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Pride Of Manchester
Pride Of Manchester - The Top 100 Manchester Bands

The most listened to bands from Manchester on Spotify and Deezer

List includes artists from Greater Manchester, groups formed in Manchester, bands with Mancunian lead singers or key musicians, RNCM and Chetham's alumni, and artists with a very strong Manchester connection. We've excluded those artists born in Manchester but who left as young children
~ Updated 5 December 2018 ~
Sasha (Re-Entry) 100 ~ Sasha Listen
203,000 listeners a month

The North Wales DJ and producer famously started his career at The Hacienda in 1988, living in Disley for two years before taking his form of trance and house to Stoke-on-Trent. He played his first ever set at a club in Stockport

See him live at MANCHESTER APOLLO - 15th December 2018
Dario G (92) 99 ~ Dario G Listen
217,000 listeners a month

Named after Crewe Alexandra's long-serving football manager, the multi-million selling electronica pop trio were originally formed at Salford University in 1989 by Crewe-born Paul Spencer and Welsh friend Scott Rosser

Mammal Hands

(New Entry) 98 ~ Aitch

221,000 listeners a month

Increasingly popular 19 year old freestyle rapper from New Moston, signed to Manchester's Northern Quarterz entertainment company. Yet to have chart success despite his "Straight Rhymez" track enjoying over 5 million YouTube views, and 2.5 million Spotify streams.


(96) 97 ~ K-Klass

222,000 listeners

1990s electronica act formed by Interstate's Andy Williams and Carl Thomas when they met Russ Morgan and Paul Roberts at The Hacienda in 1988, basing themselves in Wrexham and Manchester, adding Mancunian vocalist Bobbi Depasois. As well as their own hits, they have remixed some of the biggest names in music.

Swing Out Sister (95) 96 ~ Swing Out Sister Listen
225,000 listeners a month
Legendary soulful jazz pop trio famed for the 1986 hit "Breakout". Formed in Manchester after a chance meeting at The Hacienda by A Certain Ratio keyboard player Andy Connell, former Magazine drummer Martin Jackson and Nottingham born model Corinne Drewery. Still based in Manchester, they are now a duo.


GoGo Penguin (94) 95 ~ GoGo Penguin Listen
227,000 listeners a month

Mercury Prize-shortlisted Manchester-based leftfield jazz piano trio, formed in 2012, who have topped the jazz charts and reached the UK Top 75 with their "Man Made Object" and "Humdrum Star" albums, selling out London's Royal Albert Hall in the process..

Matthew Halsall

(100) 94 ~ Matthew Halsall

229,000 listeners a month

MOBO-nominated Manchester based jazz trumpeter, composer and founder of the city's influential Gondwana Records label, who has won rave reviews since his debut in 2008. His album "Fletcher Moss Park" includes Mancunian guitarist Stuart McCallum of the Cinematic Orchestra

Shayne Ward (91) 93 ~ Shayne Ward Listen
236,000 listeners a month

2005 winner of the second series of X-Factor, from Tameside. Since 2015, the match-going Manchester United fan has acted in Coronation Street, following other Manchester musicians like Davy Jones of The Monkees, Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, Kym Marsh, Adam Rickitt and Richard Fleeshman

Kajagoogoo (89) 92 ~ Kajagoogoo Listen
240,000 listeners a month

80s new wave band from Leighton Buzzard (which may explain the haircuts), who enjoyed international success in 1982 whilst fronted by Pemberton-born and raised Mark Hammall. Better known by his stage name of Lamahl, they sacked him after just a year together and he went on to have a successful solo career whilst his original band struggled to recreate their initial success

John Foxx (80) 91 ~ John Foxx Listen
250,000 listeners a month

Chorley singer, real name Dennis Leigh, who started his career playing the Bolton Octagon and in Salford pubs in 1973. Disillusioned at the lack of a music scene in Manchester at the time, he moved to London and formed Ultravox in 1976, before going solo in 1979, being replaced by Midge Ure [why we have excluded them from this list].

