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Sounds Northern

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The North of England is regarded as a region economically and culturally lagging behind the South of England. However, this situation does not refer to popular music in which the North has had an influence which is comparable to that of London. Many bands and performers coming from the North, including the Beatles, the Animals, Herman’s Hermit, the Smiths, the Happy Mondays, the Fall, Joy Division, New Order, Pulp and Oasis belong to most popular and influential pop-rock musicians in the world. The North has also been the home to some particular dance scenes including Northern Soul, the ‘Madchester’ acid house, rave scenes and hip hop and grime scenes.

This collection presents some of the less well known facets of popular music in the North of England, examining how popular music reflected on various aspects of the North, such as its economy and architecture and how it impacted on self- and external perception of the North. It assumes that understandings of the English North vary and its geography has more to do with imagined rather than empirical communities. The North can be seen as being defined against an England epitomised by London and as an area reflecting the most salient features of England as a whole. Specific chapters discuss topics such as the music scenes in Manchester, Liverpool, Hull and Sheffield, music festivals and careers of some musicians connected with the North such as MC Tunes and Bugzy Malone. Written in a jargon-free language, it should be of interest to everybody interested in music of the North.

Published: Feb 10, 2018

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Is It Really Grim Up North?: Popular Music in the North of England Ewa Mazierska
Part 1: Northern Music, Regional Politics and Entrepreneurial Culture
1. Manpool, the Musical: Harmony and Counterpoint on the Lancashire Plain Richard Witts
2. Another Uniquely Mancunian Offering?: Un-Convention and the Intermediation of Music Culture and Place Paul Long, Jez Collins
3. 'They Say a Town is Just a Town, Full Stop, but What do They Know?': Architecture, Urbanism and Pop in Sheffield Owen Hatherley
Part 2: Pop-Rock Soundscapes, Scenes and Artists
4. ‘I Thought I Heard That up North Whistle Blow’: African American Blues Performance in the North of England Tom Attah
5. The Contrasting Soundscapes of Hull and London in David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars Peter Atkinson
6. Hard Floors, Harsh Sounds and the Northern Anti-Festival: Futurama 1979-1983 Ian Trowell
7. Scrap Value: Sleaford Mods, Invisible Britain and the Edge of the North Brian Baker
Part 3: Hip Hop and Grime
8. From Broken Glass to Ruf Diamonds: Manchester Hip Hop Adam de Paor-Evans
9. The Missing Star of MC Tunes Les Gillon, Ewa Mazierska
10. Hashtag 0161: Did Bugzy Malone put Manny on the map? Kamila Rymajdo
End Matter
Index Ewa Mazierska