#MANCUNIA - The story so far.....
The Mancunia Promotions story started way back in 1990 when myself, owner/founder of Mancunia Promotions won a DJ competition judged by a local radio station with the winners going on to work as DJs in their town. I was given cash weekly to purchase new up to date records in time for playing to crowds at youth clubs and school disco’s at the weekend.
In 1990-1991 we had some excellent music around, in my eyes and ears, some of the best music of all time with the Madchester baggy era to choose from including bands like Happy Mondays and Stone Roses blazing a trail, skater bands on the rise leading to the massive Seattle grunge scene lead by Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Not only that but the rave and dance scene was in full swing underground and bursting through the main stream with bands like The Shamen, Prodigy, KLF, SL2 and many more.
All this opened my eyes to the wider worldwide music scene and all its genres. I went on to hook up with young local bands and put nights on together from the age of 11 to 15, dance nights, grunge nights, indie nights, town hall gigs and weekly slots at youth clubs. I call this period the apprenticeship.
Mancunia Promotions was then officially born some years later when I embarked on a trip to Cyprus to go to a small festival I had heard of run by an ex-pat promoter called Chris Topliss who lives on the island, and whom during this trip I became good friends with. Chris’ hard work and excellent line up of The Charlatans, The Enemy, The Twang and Petebox stirred up my early passion for music and putting on shows and a few months later on returning to the UK I teamed up with Chris to host ‘Mancunia Promotions’ first live music nights – The Napa Live reunion shows in Aberdeen and Manchester.
In Aberdeen we had a top line up with indie band The Tricks, world famous beat boxer The Petebox, MNQ22 a hip hop trio from Manchester with local house DJs to spin into the early hours. On top of that we had a legend of the before mentioned Madchester indie scene as our compere for the evening, Happy Mondays ‘Bez’.
The following week we did it all over again, this time in Manchester with the same line up except a special late addition to the bill, a band we had heard a lot about in a small time having recently supported Kasabian in Sheffield and Manchester, Modern Faces. This gig with Modern Faces started a long affiliation with the band and myself that continues today. The Stories of this particular night were all pure unadulterated rock n roll ones still told in Green Rooms today.
In the crowd that night we had members from Echo & The Bunnymen, Twisted Wheel and The Twang. Following this gig The Twang went onto invite Modern Faces to support them at Manchester Academy one month later in a gig we gained press passes for. This leading to Modern Faces going on to gig more times with The Twang in places like Hull and Aberdeen a couple of years later. This was a special band I wanted to hit the road and gig regularly with.
Two months later we put on another event at Antwerp Mansion in Manchester with Hip Hop and House music the theme of the night before we focused on our real passion – Indie music.
We then collaborated with Modern Faces to put on our first tour which spanned the entire UK towards the middle and end of 2012 where we put headline shows on for Modern Faces in places like Aberdeen, Manchester, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and London.
The tour took us to November 2012 and along the way we sought out the very best new local bands to support Modern Faces along the way and started further affiliations with some top new bands that joined us on that tour including bands like The Slow Readers Club who played Leeds, Sheffield and London on the tour. Slydigs who joined us in Hull with The Black Delta Movement and Alistair Sheerin. The Ruckus in Leeds were another top band that we had the pleasure to give more shows to in Manchester as well as all the above.
In Manchester at our first Dry Live show in August 2012 we had a line up of Modern Faces, Daystar, Modern Alarms and The So & So’s. Daystar split up one week before the gig acrimoniously and frontman Simon formed Puppet Rebellion while the rest of the Daystar lads formed Purple Heart Parade. Both bands played their first ever gigs with Mancunia Promotions at the start of 2013 as we commenced a monthly night at Dry Live and both have gone onto local success.
In the spring we took Slydigs on tour following the release of their debut album ‘Never to be Tamed’, with sell out shows in Manchester and Warrington with further dates in Leicester, Sunderland, Hull and London.
We also were invited to join forces with bands Sptfyr and Slydigs for The Indie Soccer Sixes at David Beckhams Academy in Greenwich, London in early 2013 with our Mancunia/Slydigs/Sptfyr FC progressing to the quarter finals only for the rock n roll lifestyle of the day and night before to catch up with us and Slydigs frontman Deans dodgy ankles. Beaten 3-2 by Little Night Terrors.
We put on our first festival in summer 2013 in Manchester’s Castlefield where we had an indoor and outdoor stage and 12 of the best new handpicked acts from all corners of the UK.
The One Day/One Love festival was a brilliant success with an amazing line up featuring Modern Faces, Sptfyr, Stolen Haven and Alistair Sheerin amongst others.
Monthly nights continued and in December 2013 we hosted another big event, The One Night/One Love Festival featured 7 of the UKs best new bands headlined by the Slow Readers Club with Watfords mega new band The Spitfires and Sheffields The Sherlocks and Manchester’s Full On Mighty Riders in an event sponsored by our friends at Irrigated Soul Clothing.
Guests from Manchester United were in the crowd following our recent partnership for Msncunia to provide half time music at Old Trafford from new local bands during Champions League and Premiership matches.
The Start of 2014 saw us kick off January with 3 gigs before a run of gigs on ten consecutive weekends with double headers on the same night at different venues and sometimes in Different countries.
We worked with huge clothes companies like Your Own and Pretty Green tying in Fashion with Music as some of our artists got kitted out in fine stage clobber, with Pretty Green offering instore discount for anyone that had tickets for Our Modern Faces dates when we returned with the band in March 2014. This time for 2 special shows, Manchesters Dry Live and Sheffields The Plug, filling both venues with two sterling shows.
This led us back to Aberdeen, where it all started with one of our best shows to date as Manchester baggy legends Northside headlined our latest event in front of a sell out crowd of music lovers
That was spring 2014 where we also launched our band merchanuse service.
With further gigs in Aberdeen in 2014 from Modern Faces following Slydigs last gig before the bands arena tour supporting legends ‘The Who’.
2015 sees us take in a spring tour followed by our biggest show to date – Black Grape at The Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen in July 2015
Written by Anton Pell, Founder/Owner, Mancunia Promotions
Categories: Mancunia Magazine Article's