This BBC documentary goes deeper into exploring an era of music that has already been mentioned in The Mancunian Way and The Great Bleep Forward: Madchester, or how in the late 80s, Manchester became the world capital of pop. Who could have predicted that such an industrial city, characterised by massive unemployment and bad weather, would give birth to such a vibrant and hedonistic scene?
In part 1, Stuart Maconie tells the story of how Manchester’s effervescent post punk scene inspired New Order members and head of Factory Records’ Tony Wilson to create the Hacienda, a place that quickly went from being an art space to an eclectic club venue. Its cheap drinks and no door policy allowed bohemian working class Mancunians to escape their hard lives and enjoy Chicago’s and Detroit’s all new techno and acid house rhythms. A mix of two cultures that established Manchester as the coolest place on earth and inspired The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, and many more.
This is the third part of the Mancunian Way, a BBC documentary series about Manchester and its music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1, Part 2.
The 3rd part of the Mancunian Way explores the world of the quintessential Manchester record label: Factory Records. Founded in the rise of punk, it lead the way during the post-punk era due to its specific way of working with artists. It soon became the first record company outside London to achieve international succes.
Mark Radcliffe talks to Factory founder Tony Wilson, in-house producer Martin Hannett and many others about record sleeve design, urban angst, raincoat sales and the tremendous influence of the label and its bands such as Joy Division, New Order or the Happy Mondays.
This very first documentary is about the story of the Manchester music scene. Told by BBC’s Mancunian at heart Mark Radcliffe, this 6-part series takes us on a journey from the 60s to nowadays to (re)discover the music that has made Manchester so influential and exciting.
Our story starts in the middle – in the late 70s – with the first part telling us about the massive cultural impact of punk on the Manchester music scene . Or more precisely, how a 50p Sex Pistols gig showed the 40 attendees that everyone could start a band. And they pretty much all did. Joy Division, the Buzzcocks, the Fall, but also more unexpected groups like Simply Red or M People… they all broke away from the ubiquitous 20-minute guitar solos and self indulgent attitudes to reshape popular music.