The Smiths

Manchester, England

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I grew up in the north of England and it was generally always grey skies and rain. We don’t tend to get the best of weather up here, you could probably call it dull at best; like the weather things often seemed pretty bleak (Being a teenager at the time and all). I found, along with the people I hung around with at the time, a certain type of music to define how I felt, and there was a certain place that was the home of that…Manchester.

Old Trafford at sunset

Mecca to Manchester

I actually hail from the other side of the Peaks (Peak District) to Manchester, much closer to Sheffield and although the city is great and has a rich musical and football history in itself, I still feel much more of an affinity with Manchester. Manchester has become my spiritual home. That statement probably sounds pretty crazy to a lot of people that live there but it is home to two of my greatest passions in life, football and music. It is home of my favourite football team Manchester United and the birthplace of bands from my youth The Smiths and The Stone Roses. A perfect example of these two passions of mine blending is when Man U comes out to the sound of The Stone Roses’ classic song ‘This Is The One’ before a game.

I have traveled to Manchester numerous times over the years (a real pilgrimage I know!) and the city can come across like many other cities in England, fairly ordinary and drab and suffering from the same economic illness as most of the rest of the country. Arrive at Old Trafford, otherwise known as The Theater of Dreams, however and hear the legendary songs and for me the history and true culture of the great city comes to life and it’s good times once again!

Morrisey & Marr playing live

Pic courtesy of Paul Slattery