Manchester is better known these days for its two football or soccer giants, Manchester United and Manchester City. Talk to anybody in Manchester and you will soon learn that it is a very football focused city. But Manchester has more to it than just the “beautiful game”.
Manchester Music Scene
Manchester is world famous for its music scene. The Madchester scene with such bands as The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and The Inspiral Carpets, the Hacienda, which pioneered the concept of the super club and Factory records are all iconic and legendary amongst the wider music community. In particularly if you favour dance or house music or 1980’s bands such as Joy Division, New Order. You can read more about the manchester music scene and the UK music scene in general by taking a look at this magazine: http://www.nme.com/
Following the Madchester era, the music scene died down somewhat, but many local groups continued to make their presence known, such as Oasis, Take That, Elbow, M People, James,808 State, Doves. Of these list of acts, Oasis emerged as the the true phenomenon, with their albums selling in the millions worldwide and their tours completely selling out.
Manchester currently has some of the country’s most popular music venues in the form of Manchester Academy, Manchester Evening News Arena and the Manchester Apollo. There are also dozens of smaller venues scattered around the city with their own musical acts.
Many of the bands that have formed in Manchester over the years have been self-taught and evolved from garden shed or a mate’s bedroom. Very few of Manchester’s bands are “manufactured” so to speak. As with many bands worldwide, they have formed simply by a group of like-minded people (usually youngsters) coming together with some instruments they have managed to cobble together and just having a go. No doubt their initial attempts were terrible but through belief in themselves and pure determination they have made it to the top and now the sound of their music is instantly recognisable the world over.
Forming a Band
If you are interested in forming a band and having a go yourself, the first thing you are going to need is some instruments. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest when you are just starting out there is no shame in looking at the used second hand market for some great bargains and deals. Many instruments can be picked up in great condition from the classified ads and auction websites. I personally have always dreamed of the lead guitarist in a band (although I’m a little old for that sort of thing now). If I were to look at finding a used guitar online in the United Kingdom, I would look here: Bargain Second Hand Guitar For Sale
A Good Leader
One thing to bear in mind when forming a band is that you are going to need a leader to funnel the creative vision of the group in the right direction. This is essential even if your band is made up of friends or family. It is an extremely responsible job (not just a title) that should be respected and honoured by both the leader him or herself and the other band members. Taking up this position will of course require you to know how to and have the courage to make important decisions. Most decisions should be discussed amongst the band as a whole and decision reached by committee so to speak, but there will be time when the band leader has to make snap decisions him or herself on behalf of the band and for the sake of the band’s continued success. There are also going to be times when the leader will have to lay down the law with other band members which will require the right leadership and diplomacy skills.
A good example of a band leader is Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame. He was the creative mind behind the band’s success and often struggled with his brother Liam’s behaviour and attitude. This famously lead to many a confrontation both on and off the stage. But is testament to Noel’s that he held the band together and ensured it’s success for well over a decade.
Don't Give Up
If, despite all your efforts, your band just dies on the vine, don’t let it discourage you from trying again. Finding new like minded people as members and forming a fresh band is not so hard. It can also be worth joining somebody else's band at the same time in order to to maintain your skillset and draw possible inspiration. It maybe that your band has not split up or fallen apart, but you find you have too many members. You shouldn’t be afraid to cull the band membership if required.
Anyway, I hope the Manchester music scene and my musings on forming a band have given you some inspiration to grab a guitar and give it a go yourself! Until next time.