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Over the generations, the Manchester area has nurtured thousands of musical acts, ranging in styles as diverse as music hall and Madchester.

But it was the sixties that was the first to bring the music to the people.  There were groups in almost every street, kids playing their music without thought of fame - just fun.

Although many were adopted on a national scale, others were content to stir only local interest before their eventual demise.

Despite their lack of national commercial success, they were part of the tremendous Manchester area music scene that continues to play such a major part in our lives.

Proudly based in the sixties, these pages salute the groups, agents, disc jockeys, shops and clubs in the Manchester area that gave us all such a great time! Memories that have lasted a lifetime!

Enjoy the site ... Add to it ...  Revisit


Recent Comments

mr malcolm s hoyle - Brownsville Banned on 20th-Sep
Sandra hamand - Grisby Dyke on 19th-Sep
karen schofield nee Leah - Riverboat Club on 18th-Sep
ann robins - Peter Taylor - my story on 18th-Sep
Cora Fielding - The HeeBie Jeebies on 18th-Sep
Cora Fielding - The HeeBie Jeebies on 18th-Sep
roy barry - Shops on 17th-Sep
michael degnen - The Pop Inn on 16th-Sep
Emma Susca - Pyawacket on 15th-Sep
Paul webmaster - Mike Lynch on 15th-Sep
James Brierley - TheFourtones on 15th-Sep
James Brierley - TheFourtones on 15th-Sep
Hot Buttered Toast - Free Trade Hall on 15th-Sep
Mike Mitchell - Browns on 15th-Sep
Dave s - Venues page on 15th-Sep
jackie cool - Venues page on 14th-Sep
Henrik Hagberg - Guestbook on 12th-Sep
Deborah Khalidi - Shops on 12th-Sep
Deborah Khalidi - Shops on 12th-Sep
gordon burnell - The Weys on 10th-Sep
Tony McAdam - The Pendulum Club on 9th-Sep
John Fewster - Staircase on 8th-Sep
Dave Roberts - Disc-a-go-go on 8th-Sep
Dave Roberts - Disc-a-go-go on 8th-Sep
David Roberts - DJs on 7th-Sep
Elizabeth Avery - Rhythm and Blues Incorporated on 7th-Sep
Dave Roberts - The Domino Club on 7th-Sep
Dave Roberts - The Domino Club on 7th-Sep
mel gage - Cona on 7th-Sep
mel gage - Cona on 6th-Sep

Most Commented Pages

The Broadway, Failsworth (98)
Shops (78)
Guestbook (78)
Guys n Dolls (71)
Talk of the North (57)
Santa Fe Reunion (57)
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The Hardrock (49)
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Browns (43)
If you remember the 60s (40)
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Paul webmaster (170)
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On the 9th and 10th of September 2017 Strawberry Recording Studios original Control Room will be recreated in its original space inside the (now) office block known as Strawberry Studios on Waterloo Road, Stockport.

Dr Peter Wadsworth and Chris Hewitt in conjunction with CHvintageaudio.com and the Chris Hewitt Museum of Rock will be working for the previous week to turn what is now a plain functional office back into the Strawberry Studios Control Room.

isitors on the 9th and 10th September will be able to stand behind a mixing desk looking through the control room window into what was the recording area. In the control room they will be surrounded by the stone walls, cork tiles, wood panelling and effects racks in a room that was used to make so many classic recordings from 1967 until 1993.

From initially recording Hotlegs, Barclay James Harvest, Neil Sedaka and 10CC’s albums and singles, the studio became one of the favourite control rooms of Factory Records and Martin Hannett in the late 1970s. Hannett was in there almost continually from 1979 producing such bands as Joy Division for their Unknown Pleasures album, Durutti Column, John Cooper Clarke, Pauline Murray, The Names, Minny Pops, Stockholm Monsters and The Stone Roses, Hannett also used the control room to mix songs by OMD, A Certain Ratio and the Happy Mondays.

Other notable names who recorded at Strawberry included The Buzzcocks, New Order, Crispy Ambulance, Blitz, The Wake, James, The Smiths, and Simply Red to name just a few

Tickets to visit the Strawberry Studios Original Control Room for 9th or 10th September 2017 are free via the Eventbrite website


As part of the National Heritage Open Days we cannot charge an admission price but we have considerable expense to cover the week long build of the original control room so we are asking for donations via Crowdfunder- please support this chance to recreate a piece of Manchester music history for the weekend


Any companies wanting to help sponsor this event with a donation please get in touch

Are you a GEAR HEAD?

