The Buzzcocks, Joy Divison, The Smiths, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Oasis, all have something in common...they are all from manchester. This is the great story of how British music was turned upside-down, and changed forever.


4th June, 1976. It might as well have been the day Jesus was born!

That night, The Sex Pistols played the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Mancester, because of an invitation from the Buzzcocks. For such a small, low profile gig, the atmosphere was amazing. You see, no-one in Manchester had really heard punk music before. However, like it or not, punk was about to force itself upon them!

There has been a lot of dispute over who was really there that night, because the gigs are now so legendary. That aside, the night had a certain amount of confusion, and 'all-or-nothing' attitude to it.

Yet, it was not the first night that was seen to be the most influential. In fact, the second gig was the greatest by far. It was on 20th July, 1976. The Sex Pistols returned to play at the Lesser Free Trade Hall once again, supported by the newly reformed Buzzcocks and Slaughter & The Dogs.

Needless to say, the gig shook Manchester to it's musical core. That was the start of a scene. Anarchy in the UK had arrived!

Punk bands now dominated Manchester's music scene, with their raw power and political bashings. The beast inside had awakened.

In no time at all, people were getitng in to the swing of things...Punk. The people had found their messiah in Johnny Rotten, and because of this, punk was the most listened to thing in Manchester.

Punk spread quickly in it's two years of realisation. Yet, where it went from there was anyone's guess.

Enter...Joy Divison.


With the help of Martin Hannett (a drug-addict, genius producer) and Tony Wilson (a self-confessed knob), Joy Divison were so high that they could almost touch the stars!

In 1978, Joy Divison took punk up a notch, and made it so intense that it soon overpowered the minds of all Mancunians.

1979 saw Joy Divison record and produce their debut album, "Unknown Pleasures". To this day, it still remains a firm favourite in the eyes of the British people that were around in that era.

Unfortunately, it all went downhill after they released the "Closer" album. Martin Hannett became even more obsessed with drugs, and Ian Curtis eventually hung himself at the age of 23, soon after it's production.

Joy Division were, sadly, unable to recouperate from this dire loss, andso Joy Division fell apart.


With the death of Joy Divison's frontman still looming in the air, it was up to The Fall to make things happen.

And their way of doing this, was by releasing the "Bend Sinister" album.

The response to it was simultaneous, as it was loved by all. All...except for the band.

The Fall did not like the way their album had turned out, and so things fell apart. The sad thing is, The Fall could have been a very good band, if it weren't for (frontman) Mark E. Smith's arrogance and lack of money-handling skills.

Needless to say, it all went down the drain. Mark's marriage with Brix was terminated, and so was the band's future.

Meanwhile, something big was happening. Something known as...The Hacienda.


On 21st May, 1982, Tony Wilson opened the Hacienda to the public.

The Hacienda fased rave and dance music, with punk and post-punk rock bands. It was certainly a huge step in the music industry, as Tony Wilsom and Mike Pickering put their vision into action.

Bands that have played their include: New Order, Culture Club and The Smiths.

However, as is typical with every great thing to have been made in Manchester, The Hacienda did not last.

It took a great amount of money to create the Hacienda...so large was the amount that they were not able to retrieveit. As a result, The Hacienda closed down almost 5 years after it had opened.

It was, therefore, a good job that The Smiths were there.


1985 was the year that The Smiths made their mark.

Frontedby Morrissey, the band was the most influential of the 80's, creating miserable (yet witty) music that reflected Manchester's spiritual decline.

It was not surprising, therefore, that Morrissey was driven into depression after the release of The Smith's hit album "The Queen Is Dead".

Along with Johnny Marr on guitar, the band were set to break America in 1986. However, it all came to an end when Andy Rourke (bassist for The Smiths) was stung by a sting-ray on the Tampa coast.

This was the end for The Smiths, as the rest of the American tour was cancelled, and Morrissey distnaced himself from his bandmates.

Although it all happened so quickly, The Smiths achieved much more than most bands do in the whole of their career, as they influenced a generation.


In 1988, The Stone Roses recorded and released their self-titled album. By this time, they were Manchester's well-kept secret, releasing hit singles like "I wanna be adored" and "Mersey Paradise".

With "Fools Gold" also in the works, The Stone Roses were on the rise. With their dreams of ridding the earth of bands like U2 (they found them big and pompous), Ian Brown carved the way for Brit-Rock bands like Oasis.

However, in the typical Manchester style, The Stone Roses did not release anything else after their LP "The Second Coming".

This proved to be a fatal mistake, as Ian Brown relalised that it was all over, and decided to go solo.

Albeit for the bands demise, they had accomplished what they had set out to do. They changed British music forever.


With the release of their hit LP "Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches", Happy Mondays were set for rock 'n' roll stardom.

Led by an E'd up Shaun Ryder, the band took The Stone Roses sound and made it something more...something bigger.

Shaun Ryder has been referred to many-a-time as a lyrical genius, either by fellow band-mates or aspiring musicians. This has also been proved correct, as "Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches" continues to astoundto this day.

Seeing themselves as a dance band from day one, Happy Mondays recruited Bez as the band's sole dancer.

It was shortly after that Bez dug the band's grave. In one shock interview, Bez made a flippant remark about gays, saying that they were disgusting.

NME, the judges of all things musical at the time, decided that it was over.

Happy Monday's image was in tatters. Further fractures showed as the band started recording again. In the space of 18 months, the band fell apart completely.


The demise of the music in Manchester was near. Then, in the nick of time, a band appeared through the haze. Tagged as the new John Lennon, Liam Gallagher led Oasis to worldwide stardom.

In not time at all, they were off, with their debut album "Definitely Maybe" projecting them into the public eye.

Next came "(What's the story) Morning Glory", most probably their best album to date, that holds such classics like "Don't look back in anger", "She's electric", "Wonderwall" and "(What's the story) Morning Glory".

Of course, most would have thought that they would end in the typical Manchester fashion. Admittedly, they very nearly did early on in 2000, when Liam and Noel Gallagher fought on stage, and Noel referred to Liam as both a t*** and w*****. Yet, Liam said: "I'm not going till you are." From then on, the pair found it in them to get along.

Thankfully (and much to everyone's relief), Oasis are still going strong.

What will happen to the course of British music now? We shall just have to wait and see.
I also didn't put in anything in detail about The Buzzcocks and Slaughter & The Dogs because I wanted to keep it concise (well....as concise as possible).