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Floating Points (85) 90 ~ Floating Points Listen
254,000 listeners a month

Classically trained Mancunian electronic musician and neuroscientist, Sam Shepherd. The son of a Manchester vicar, he was a chorister at Manchester Cathedral before going on to study piano at Chetham’s School of Music. Yet to have chart success

Johnny Marr (93) 89 ~ Johnny Marr Listen
254,000 listeners a month

Following the Smiths break up in 1987, the Ardwick guitarist (who appears a few times on this list), reappeared under his own name, with his band The Healers in 2003, and eventually as a solo artist in 2013. A big Manchester City fan, his latest album "Call The Comet" reached UK no.7 in June 2018.

Lamb (81) 88 ~ Lamb Listen
257,000 listeners a month

Unique Mancunian electronica duo formed in 2006 by producer Andy Barlow and folk singer/songwriter Lou Rhodes. Popular in mainland Europe, they topped the charts in Portugal with the 2001 single "Gabriel"

Badly Drawn Boy (86) 87 ~ Badly Drawn Boy Listen
258,000 listeners a month

Mancunian folk pop singer/songwriter brought up in Breightmet, Bolton. Co-owner of iconic Manchester record label Twisted Nerve, he recorded the soundtrack for the 2002 movie "About A Boy". He lives in Didsbury

Mr Scruff (83) 86 ~ Mr Scruff Listen
261,000 listeners a month

Popular around Manchester since 1995, and finding wider fame due to his 1999 sampling of Moondog (who died just a few weeks after its release), Stockport electronic jazz DJ, Andy Carthy, is also the owner of Teacup in the Northern Quarter


(88) 85 ~ N-Trance Listen

268,000 listeners a month

Multi-million selling dance group formed at The Oldham College in 1990. Regular guest vocalist Kelly Llorenna, also comes from Oldham

See them live at MANCHESTER REBELLION - 8th Dec 2018
The Fall (82) 84 ~ The Fall Listen
269,000 listeners a month

Prolific post-punk band formed in Prestwich, 1976. Despite having over 66 former members, reading like a Who's Who of Manchester music, only one member remained constant in over 40 years: the legendary Mark E. Smith, a man so infamously contrary he started supporting City as it was the opposite team of his father and friends. He died on the 24th January 2018, aged 60, following a long illness.

Mason Maynard

(75) 83 ~ Mason Maynard

270,000 listeners a month

Upcoming young Manchester DJ who emerged through the Solardo Sessions and Warehouse Project. Yet to have chart success.

See him live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 27th Dec 2018
LMC (87) 82 ~ LMC Listen
278,000 listeners a month

Chart-topping Tecno group from Chadderton keyboard player Lee Monteverde, Urmston's Matt Cadman and Warrington's Cris Nuttall, who also own the All Around The World record label. Manchester singer Rachel McFarlane, famous for her work with Loveland and N-Trance, provided vocals on their 2004 UK no.1 hit "Take Me To The Clouds Above".

AIM (79) 81 ~ Aim Listen
279,000 listeners a month

Electronic Hip Hop producer, Andrew Turner, whose sound would typify Manchester's Grand Central Records label. Originally from Barrow-in-Furness, and a regular at The Hacienda, he was discovered in Manchester by label boss Mark Rae (of Rae & Christian) in 1999

What's On in Manchester
Marconi Union (90) 80 ~ Marconi Union Listen
285,000 listeners a month

Ground-breaking Mancunian instrumental trio whose "Weightless" track has been streamed 46 million times. Made with the help of sound therapists, it is said to be the most soothing track ever recorded, with scientists explaining that it reduces overall anxiety by 65%. Do not listen to whilst driving though!