Interested in the history of gear?  Course you are!

I played sax and was a singist, so know little of ampliferters and such things - but you may be a musician, so why not visit the Museum of Rock.

Online at  www.chvintageaudio.com   or a leisurely 18 miles job, south of Manchester - private viewings are available.

More info on the site - thanks for your info Chris   

Ey up!  Who is this fun loving foursome?

Any ideas?  Either email paul@manchesterbeat.com or write the answer on a use 20 quid note and sent to me in the post.

Just added ...

From Tony Bolland

I am currently writing and researching a book about the 'Beat' and music scenes across the UK during the 1960s and I am looking for musicians & groups who are interested in contributing to the book. If you were in a group during this amazing era please contact me at tonybolland7@yahoo.com

We are always adding memories of the fabulous cabaret scene in the Manchester area.

Just browse through the venues pages and see some fabulous clubs that made the Manchester area clubland of the 60s and 70s so great.

One memory added was from Dave and concerned the Garrick Club in Leigh and an act that he has remembered from so long ago.  I was intrigued and found a picture of them. 


Never saw them - a pity! Clubland acts were wonderful - IMHO so much better than the wannabies we see on X-Factor, etc.

Sad to hear of the recent passing of Alan Arnison.  Alan played a major part in our Manchester music scene and supported so many Manchester musicians in their endeavours.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

Sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Webb, drummer with St. Louis Union

His Funeral will be held on Friday April 28th at Accrington Crematorium.

Our condolences to his family.

Brownsille Banned - fond memories of a great Manchester area band

Great pics of the interior of the Cavern (Manchester Cavern, of course) - thanks to Pete Cartner and Mike.

The Little Things a young group from Middleton

Billy Atom and the Fallouts from Barnoldswick

Tony and The Presidents and the De Straads  - info courtesy Barrie Seddon.  Great stuff!

I'm looking for someone who was at the Beatles gig at the Middleton Co-op in April 1963?

We are going to be launching a campaign to get a Blue Plaque with BBC Manchester and Blue Peter and need someone to talk to a reporter at the scene one morning next week (20th-25th Feb)

If you can help, my email is natalie-eve.williams@bbc.co.uk

Kind regards



George Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, Davyhulme, Manchester M41 7FJ

Sunday 26th FEBRUARY

From Prog rock, Punk Rock and Hip Hop to Soul, Reggae and Doo Wop, the biggest Record Fairs in the UK return to this great new venue on the 26th February . With sellers from all over the UK, it's one of the biggest events of it's type - a must for music fans.

Just off Junction 9 of the M60

Admission 10.00am to 3.30pm £3

Please share our facebook event -
Our web site - http://www.vip-24.com/venues/manchestercarnallcentre.htm

All put together by the leading Record Fair organiser - VIP RECORD FAIRS, so it will be worth a visit.
VIP Events - 0116 275 2815

A Limited edition vinyl EP, supporting Teenage Cancer Trust charity, has now been released, 20th Jan 2017.

Interestingly, it features The Dollies on one track!

To purchase a copy (please do) contact paul_quinton@talktalk.net / TEXT (UK) 07710 688276

New Book!

Martin Hannett
His Equipment and Strawberry Studios

by Chris Hewitt - published 17th Feb 2017

This  A4 sized new book covers Martin Hannett and the equipment he used for producing sounds with Joy Division and early New Order plus the sounds he produced for Happy Mondays, Buzzcocks, Nico, Magazine, Stone Roses and U2. It also covers Strawberry Studios which was opened (its 50th anniversary is 2017) and initially used by 10CC for their best albums and singles and block booked by Factory and Hannett from 1979 for many of Hannett's punk and post punk recordings. There’s also a section on Hannett and Tosh Ryan's Rabid Records and Absurd Records, which were an influence on Tony Wilson setting up Factory Records.

The book was conceived originally as a companion book, about Martin Hannett’s equipment, to Chris Hewitt’s other book  “Martin Hannett - Pleasures of  The Unknown” and the film/DVD “Martin Hannett - He wasn’t just the fifth member of Joy Division”.

