The “Madchester” Music Phenomenon In Manchester

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Madchester was a phenomenon in the world of rock and dance music. This music scene developed in Manchester in the north west of England during the later years of the nineteen eighties and the early years of the nineteen nineties, and forged the city’s reputation as a major centre of alternative pop culture. The term “Baggy” grew out of the Madchester scene, being used to describe the eclectic musical style of the bands, and a style of dress that originated in Manchester and spread across the UK.

The Madchester music scene became a focus for dance musicians, psychedelic rock bands and alternative rock musicians in the Manchester area, along of course with fans of the music, commentators and owners of venues such as night clubs. Many bands based in Manchester became stalwarts of the Madchester music scene. These included such luminaries as the Stone Roses, the Inspiral Carpets, and the Happy Mondays. Other big names on the Madchester scene were 808 State, the Charlatans, Northside, James, and A Guy Called Gerald.

Manchester had a thriving music scene before Madchester happened. The pre-Madchester bands of note were the Smiths, New Order and the Fall. These musicians and singers had a major influence on the development of the Madchester scene. A major festival was held in 1986 called the Festival of the Tenth Summer. It was organised by Factory Records which operated the Hacienda night club at the time. This event was highly acclaimed by all the participants, musicians and audience alike. The festival included art shows and film screenings along with performances by major Mancunian bands like the Fall, the Smiths and New Order, and established Manchester as a major and innovative centre for contemporary music.

The Hacienda nightclub was launched by Factory Records in the year 1982 as a showcase of live music in the form of indie rock bands. By the year 1986 the Hacienda had become an enormously influential and popular dance club, with DJs playing electro, hip hop, disco and house music. The Hacienda became enormously popular during the year 1986 and by the year 1987 was constantly packed out. The club featured house music artists from the United States of America such as Adonis and Frankie Knuckles.

A host of other night clubs in the Manchester area followed the lead forged by the Hacienda, and began hosting dance nights. The club scene in Manchester forged to new heights of popularity in the final years of the nineteen eighties. The Hacienda continued to host nights themed on Ibiza and acid house to great acclaim for fans and the music industry in general.

Television viewers in the United Kingdom have been reminded recently of the Madchester years, as musicians from this Manchester music scene have appeared on TV shows. Mark “Bez” Berry from the Happy Mondays appeared on the Channel 4 TV show Big Brother. Shaun Ryder, also from the Happy Mondays, and the lead singer, appeared on the ITV show “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”.

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