Simian Mobile Disco (78) 79 ~ Simian Mobile Disco Listen
287,000 listeners a month

DJ and production spin-off from James Ford and Jas Shaw after their University of Manchester-formed electro band Simian split in 2005

Urban Cookie Collective (84) 78 ~ Urban Cookie Collective Listen
293,000 listeners a month

Mancunian Eurodance band formed in 1992 by ex-Yargo, A Guy Called Gerald and Together keyboard player Rohan Heath. Lead singer Diane Charlemagne died in 2015

Starsailor 77 ~ Starsailor Listen
304,000 listeners a month

Successful indie band formed at Wigan & Leigh College in 1999. Incredibly popular and much-hyped on the Manchester scene, they were selling out the city's venues long before they had even released their debut album (which reached no.2 in 2001). Lead singer James Walsh lives in Castlefield

Richard Ashcroft (71) 76 ~ Richard Ashcroft Listen
360,000 listeners a month

The iconic Wigan frontman of The Verve went solo in 2000. An avid Manchester United fan, he played at junior level for Wigan Athletic, idolising George Best

See him live at ALBERT HALL - 23rd Dec 2018 & NEIGHBOURHOOD FESTIVAL - Sunday 26th May 2019
Sweet Female Attitude (76) 75 ~ Sweet Female Attitude Listen
363,000 listeners a month

One-hit garage duo from Manchester who were signed to the music management company started by lottery winner, David White. The other band he managed , TKO, featuring his daughter Katie, would go on to become The Ting Tings. With Catherine Cassidy having retired from the record industry, Leanne Brown re-emerged with a new production team under the original name in 2017.

See them live at BREDBURY HALL - 26th Dec 2018
TCTS (72) 74 ~ TCTS Listen

381,000 listeners a month

Mancunian electronica DJ Sam O'Neill popular on Spotify and Deezer but still to have chart success,
Mammal Hands

(New Entry) 73 ~ Mammal Hands

389,000 listeners a month

Incredible jazz trio who met whilst busking in Norfolk. Based in their hometown of Norwich as well as "home from home" Manchester's 80 Hertz Studios, they are signed to Matthew Halsall's Mancunian Gondwana Records label, and toured with Manchester's GoGo Penguin.

When In Rome (70) 72 ~ When In Rome Listen
392,000 listeners a month

New wave Manchester band formed in 1988 who enjoyed greater success in America where they reached no.11 on the Billboard Hot100 and topped the Dance chart with "The Promise" (it failed to even reach the Top 40 back home).

Ian Brown

(73) 71 ~ Ian Brown Listen

410,000 listeners a month

Warrington-born, Altrincham-raised Stone Roses frontman who went solo in 1998. The lyrics to his "Longsight M13" song were printed inside the soul of the ubercool limited edition Adidas Ian Brown Superstar shoes, which he designed in the colours of his beloved Manchester United

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Viola Beach (69) 70 ~ Viola Beach Listen
422,000 listeners a month

Warrington band tipped for huge success before tragically being killed in Sweden in 2016 when the car, in which they were travelling with their manager, plummeted 80 foot from a raising road bridge into the canal below. Heavily involved in both the Manchester and Liverpool music scenes, they were about to go on tour with Stockport band, Blossoms. Manchester City and Tottenham fans held a minute's applause in their memory the following match. Released posthumously, their debut album topped the UK charts

Everything Everything

(66) 69 ~ Everything Everything Listen

424,000 listeners a month
Darlings of the Manchester music scene, this art pop group was formed at Salford University in 2007 by three friends from Hexham, Northumberland
See them live at VICTORIA WAREHOUSE - 31st Dec 2018
The Cribs 68 ~ The Cribs Listen
427,000 listeners a month

Yorkshire rockers from Wakefield, who enjoyed their greatest success with the unmistakable sound of Johnny Marr as full-time band member and songwriter from 2009-2011, recording the "Ignore The Ignorant" album at Moolah Rouge recording studio in Stockport

Simian 67 ~ Simian Listen
442,000 listeners a month

Dance rock band formed in 2000 while members of the band were studying at the University of Manchester. They split in 2005, spawning the splinter group Simian Mobile Disco, shortly before French DJs Justice had a hit with the remix of their "Never Be Alone" track (as "We Are Your Friends") in 2016

Umtimate Painting (74) 66 ~ Ben Pearce Listen
443,000 listeners a month

Popular in Ibiza, the Mancunian Deep House DJ incorporates punk and metal, hip-hop, electronica, soul and funk influences in his tracks, which include the 2013 Top 10 hit "What I Might Do".

