Though the internet is a valuable tool, it’s also the killer of many dreams. If you’ve got an idea, a plan, or simply just a pipedream, there’s always somebody just a google search away from already having done it, and usually a fair bit better than you had in mind. Which is why I wasn’t at all shocked to see Manchester Scenewipe pop up earlier this year. The premise is a simple one – to record one of the most vibrant and exciting music scenes in the world and stick it on the internet for us all to watch. Of course, as someone who checks daytrotter which vehement fervour and has paid attention to what they’ve done over at la blogotheque, it’s like someone’s captured a daydream and brought it to fruition.
The fact is that the Scenewipe website is an absolute joy to perouse, even at this relatively infant stage of it’s life. They track down a band, or at least the core segments of it, and get them to perform a track of their choice, videoing and embedding it. The site already feels like an archive, a series of poignant snapshots documenting a series of precise moments in the development of a city’s scene. They’ve had Jo Rose strumming on a Chorlton meadow, Airship singing in Manchester uni, Everything Everything performing acoustic for the first time in the Night and Day café and, most recently, Deaf to Van Gogh’s Ear in a basement. It’s not only local bands that get a plug, and the larger picture has surely been painted, with emerging acts like Peggy Sue being covered along with more established acts such as Nine Black Alps and Liam Frost, even stretching to bands with international acclaim with Why?, Fionn Regan, Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad all giving their efforts for the website.
It’s not even the breadth and variety of names they’ve got on show though – it’s done with a deft touch, feeling both personal and professional. With new entries popping up all the time and no sign of the team behind it slowing down, it’d be easy to feel envious of what the site is achieving if it wasn’t for all the amazing content they’re producing. Here’s a wild eyed Gideon Conn doing ‘I want you around’ behind the Lowry in Salford:
There’s far, far more on the website, too. Definitely one to bookmark: