Mar 29, 2011

There goes the hear: Manchester has enough gigs

Manchester has the best music scene in the UK, according to a poll by Music Week.

3,000 people were asked if they had enough live music gigs in their area. Manchester scored the most yes results, followed by Newcastle and Nottingham.

A PRS spokesperson contends that "Manchester has always been a hot contender as music capital of the UK," and this will no doubt be hailed as a victory by the likes of Now Wave, Islington Mill and so on.

However, look at that survey question again: "I have enough local gigs in my area.”

Now imagine you are a city centre resident who has had one too many sleepless nights from revellers kicking bus shelters and screaming in a drunken haze at their partners in the street. How would they answer the question?

I reckon they'd think there were enough gigs too.

Manchester's response should be as surprising as it is simple. We have enough gigs. Manchester is full up for gigs. No more gigs, please.

Let's have a moratorium on live music in Manchester. Just temporary, for about ten years or so. Not a string strummed, not a skin drummed, not a tune hummed. Let a terrifyingly silence descend on this city like an audio shroud.

It will be awkward. Musicians will either leave town or get a job with the Co-op. Historians will refer back to this time as the Dead Years, with Market Street buskers slumped by empty hats and clubbers crying into their spliffs in Sankeys.

But, my friends, it will be worth it. Think of Liverpool's continual guitar-jangling efforts to escape their Merseybeat past, or Southend's gothic rockers trying to drown out the memory of Procul Harum.

In the meantime, Manchester will lie in a holy silence, resting, planning, storing its energy until 2021, when suddenly and without warning, every musician from every corner of this Bezforsaken city will burst into a cacophonous and all-encompassing wall of music that will devastate every other music scene that has ever existed.

It's the only way forward for the best music scene in the UK.

Just a caveat, though: if we are going to do this, can we wait until I've seen Kylie on Saturday? Thanks.

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