Happy Mondays (64) 65 ~ Happy Mondays Listen
448,000 listeners a month

Darlings of the Madchester and Hacienda rave scene, formed in Little Hulton in 1990. Huge Reds, their most famous concert took place rather bizaarely at Leeds United's Elland Road stadium in 1991 with Shaun Ryder sarcastically heckling the crowd full of travelling Mancunians with the Leeds hooligan chant of "Are you Man U, you?". The movie "24 Hour Party People" (named after one of their songs) tells the tale of their contribution to the rise and fall of Factory Records [video]

IAMDDB (62) 64 ~ IAMDDB Listen
480,000 listeners a month

Hotly-tipped Mancunian urban jazz vocalist, Diana Debrito, was born to Portuguese and Angolan musician parents. Yet to have chart success

Doves (61) 63 ~ Doves Listen
493,000 listeners a month
Wilmslow indie band formed in 1999 by brothers Jez and Andy Williams with Wilmslow High School friend, Jimi Goodwin, reinventing themselves from their previous 1991 dance act Sub Sub. Big Manchester City fans, their catalogue includes many Greater Manchester inspired songs
See them live with NOEL GALLAGHER at HEATON PARK - 7th June 2019
Herman's Hermits (60) 62 ~ Herman's Hermits Listen
507,000 listeners a month

Multi-million selling 1960s beat group from Davyhulme who were huge in America, starring in three movies, one of which, "Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" spawned the song "It's Nice To Be Out In The Morning", written about Manchester and namechecking "Ardwick Green, Beswick, Hulme, Harpurhey, Whalley Range and Old Trafford" together with "Charlton, Best and Law" [video]. An adapted version of their song "I'm Into Something Good" is a terrace favourite amongst United fans. Lead guitarist Derek "Lek" Leckenby died in 1994 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, aged 51

The The (59) 61 ~ The The Listen
524,000 listeners a month
Matt Johnson's post-punk band from London who enjoyed their greatest success with Johnny Marr as lead guitarist/songwriter and harmonica player (1988-1994). He rejoined the band for the "We Can't Stop What's Coming" single in 2017
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The Charlatans (56) 60 ~ The Charlatans Listen
549,000 listeners a month
Iconic indie band originally formed in Walsall, West Midlands, in 1989 before relocating to Northwich, the home town of their Manchester United supporting Salford-born lead singer Tim Burgess. Part of the Madchester scene, they are closely associated with Manchester. Keyboard player Rob Collins was killed in a car crash after drink-driving in 1996, aged just 36
See them live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 8th Dec 2018
Buzzcocks (53) 59 ~ Buzzcocks Listen
560,000 listeners a month
Punk rock band formed in Bolton in 1976, going on to be one of the most influential Manchester bands ever
Chloe Foy (65) 58 ~ Chloe Foy Listen
564,000 listeners a month

Fresh from supporting Chorlton-based Californian Jesca Hoop, the classically trained Manchester folk artist is enjoying a massive surge in Spotify followers, thanks to media coverage of her carefully constructed arrangements and cryptic lyrics, which has seen her compared to Laura Marling and Sharon van Etten. One to watch!