As material was being collected for this second book on Hannett, the project expanded to include a lot about his work at Strawberry Studios, Stockport and subsequently a section about Strawberry Studios in the years before Martin Hannett started to hire the place and then another section developed about the Rabid Records HQ on Cotton Lane in Withington, Manchester. Rabid was probably the first punk label to put bands into Strawberry Studios. If Rabid and Factory couldn’t afford to record the whole session at Strawberry Studios then they would use Pennine in Oldham and Cargo in Rochdale and then Martin Hannett would bring the tapes to Strawberry for final mixing.

The headstone at Martin Hannett’s grave in Manchester’s Southern Cemetery states “Martin Hannett - Creator of  The Manchester Sound”.  He certainly created the Manchester punk and post punk sound and a lot of that he created in Strawberry with his array of electronic toys shown in this book. But you could also credit Strawberry Studios with creating the earlier pre-punk Manchester sound. Graham Gouldman obviously wrote material for Herman’s Hermits and The Hollies, Eric Stewart was a Mindbender and when they recorded as Hotlegs and then 10cc they clearly put Manchester on the map and the studio was also used pre-punk by Manchester area bands like Barclay James Harvest and Sad Cafe.

The common thread running through Strawberry Studios operation, Factory Records operation, Martin Hannett and Tosh Ryan’s Rabid and Absurd Record labels operation, was that they all believed that bands and the music industry should not have to go off to London to record and put records out. They believed in the bands from Greater Manchester towns as a force to be reckoned with and wanted to create a Manchester-based music industry. 

So as 2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of Strawberry Studios and the fortieth aniversary of Rabid Records we can be thankful that these musical pioneers in Manchester Rock laid those foundation stones.

The book which is A4 glossy and a lot of colour photos is £23 plus £6 postage in the UK  paypal to hawkethos@which.net  or tel 07970 219701 for card orders

The book which is A4 glossy and a lot of colour photos is £23 plus £6 postage in the UK 

To buy -

email the author Chris Hewitt ozitrecords@which.net or phone Chris Hewitt on  07970 219701

Paypal to hawkethos@which.net 

The Royal Ruler & the Railway DJ:
The Autobiographies of Tony Prince and Jan Sestak

THE ROYAL RULER & THE RAILWAY DJ, is a double autobiography from both sides of the Iron Curtain. This is the story of the communist effect on the teenagers and musicians in Czechoslovakia, set against the remarkable career of Tony Prince, a DJ who rocked the boat, met Elvis Presley, sang with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, toured with the Osmonds and partied with Led Zeppelin.

Tony became the only DJ to perform inside the iron curtain not long after the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia which is where the authors first met. This is the story of the daddy of all radio stations and the DJs who entertained an estimated 100 million trans-european listeners every night.

More info here

The Who ...

Neil Cossar is working with Manchester based Author Richard Houghton who wants to hear from anyone who saw The Who (or their earlier incarnations as The Detours and The High Numbers) perform with legendary drummer Keith Moon and help tell the story of the group in the words of their fans.

They are going to feature these memories in a book to be published next year.  

Interesting in adding your memories?  Contact Neil at neil@thisdayinmusic.com

Looking for ...

Anyone know the name of a band that played at regular dances and events in the 50s/60s in the CIS building or CWS. Any ideas?

Hi there, am hoping that you might be able to help me (well when I say me I mean my auntie) she is trying to find a date for a time when my uncle played one of the support acts to The Kinks.

This was in 1963 but doesn't know which month? His band was called The Headliners and it was at the Empire Theatre, Waterloo Street, Oldham.

It was a talent contest and Ven Tracey and the Diablos were the winners and my uncles band The Headliners came third and that's how they ended up supporting The Kinks. I know its a long shot but someone told her about Manchester beat and I saw your email address on there.

Replies to paul@manchesterbeat.com

Would love info on ALL groups/DJs/Venues not on the site, including:

Harlem Spirit (late 60s)- Apollo 7 - Peaceful Soul - T-Dynamics - The Fabulous Fredsmen- Talismen - Rangers - Bo-weevils - Apaches - Rita and the Beetroots - New - Vulcans - Purple Haze - Emperors - Skyliners - InSect - Mitres - Saints and Sinners - The Fontanas - Nomads - Pipsways - Sun Set - Four Runners - Rockies - Pattern People - Jason and the Argonauts - the New Herd

New page - WHO ARE THEY?

Pictures or info on groups we are trying to name or find members.  CLICK HERE


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