays supporting James some time before the album came out – although I have precisely zero memory of seeing them at that gig. Psychedelics may have been involved.
I definitely saw the Mondays at the Warehouse in Leeds a year later. They blew the roof off the place. Not literally, obviously. That would be wrong. My enduring impression of seeing the Mondays around this time is that they always seemed to much more off their heads than their audience, and having a much better time than them as a result.
Either way, Giro magic permitting, I’m pretty sure I would’ve bought Bummed as soon as it came out, probably from Jumbo when it was in the Merrion Centre (it’s back there again). My old friends Doug (then in Nerve Rack, now in Flies on You) and Ross (then in Purple Eternal, now in a variety of prisons) remember listening to the album “a lot” in the perpetual summer evenings of late 80s Hyde Park.
None of us remember much more than that. But it probably involved a beautiful cat named Charlie.
Nobody remembers much about recording Bummed either. Most of what the Mondays can remember is in this excellent piece by Daniel Dylan Wray for the Quietus.
The Mondays supposedly recorded the follow up to their debut album at Slaughterhouse studios in Driffield because it was considered wise to get the band away from the distractions of Manchester – big box full of drugs Anthony Wilson is said to have delivered each week notwithstanding. Shaun Ryder reckons it was probably just because the Slaughterhouse was cheap.
Me and my family used to drive past Driffield as we travelled along the A641 to bask in the warm and largely fictitious sunshine of the Yorkshire Riviera when I was a kid. It was a sleepy little market town, just another weirdly named place among a lot of weirdly named places on the way to Bridlington.
Great Kelk, Skerne, Fangfoss, Warter, Fridaythorpe, Fimber, Thwing, Wetwang – it’s like Dark Ages bingo.
Martin Hannett hadn’t produced anything for Factory in years after, it seems, he and Wilson fell out over the Hannett’s insistence on using the money from Joy Division album sales to buy a Fairlight rather than bankrolling some stupid fucking nightclub.
The Mondays, however, according to manager Nathan McGough, wanted to harness the “exotic spatial dynamic” Xero brought to his productions. And I bet they used those exact words too.
Wilson and Hannett sorted out their differences, one way or another, although the scene in Michael Winterbottom’s 24-Hour Party People where Andy Serkis as Hannett fires a gun at Steve Coogan as Wilson was supposedly based on a real incident during the Slaughterhouse sessions.
It all sounds like a laugh a minute. Apparently in the six weeks it took to record the tracks for the album – before Hannett mixed them at Strawberry in Stockport – the Mondays kept the notoriously idiosyncratic and often pissed and belligerent producer sweet by regularly feeding him psychedelic love drugs.
A murky party room in the studio complex added to the ambience with a continual soundtrack of the music they listened to back home in Manchester.
“What we were recording sounded nothing like what was going on in the party room,” drummer Gaz Whelan told Gigslutz. “To listen to Bummed you wouldn’t think people were listening to house music when they were recording it. Bummed is us trying to do house music. That’s how shit we were!”
Slaughterhouse dogsbody Ian Hunter suggested to Daniel Dylan Wray that the band were just arsing about in the studio:
“It was never cohesive in any way. I think that it’s important to consider that the Happy Mondays saw their career as getting lucky that someone was daft enough to think they were great, and was bankrolling them getting wrecked if they laid down a few songs. At that time, I don’t think they ever considered they might have a real career or a legacy.”
As Bez told the Bridlington Free Press:
“They were great times and I have great memories. Malcolm Hannett has died now so I hold those times with great fondness.”
Weirdly, the studio went on to play a pivotal role in the evolution of D-Beat – a crusty punk-metal subgenre dedicated to reproducing the explosive dynamics of early Discharge records.
Many of the artists on Napalm Death’s Earache Records (Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Hellbastard, Lawnmower Deth etc) headed to the bucolic Yorkshire Wolds to shout and scream as loudly as possible while battering the shit out their instruments as hard and as fast they could.