See her live at Absolute Beginners - THE KING'S ARMS SALFORD - 9th Dec 2018
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (58) 57 ~ BBC Philharmonic Listen
570,000 listeners a month

Symphony orchestra formed in Old Trafford, 1922, as the 2ZY Orchestra, for a radio station of the same name. Part-funded by the BBC, it was renamed the Northern Wireless Orchestra in 1926, and, following regional cuts, the Northern Studio Orchestra in 1930. Remodelled as the BBC Northern Orchestra in 1934 and, later, the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra in 1967. It eventually became the BBC Philharmonic in 1982, located at the broadcaster's old studios on Oxford Road, together with The Bridgewater Hall, before relocating to Media City in 2011, just metres from its birthplace

Kathryn Stott (57) 56 ~ Kathryn Stott Listen
592,000 listeners a month
Although born up the road in Nelson, this world famous pianist lives in Manchester and teaches at Chethams School Of Music (and also at the RNCM, previously), famously organising major piano festivals at the Bridgewater Hall (1995, 2000, 2003). She was appointed the musical director of the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society in 1998 and is also on the board of the Hallé Orchestra, enjoying much success in the UK Classical charts for her collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma.
Graham Nash (54) 55 ~ Graham Nash Listen
633,000 listeners a month
The American-based Salford singer/songwriter first scored solo success in 1971 after leaving the Hollies and forming Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970) and, later, Crosby & Nash (1972). A big Manchester United, he grew up near their stadium in Ordsall and attended the famous Salford Lads’ Club
Asia (49) 54 ~ Asia Listen
682,000 listeners a month
80's Prog Rock supergroup, popular in America, formed by legendary Stockport keyboard player Geoffrey Downes with Steve Howe (Yes), John Wetton (King Crimson), and Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) in 1981
Solardo (52) 53 ~ Solardo Listen
687,000 listeners a month

Mancunian house music production duo, Mark Richard and James Eliot, who formed in 2016. Popular on the festival circuit, they are yet to have chart success

See them live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 26th & 27th Dec 2018
ABC (51) 52 ~ ABC Listen
689,000 listeners a month
New Romantic Sheffield pop band fronted by Manchester United fan Martin Fry. Born in Stretford and raised in Cheadle Hulme, he was invited to join the group after interviewing them (in their previous guise) for his "Modern Drugs" fanzine in 1978
See them live at THE BRIDGEWATER HALL - 12th April 2019
Courteeners (50) 51 ~ Courteeners Listen
714,000 listeners a month
Stadium rockers from Middleton and former Manchester United ball boys who have many locally inspired songs including "Fallowfield Hillbilly"
See them live with JAMES at HEATON PARK - 15th June 2019
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Elbow (45) 50 ~ Elbow Listen
802,000 listeners a month
Mercury Music Prize winning band formed at Bury College in 1990. Amongst many Manchester-inspired songs, their hit "Grounds For Divorce" was written about The Temple of Convenience bar on Oldham Street
See them live at CASTLEFIELD BOWL - 9th July 2019
Pale Waves (55) 49 ~ Pale Waves Listen
803,000 listeners a month

Manchester synth pop group signed to The 1975's label in 2017. Formed in 2014 by BIMM Manchester students, originally as "Creek", their debut album "My Mind Makes Noises" entered the UK charts at no.8 in September '18

See them live with THE COURTEENERS & JAMES at HEATON PARK - 15th June 2019
Hurts (63) 48 ~ Hurts Listen
805,000 listeners a month
Hugely popular in mainland Europe, the synth popstars originally met outside 42nd Street nightclub in 2005. After unsuccessful incarnations as Manchester bands, Bureau, and later Daggers, they scored huge success as a duo in 2010. Big Manchester United fans, they once stole a lifesize Bastian Schweinsteiger cardboard model from a service station in Germany and took it on tour with them for seven months
M People 47 ~ M People Listen
844,000 listeners a month

One of the most successful pop bands of the 1990s, this Manchester band were formed by original Hacienda DJ and former Quando Quango founder, Mike Pickering, a big Manchester City fan. The "M" being for 'Mike' and not 'Manchester' as many people presume. The hit song "Angel Street" refers to the Northern Quarter road behind the Co-op's new headquarters

