Gareth Ashton

Manchester; It Never Rains.....

Image of Gareth Ashton - Manchester; It Never Rains.....
Record Label
Empire Publications

About this item

In 1976, a brand new, exhilarating musical revolution was beginning to gather momentum in London, instigated by grown ups, but embraced and spearheaded by a dissatisfied youth, bored of the stagnant stench of a music industry that said, and meant, nothing to them. 200 miles North up the M1 was a city that was primed ready and able to play it’s part in the growth of punk rock in the U.K; Manchester.

This book aims to explain why punk was the ideal natural musical progression in the city, as told by the people who were there at that embryonic stage before it entered into mainstream consciousness. In a time when hairstyle and dress sense defined your personality, nailing your colours to the mast of a grey and monochrome backdrop. Where people’s indifference to difference was measured in punches, and intolerance of tolerance was metered out in kicks. Working class kids from the inner city council estates who found escape from their surroundings in music and fashion. Not off the peg fashion, but homemade ingenuity, glamour through austerity, there’s nothing like a bit of individuality to make the natives restless.

Manchester has been the home of many musical firsts; Halle Orchestra, Top Of The Pops, Sex Pistols on television, Independent record release. An infamous gig that spawned a plethora of bands, writers, photographers, artists. It was home to The Electric Circus, Pips, Rafters, Band On The Wall, venues which are all (predominantly) fondly remembered as memories of a well spent youth.

The book charts those protagonists from their early life growing up, socially and musically, the impact that punk had on their lives, including the bands that sprung up from it, how it allowed them to express their beliefs, and how it’s ideology has stayed with them up to the present day. The time line is between the early 1960’s until December 1977 (ish). The story is predominantly told through the words of the subjects, after hours of editing face to face interviews and emails, interspersed with my narrative connecting and introducing the differing topics and chapters.

It is a social history document as well as a musical coming of age memoir, a time capsule of days of which we will never again see the like.


Chapter Breakdown
1: History Of Manchester’s Slum Dwellings From The 19th Century To 1960’s.
2: Interviewee’s Experiences Of Growing Up In The Inner City. Musical Influences And Access To Physical Musical Output.
3; Nightclubs/Bars Of Manchester. The Gay Scene, Pips, The Ranch Bar. Bowie/Roxy
4; The Electric Circus. Early Gigs Including Sex Pistols And Buzzcocks.
5; So It Goes- Sex Pistols First Appearance On T.V. Recollections From The Producer.
6; Early Punk Fashion In The City. People’s Stories Of Homemade Clothing.
7; Violence On The Streets Of Manchester And The Terraces. Football And Punk.
8; Venues Of Manchester; Band On The Wall, Rafters, The Oaks, Apollo Theatre.
9; The Growth Of Punk In Manchester, Interviewee’s Gig Memories.
10; So It Goes Second Series. Recollections Of Outside Broadcasts From Director And Video Assistant.
11; The Closure Of The Electric Circus.
12; The Dissolution Of Punk At The End Of 1977. The Lasting Legacy Of What Punk Meant To The People Interviewed For The Book.

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