Implausibly, it seems Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris only wanted to record at the Slaughterhouse because he was so impressed by the debut album by fey indie types the Sundays, which was also recorded in the studio. In a very neat and serendipitous twist, once they got to Driffield, Napalm Death found that the in-house engineer Colin Richardson had also worked on Discharge’s seminal WHY? EP.
The studio later burned down in supposedly suspicious circumstances – although nobody seems to have been charged with anything, so we have to assume that’s just so much bollocks – before rising out of the ashes, like a shit phoenix, and transforming into your archetypal dodgy smalltown nightclub.
Studio owner Russell Webster was last heard of developing a family board game on Pocklington’s famed analogue gaming underground.
Anyway, I bought Bummed as soon as it came out and I played it a lot while getting baked with my chums in the bohemian Hyde Park enclave of Leeds. Nobody can remember much else apart from that. Fortunately, we have the benefit of an amazingly shit review I wrote at the time for Grunt, a short-lived fanzine I put together with Doug, Mark and Marie:
“The second album from Manchester’s premier acid oiks Happy Mondays but a bit different to their first, Twenty-Four Hour Party People. Shaun Ryder is still struggling to sing and skin up at the same time, accompanied by the same lazily cocky hard-assed funk we all know and love. There’s even another Beatles rip off but Bummed is sarkier, harder and denser than its predecessor.
“Ryder’s razor cynicism is matched by the sharpness of tunes like Brain Dead Fucker. Maybe they’re better musicians now, but they sound a lot more confident than before. There’s some seriously tacky organ and sleazy slide guitar throughout but the real stomper is Wrote for Luck, a groovy dancehall smasher if I ever heard one, pop pickers.
“The only problem for me are the photos on the inner sleeve which, curiously enough, the music press don’t seem to have noticed. It’s of a stripper or someone, whatever, it’s a naked woman. If there is a place for photos like that, it certainly isn’t on the inner sleeve of an album. “
Excrutiating. The real tragedy is that I don’t think I was actually being ironic. I totally missed the point, while also having, it seems, a massive poker up my arse. What else was I expecting from the Mondays? Lists of multinational corporations doing awful things in the developing world?
Even worse, it was all probably more about me trying to impress Mark and Marie with my anti-sexist credentials than genuine feminist outrage.
Decades later, with the eventual benefit of hindsight, I now understand that, yes, you could say that these two pieces of grimly utilitarian, non-vintage 70s ‘erotica’ are a bit shit and unnecessary, but so what? To quote a Sonic Youth bootleg, she’s not doing anything weird.
It turns out each element of Central Station Design’s design, inside and out, was absolutely in keeping with the sleazy, slightly out-of-focus grooves within.
There weren’t many bands who were making music informed by house music and rave culture at this stage. It was the Mondays and the Shamen, pretty much, and that was your lot. And to be honest, the Shamen were probably doing a better job of it at the time. But at least the Mondays were trying.
The album begins with the sound of crows, presumably referencing the rural surroundings in which the Mondays recorded Bummed, before they begin cranking out Country Song with all the focus, energy and charisma of a tired old club band going through the motions in a weekly WMC residency.
With its faux Americana/Bhundu Boys guitar licks and plodding, wooden bassline, it sounds like a joke song, and it was actually originally called Some Cunt from Preston in tribute to the old joke about someone mishearing the words country and western.
Like Mark E Smith, the lead singer of little-known Prestwich beat combo the Fall, it’s not easy to pin down Ryder’s lyrics to one, straightforward viewpoint: “Well, I’m a simple city boy with stupid country tastes, smoking wild-grown mari-joo-ana keeps that smile upon my face,” he sings, blearily.
Later on in the song, if it were anybody else singing, you might think that, at least in part, Country Song also highlights racist attitudes towards local incomers, but it’s Shaun Ryder and he doesn’t sing about that kind of stuff, does he? He definitely would’ve been surrounded by rednecks in Driffield though.