See HEATHER SMALL live at HOLMFIRTH - 19th Apr 2019.
Crazy Penis (48) 46 ~ Crazy P Listen
847,000 listeners a month

Whilst Swing Out Sister might be a soulful Manchester pop band fronted by a Nottingham girl, Crazy P (or Crazy Penis, as they were previously known), are a soulful Nottingham electronica band fronted by a Manchester girl, Danielle Moore, from Bury. Formed in Manchester in 1996, they are yet to have chart success

McFly (46) 45 ~ McFly Listen
866,000 listeners a month
London pop band fronted by Bolton vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Danny Jones, who shares lead vocals with Londoner Tom Fletcher. As well as co-writing the No.1 singles "I'll Be OK", "Please, Please" and "Star Girl", he personally wrote the hits "That Girl" and "The Ballad of Paul K". A lifelong Bolton Wanderers fan
Geko (40) 44 ~ Geko Listen
942,000 listeners a month

20 year old Manchester rapper who scored his only UK chart success in August 2018, reaching no.56 with "6:30". Of North African descent, which influences his afrobeats sound, he started rapping as an 8 year old, recording from just 14. In June 2017, barely days after his childhood fcriend Salman Abedi murdered 22 children and adults at Manchester Arena, he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer, being told by doctors that he had only one year left to live. Days later, he retracted the story sparking accusations he was lying

The Cult (44) 43 ~ The Cult Listen
942,000 listeners a month
Classic rock band formed in 1983 by Bradford vocalist Ian Astbury and Hulme born and raised guitarist Billy Duffy (formerly of Manchester punk band The Nosebleeds), A big Manchester City fan, he famously introduced Morrissey to Johnny Marr, leading to the formation of The Smiths
Liam Gallagher (43) 42 ~ Liam Gallagher Listen
963,000 listeners a month
The Burnage born, London living, former Oasis frontman went solo in June 2017, performing his first gig at the Ritz in Manchester with all proceeds going to victims of the previous week's Manchester terror attack. He followed it up a few weeks later with a surprise appearance at Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester benefit concert. Whilst his backing band is made up of Americans and Londoners, original Oasis member Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs performs on two album tracks. Like brother Noel, he's a huge City fan
The Ting Tings (39) 41 ~ The Ting Tings Listen
995,000 listeners a month
Pop duo formed in Salford by Lowton-born Katie White and London friend Jules De Martino, who had originally been brought in by her father's music management company to write songs for her previous girl group, TKO, and Sweet Female Attitude
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Noel Gallagher (41) 40 ~ Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Listen
1.05 million listeners a month
Following the infamous split of Oasis in 2009, the Burnage born, Oxfordshire living guitarist reappeared in 2011 with his new band, made up of late era Oasis musicians. A huge Manchester City fan, he contributes a weekly update about the club to Talksport. Brought up a Blue by his father in an Irish family full of Reds, he's gone on record as saying that he doesn't want his own children to support the club. "I quite fancy being the only City fan in my house... And I quite fancy being the old Blue and jumping over the couch at them when we go 3-1 up."
