The North Will Rise Again by John Robb - BOOK REVIEW

Manchester, so much to answer for. Is there a city better placed to challenge London as the most important musical city in Britain? John Robb interviews pretty much all the major players from the Manchester music scene for this book and makes a strong argument that this is the case.

He takes us on a trip from the Buzzcocks organising the first Sex Pistols gig in the city to Oasis becoming the biggest band in the world. In between we read about Joy Division’s transformation into New Order, the unique Factory Records, the birth and demise of the Hacienda, the Smiths creating and defining indie and the emergence of Madchester with the Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses and many more.

The sheer amount of great bands from this city makes this book well worth reading for any music fan. The pages are scattered with interviews from influential characters like Pete Shelley, Howard Devoto, Morrissey, Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher.

The significance of Factory Records is not underplayed. Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton and Martin Hannett are eulogised for their input and cultural legacy.

The North Will Rise Again is a book which tackles what makes Manchester such a hub for innovative music. Along with Tony Wilson’s book 24 Hour Party People, it paints a picture of a creative city with the people who live and come from there at the heart of it.