Moving in With appears to describe a house-share from hell – the title is perhaps one of many references to the plot of Donald Cammell’s (largely unwatchable, unless you’re proper off your head) psychedelic gangster movie Performance – and it’s where the album begins to get really interesting for me.
A swaggering, bottom-heavy groove shows that they are properly trying to do house music, bless em, and even if what they come up with isn’t actually house music – or anything remotely like it, really – it still sounds alright.
Mad Cyril remains one of my favourite Mondays joints to this very day. Beginning with sampled dialogue from Performance (“We’ve been courteous…”), its supercharged, unstoppable, lairy groove (“I like that, turn it up…”) provides Ryder with a vehicle to discuss vital issues of villains and musicians, drugs and music, and art and sex.
Sounding as Salford as fuck, the bit where he goes: “Are you ready? Let’s go. Are you ready? Let’s go … ooooweeee!”, is just about my favourite Shaun Ryder moment, matched only by his subsequent “Gimmee gimmee gimmee gimmee a break”.
Fat Lady Wrestlers finds a plaintive Ryder seemingly crooning about the Salford high life. Little Hulton in Salford, where the Mondays grew up, is the kind of place where, when people say they’ve “just got back from a year away”, they’re not usually talking about how they’ve just been on an extended holiday to Tenerife.
Ryder soon seems to adopt a more accusatory tone as he sings: “You’ve been with fat lady wrestlers, and Germans in trenches, and teachers who eat on their own, sometimes…” before going on to add “peasants who eat from the road” and “gyppos who steal from their own”.
Side one closes with another highpoint in the shape of Performance, with many lyrical references to the movie and what seems to be ‘an homage’ to the music of both the Stones and Funkadelic – although the end result is not unlike Chic fronted by a Mancunian Colin Newman.
“One day he was admiring his reflection, in his favourite mirror..” sings Ryder over some particularly lazy, hazy and woozy dancefloor psychedelia, before deciding, “we’re all food, you’re cake…”
Who is? You is.
Performance’s all-encompassing, dense, intense, and grubbily sensual groove remains as funky as fuck. It is an absolutely amazing piece of music.
Opening side two of the album, Brain Dead Fucker was always going to suffer in comparison to what went immediately before it. While it’s still represents a masterclass in off-key singing, with lyrics that sound like they were just dummy lyrics that stuck, it is one of the album’s more forgettable moments.
It sounds like they’re not even trying. And not in a good way.
By contrast, Wrote for Luck contains some of my favourite Ryder lyrics ever, with a weird kind of badlands street poetry, where his relatively straightforward, unfussy, simple words combine to form a perhaps surprisingly cohesive, perceptive and nuanced outlook on the world.
“I wrote for luck, they sent me you. I sent for juice, you gave me poison. I hold the line, you formed a queue – try and think hard, is there something else you can do? Well, not much, I’ve not been trained, I can sit and stand and beg and roll over. I don’t read, I just guess…
WFL has a groove that just won’t stop. And, once suitably remixed by a combination of Oakenfold, Weatherall and um, Vince Clarke, it inadvertently created the horror freakshow that was indie dance, and ended up being the making of the Mondays by giving them an actual grown-up charts breakout hit.
Bring a Friend could almost be a companion piece to their debut’s sweet and tender opener Kuff Dam, sounding like a sleazy, funky love letter to 70s porno (“a kipper tie and a ticket to fly”), complete with the simply killer line: “Well, I might be a honky but I’m hung like a donkey…”
Do It Better finds Ryder talking about “booms in the room as the snideys snide in”, ie people who are so snide (in Manchester it can mean fake, unpleasant or otherwise nefarious, depending on the situation) that they can’t even walk in a room and take a seat without putting a negative vibe on the proceedings.
It features some ghastly keyboards that bring to mind a bleary trip around a seaside amusement arcade (maybe they took a trip to Bridlington when they were at the Slaughterhouse) but not in a good way. I’m not a fan.
