When I told my friends back in London I was moving to Manchester most of them looked at me like I was crazy. I guess it’s understandable; to most people located south of the Watford junction ‘up north’ is a byword for an imagined post industrial wilderness rife with incest and guys in baseball caps trying to sell you pills, with a musical 'scene' that exists solely to pay tribute to the city's 'lottery winners with guitars' heritage of the last 15 years.
It kind of is and it kind of isn't. I mean, after my first week here I pretty much wanted to kill myself, but then I started to catch glimpses beneath the (lad) rock surface and found ample reason for hope.
Lurking in the shadows of this former cottonpolis are a growing number of bands, promoters and nights who have no interest in pandering to lazy media constructed expectations of what Manchester should sound like, preferring instead to define it on their own terms.
Perhaps the most exciting band currently emerging from this Manchester not Manchester movement are Copycats, a group comprised of 3 heavily fringed 'disturbed teens' who make playing post-Testicicles spazzcore pop sound the most fun thing in the world. They've only been together a few months but are already making waves off the back of their performances at local underage gigs; just don't expect to catch them in Sale anytime soon; last time they played there singer AH got punched in the face and they encountered (in a local takeaway) 'some woman (who) had gotten the shit beaten out of her and coughed blood everywhere' which they describe as 'Fucking whack'.
That they recently won some Skins competition (to support The Teenagers) will undoubtedly polarise people but I’m sure they wouldn’t have it any other way. Check out the below mp3 of their Fox track to see whats going on.
Words: Billy Idle