The idea of their being a specific Manchester ‘scene’ has always been one that has thoroughly depressed me – the thought that all bands from this city share the same love of Oasis, The Smith and Factory does nothing to light the imagination, the belief that somewhere there’s a production line of middling indie bands makes me feel sick with dread. The truth is that there is that side to the city, an echo chamber of glories long since faded that people seem desperate to revive, but it’s such a small fraction of the larger picture that it’s easy to ignore – the problem has been getting the rest of the world to see this post-industrial wasteland in the same way. One problem has been in documenting this ever-changing culture, capturing what’s happening for posterity to show that we’re more than the Gallagher brothers and couple of Johnny Marr riffs.
Manchester Scenewipe started recording videos of local and touring bands in January 2010, opening up with a video by The Floreats. Since then, it’s grown into an absolute behemoth, taking in unique performances from Vivian Girls, Slow Club and Peter, Bjorn and John, whilst capturing the best of the city is actually producing, with Brown Brogues, Ghost Outfit and Patterns all featuring heavily. But as the site grew, the rudimentary website they’d built didn’t quite do them justice – so they’ve added gig listings and reviews and had a big redesign. And it looks supreme:
To celebrate, they’re throwing a party, with performances by some of the most memorable of their videos. It’s at KRAAK gallery on Friday 7th October, it’s £5 for an advance ticket and afterwards, I’ll be playing tracks that people won’t dance to. Here’s the line-up.
Driver Drive Faster
The ABC Club
The Louche FC
Video not recorded by Scenewipe, but whatever