See them live at HEATON PARK - 7th June 2019
Paul Lewis (42) 39 ~ Paul Lewis Listen
1.11 million listeners a month
Working class Liverpool-born classical pianist who was accepted into Manchester's Chetham's School of Music at the age of 14 in 1986, graduating four years later in 1990, and going on to become one of the most famous pianists in the world
Primal Scream (37) 38 ~ Primal Scream Listen
1.18 million listeners a month
Glasgow band with a strong Manchester connection. An integral part of the Madchester scene of the early 1990s, their sound was largely built around soulful gospel Mancunian co-lead vocalist Denise Johnson (1990-1996) and, since leaving the Stone Roses in 1996, Crumpsall bass player, Gary "Mani" Mounfield (1996-2011), who they described as "the best signing since Cantona!". Their iconic frontman, Bobby Gillespie, previously played bass in the Manchester-based Glasgow band The Wake, whilst original keyboard player, Martin Duffy, would later join The Charlatans after the death of Rob Collins
See him live at NEIGHBOURHOOD FESTIVAL - Saturday 25th May 2019
David Gray (38) 37 ~ David Gray Listen
1.19 million listeners a month
Folk rocker born in Sale and grew up in Altrincham before moving to Wales, aged 8, when his parents sold their house to Manchester United's Martin Buchan. He continued to return regularly to the city to visit family and watch United. His Best Man was the late Bury songwriter Brian Glancy, better known as "The Seldom Seen Kid" in Elbow's musical tribute to their mutual friend. Andy Barlow of Lamb programmed and co-wrote his "Mutineers" album whilst Neill MacColl, son of Salford folk legend Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, was a band member for most of his career
See him live at BRIDGEWATER HALL - 22nd March 2019
Blossoms (35) 36 ~ Blossoms Listen
1.19 million listeners a month
Madchester influenced band formed at Stockport School in 2013 and named after the Blossoms pub in the town. Big Manchester City fans, their eponymous debut album topped the UK charts in 2016, whilst their May 2018 follow up, "Cool Like You", reached UK no.4.
See them live at VICTORIA WAREHOUSE - 8th & 9th Dec 2018 & EDGLEY PARK - 22nd June 2019
Bugzy Malone (29) 35 ~ Bugzy Malone Listen
1.2 million listeners a month
Popular grime artist from Crumpsall who raps about his experiences growing up in a criminal family in North Manchester and, more recently, the wealth (and Lamborghini Huracán Spyder) his three Top 10 albums have brought him. A big Manchester United fan, most of his songs reference Manchester (and himself).
Chase & Status 34 ~ Chase & Status Listen
1.27 million listeners a month
Like The Chemical Brothers before them, this London drum & bass duo started their musical career whilst living together as students in Manchester (2003), also attracted to the city by the music of New Order and Joy Division. They collaborated with Stockport band Blossoms on the 2017 single "This Moment"