This album’s Beatles’ reference comes with the jangly, poptastic Lazyitis, which references Ticket to Ride – and Three Little Pigs – and seems to adopt multiple narrative viewpoints in what may or may not be a part tribute, part pisstake of Martin Hannett.
“Now my home boy don’t come top of the class, He got no brown tongue lickin’ ass, Can’t do what he’s asked…”
“I’m the man that shot the boss, I pinned him down and blew his face off, I’m doing time with weirdo kind, Hustlin’ and rustlin’ and watchin’ from behind…”
So what’s the point of the Happy Mondays these days? If nothing else, I guess, the album stands as a document to a very particular time and place, even if that time and place wasn’t actually where it was recorded (or where I first listened to it, because nobody can remember anything about it).
It recalls a time before the hype and bullshit of Madchester – and way before the banal certainties of Britpop – when there were no rules.
Certainly not in Manchester, anyway.
The album was recorded at a time when the members of the band still liked each other. The drugs had yet to get properly intravenous, probably. As my very good friend Shaun Ryder once told me, Pills n Thrills n Bellyaches may be widely regarded as the Mondays’ ‘ecstasy album’, “but really Bummed was when we was eating hundreds of ecstasy pills”.
Factory couldn’t really have happened anywhere else, and no record label on Earth, apart from Factory, would have ever considered signing the Mondays. It took Anthony H Wilson to recognise the wayward genius of Shaun W Ryder. Wilson and Ryder, and Factory and the Mondays, were made for each other, and neither of them could possibly have been made anywhere else.
While Bummed isn’t quite as knock-yer-socks-off bananas as its predecessor, it’s still pretty great. At the very least, when taken with their debut, it cements the Mondays’ official (and completely not made up) position as like the third best band on Factory – which is not bad considering the label also released records by Northside and the Stockholm Monsters.
Either way, I stayed on board until Hallelujah but didn’t bother after that.
I saw a few of the Monday’s later incarnations live, and while the standard of musicianship was way beyond anything I’d previously experienced at one of their gigs, the spark wasn’t really there for me.
It’s not like anyone ever expected artistic dignity and musical integrity from the Mondays, obviously – that was Wilson’s gig – but the whole thing was just too fucking predictable. It would have actually been more surprising if they hadn’t eventually reformed. You’re twisting my memories, man.
You can read more about what Shaun thought of my witty bon mots on his life and career here.
Factory Records and the Mondays have very little to do with Manchester as it is now, and everything with what it was then. Factory played a big part in creating some of the conditions that led to contemporary Manchester, but then again, you could also say the same about Margaret Thatcher and the IRA – and maybe even that deluded little prick who took a home-made bomb to an Ariane Grande concert.
When WFL was released as a single, it came with a truly great video which was shot by the Bailey Bros in early 1988. It is fantastic. Accompanying Vince Clarke’s bubbly acid-tinged mix is trippy footage of Shaun and crew, packed into some club, looking shedded, shit-faced, irrepressible and impregnable, unassailable and unavailable.
The singer wears a wind-cheater that excites admiring online comments even now.
Basically, the video, which was shot in Greg Wilson’s old haunt Legend, made me want to move to Manchester. When I eventually got here, I wanted to go to the club where the video was shot but Legend is long gone and the site is now an apartment building – just like the Hacienda.
My point is – if indeed I have one – is that only the most clueless wanker would ever dream of commissioning a statue of Anthony Wilson, never mind Shaun Ryder, but it sometimes seems like it’s only a matter of time until it happens in Manchester.
Civic Manchester, it seems, often celebrates the people and events of previous decades, that it didn’t really understand at the time, at the expense of things that are happening now. Exhibit one.
Meanwhile, while all this is happening around us, the next Shaun Ryder is trying to shoplift records from Reel Around the Fountain.
But at least he’s not in Driffield.