During the 'no-mans land between Christmas and New Year, you've got a number of options.
- Take up jogging in an attempt to work off the Christmas excess.
- Give in to total lardum and sit on the sofa eating your body weight in Quality Streets and watching rubbish TV.
- Sort out 'stuff'.
When faced with the choice of Total Wipeout Christmas Special or shredding bank statements dating back to the 1980's - the latter seemed much more appealing.
While it can be a soul destroying activity - shredding the purchases of years gone by, there is always the possibility of turning up a real gem.
This year, whilst wading my way through the ghosts of mobile calls past, meticulously documented in a telephone directory of phone bills, I found this - The Manchester Music Map.
Produced by the city council and regional development agency, I think it's about six or seven years old. I'm not even sure why I've got it - but it is genius.
I've always been really jealous of my Manchester friends, many of who know each other from their Salford University days. Their stories of The Hacienda, Happy Mondays and New Order gigs leave me gasping. While I was nicely bopping to Black Box at the college disco in Oxford, they were going to amazing gigs and posing outside the Salford Lads Club.
I've been to so many gigs since I've lived in Manchester where the bands have literally got on their knees and worshipped their Manchester musical influences. It really is a very special place.
The map lists 'Manchester' bands and artists along the bottom of the page (not sure if you'll be able to make them out, so I've listed them below).
- Herman's Hermits
- Freddie & the Dreamers
- Davy Jones
- Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders
- Bee Gees
- Sweet Sensation
- Phil Lynott
- Joy Division
- New Order (Peter Hook can usually be seen running the Manchester 10K in a Christie's t-shirt!)
- The Fall
- John Cooper Clarke
- The Smiths
- James (check out my review of the recent amazing James concert at The Bridgewater Hall)
- Simply Red
- M People
- A Certain Ratio
- Durutti Column
- Stone Roses
- Happy Mondays
- A Guy Called Gerald
- Black Grape
- 808 State
- MC Tunes
- Mock Turtles
- Inspiral Carpets
- Verve (though I think they are technically Wigan)
- Take That
- Finlay Quaye
- Lisa Stansfield (technically Rochdale?)
- David Gray (technically Babylon?)
- Badly Drawn Boy (I sometimes see him driving around Chrolton in his woolly hat)
Of course, as hinted at earlier - it's not all just about Manchester. Technically many of the bands we know and love are actually from Salford. Not wanting to get on the wrong side of the River Irwell - you can also get The Salford Music Map and while you're at it, check out this short film by Inspiral Carpets legend and XFM DJ Clint Boon touring Salford musical Mecca's.
So here is The Manchester Music Map. I'm not sure if it's still publicly available. Better shared than stuffed in a pile amongst Council Tax and electricity bills. Enjoy, reminisce and if you feel like it - please share your memories!