When it comes to Manchester, music is never far behind. We have written about the music scene many times before, from gigs to see this month, songs by Manchester bands, songs about Manchester, but we’ve not looked at current bands that are dominating the charts from Manchester. Sure, veterans Elbow have appeared in a few lists, and the Stone Roses reunion received a lot of coverage, and there’s this excellent in depth look at some of the hottest new music, but we’re after bands currently at the top of the charts.
As a wealth of knowledge on Manchester things, here at huddled we’ve collected together a few bands that are making a name for themselves in the big city. This isn’t a list of up and coming acts though, we know better than to challenge the local powerhouse of indie publications, but the latest bands from Manchester to make it big. These bands have consistently hit the charts in recent years and are gaining a large following.
Give them a listen and sink your teeth into their albums, with their origins in Manchester, they’re never too far away from their home town for a chance to see them live.
After meeting outside the 42nd street nightclub in 2005, Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson created the band Bureau. After a series of A sides, they then changed their name to Hurts and created a video for their song ‘wonderful life’. The video lit up the internet and has received over 21 million views on Youtube, making it one of the most viewed videos in the website’s history.
They were quickly signed up to RCA records and now have two albums two their name, Happiness and Exile, both of which have entered into the top ten album charts in the UK. Having finishing fourth on the BBC’s sound of 2010, they’ve gone from strength to strength and tour to a strong fan base. Enough about their story though, what’s their music like?
Their songs are very synth heavy, creating deep and grand pop hits with big drums. For a two man band the songs sound huge, no doubt due to the singular musical input of Adam Anderson. The emotional and heart heavy lyrics are matched by Theo Hutchcraft’s strong yet vulnerable voice.
Don’t take our word for it though, here’s the video for ‘Wonderful Life’.
The 1975 are the latest band to really hit it big in Manchester, originally formed in Wilmslow – the same birthplace as Doves – they’ve been making music at high school since 2004, but only began releasing recordings in 2012. Their single ‘Chocolate’ reached number 12 on the UK charts and the self titled debut album topped the charts on its debut late last year.
After being on nearly every play list on radio stations until summer, they’ve played at the Royal Albert hall and have toured the UK extensively, with three sold out shows at Shepherd’s Bush and even performing at the renowned Coachella festival in California.
Their music is fun electro pop that is reminiscent of 1980s pop stars such as Prince. A standout feature of the band is their clean and currently unmatched use of layered guitars which compliment the bass, which echo the efforts of Johnny Marr in the Smiths with the repetition of a particular catchy riff as the bass define the melody. Teenage lyrical angst abound with a band that manages to sound young whilst bringing a surprising musical maturity and technical skill.
This is their breakthrough hit ‘Chocolate’, but be sure to hear ‘Girls’ and ‘Sex’ too.
Forming in late 2007, Everything Everything are the oldest band we’ve chosen in our list but possibly the most critically acclaimed, having received nominations from the Mercury prize and three nominations for the Ivor Novello award. They’ve currently released two albums, Man Alive and Arc. Despite the members not being from Manchester, they all met whilst studying at Salford.
Since their first album they’ve never been far away from Xfm’s playlists and debuted at number 17 on the Album chart with their Geffen label first album in 2010. Their first album was a pop synth landscape that gave their contemporaries Friendly Fires a run for their money. The disco indie style that Manchester is notable for was carried on through the band.
Yet with their second album they became even more musically ambitious, reminding me at least (and possibly only me) of the droll wit with the music technicality of local band 10cc. Their songs feature jagged guitars with a fat synthesizer and feature semi-cryptic lyrics with a critical gaze on contemporary life.
More exciting still, the band has been confirmed to undertake an Artist’s residency at the recently reopened Manchester Central Library from November 10 – 15th this year, seeing them working with a number of artists with the title ‘Chaos to Order’. More information on the project can be seen here but expect a socially engaged response to contemporary issues.
Here’s there Ivor Novello nominated single Kemosabe.
Music in Manchester
Clearly, it’s not just in the past that Manchester has a booming music scene. Here’s just been a handful of some of the Manchester talent from recent years. With so many brilliant venues and music savvy crowds in the city, it’s no surprise that the city continues to provide chart topping and pioneering music.
Have you heard any great bands from Manchester recently? Seen any of those mentioned live? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on twitter @huddledNW