(36) 33 ~ Nico Listen

1.27 million listeners a month
Iconic German superstar model Christa Paeffgen was originally made famous by Andy Warhol in the 1960s whilst providing vocals on the Velvet Underground's 1967 debut album "The Velvet Underground & Nico". A heroin addict, she spent time living with Salford punk poet John Cooper Clarke in London, before moving to Prestwich in 1981 spending the last eight years of her life in Manchester before dying of a heart attack whilst cycling in Ibiza in 1988, aged 49. Whilst living in the city, she recorded her final studio album "Camera Obscura", linking up with Manchester musicians, The Faction (Graham 'Dids' Dowdall, a.k.a. Gagarin, and James Young, who would later write her biography "Songs They Never Play on the Radio."). The movie "Nico, 1988", which covers her time in the city is set for release in 2018 [watch trailer].
James (31) 32 ~ James Listen
1.33 million listeners a month
Arguably most Mancunians' favourite Manchester band, this seven piece indie folk rock band was formed in Whalley Range in 1982 with the Shrewsbury-raised University of Manchester drama student Tim Booth being added as lead singer after the band saw him dancing at the student union bar. Interestingly, they have a huge following with Manchester United fans ("Sit Down" was sang by Reds fans at the European Cup Winners Cup Final in Rotterdam, 1991, and many United songs are sang by fans at James concerts) however the original members of the band, Jim Glennie, Paul Gilbertson and Gavin Whelan were all Manchester City hooligans and Tim Booth is a Leeds United supporter
See them live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 8th December 2018 & HEATON PARK - 22nd June 2019
The Stone Roses (32) 31 ~ The Stone Roses Listen
1.37 million listeners a month
The band that kicked off the "Madchester" scene in 1988 were formed in Altrincham in 1980. Guitarist John Squire was an animator at nearby Cosgrove Hall studios. Whilst drummer Reni was once a ball boy at Maine Road, Ian Brown, John Squire and Mani are season ticket holders at Old Trafford, where Manchester United enter the field every game to their track "This Is The One"
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Mike & The Mechanics (28) 30 ~ Mike & The Mechanics Listen
1.43 million listeners a month
Side project of Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford which featured former Sad Cafe frontman Paul Young. The Wythenshawe singer, a big Manchester City fan, shared vocal duties with Paul Carrick from 1985 until his death, following a heart attack in 2000, aged 53. He provided lead vocals on the hits "All I Need Is A Miracle", "Word Of Mouth", "Taken In" and "Beggar On A Beach Of Gold" amongst others
See them live at BRIDGEWATER HALL - 18th March 2019
Riton (26) 29 ~ Riton Listen
1.44 million listeners a month
Electronica DJ from Newcastle, Henry Smithson, who started his career in Manchester with Mark Rae's Grand Central label in 2001 whilst working at the Fat City Records shop. Streamed 41 million times, his 2016 UK no.13 hit "Rinse & Repeat" is currently being used on the Vauxhall Corsa Energy advert.
Morrissey (30) 28 ~ Morrissey Listen
1.46 million listeners a month
Davyhulme-born former Smiths frontman Stephen Patrick Morrissey went solo in 1988. In 2006 he undertook a mini-tour of Manchester venues (The Lowry, Apollo, Opera House, and Bridgewater Hall), whilst his catalogue includes many Manchester-influenced songs, including "Roy's Keen" and "The Munich Air Disaster 1958", with the DVD of his 45th birthday concert at Manchester Arena titled "Who Put The M in Manchester?"
Lisa Stansfield (33) 27 ~ Lisa Stansfield Listen
1.47 million listeners a month
Multi-million selling Manchester born soul pop singer who grew up in Rochdale from the age of 11. A childhood friend of Shaun Ryder, he once said "Lisa's family are the only family in the whole of showbiz to make mine sound posh. She always reminds me of when she was little and at the Rainbow Rooms, or Talk Of The North, one of them hard-grafting Salford gaffs, and she always came first in the talent shows, whilst my dad, who was trying to be a stand-up comedian at the time, always ended up coming second"
See her live at THE LOWRY - 26th Oct 2019
The Buggles (25) 26 ~ The Buggles Listen
1.69 million listeners a month
The "Video Killed The Radiostar" new wave duo was formed by influential Stockport keyboard player Geoffrey Downes after meeting Trevor Horn in London, 1979
Bipolar Sunshine (20) 25 ~ Bipolar Sunshine Listen
1.71 million listeners a month
Chorlton-raised, former Kid British frontman, Adio Marchant, whom alongside his popular solo material and new Rabbithole project of Manchester musicians, provides the soulful vocals to DJ Snake's "Middle", which is the most streamed song ever featuring a Mancunian artist - an incredible 622 million times so far! A Manchester City fan, his solo material is popular on Spotify with "Whole Heart" being streamed 82 million times so far without gaining any chart success. In 2018, he formed the Manchester group, Rabbithole.
Crosby Stills & Nash (27) 24 ~ Crosby, Stills & Nash Listen
1.73 million listeners a month
American folk rock supergroup created by Salford's Graham Nash after leaving The Hollies in 1969. He wrote and sang lead vocals on the group's biggest hits "Just a Song Before I Go", "Wasted On The Way" and the track originally penned for The Hollies, which led to his departure after being rejected by the rest of band, "Marrakesh Express"
Cinematic Orchestra (24) 23 ~ The Cinematic Orchestra Listen
1.82 million listeners a month

Nu-jazz band formed in London by Jason Swinscoe in 1999. Most of the band are Mancunians however including Luke Flowers (drums), Stuart McCallum (guitar), Phil France (double bass) and John Ellis (piano) with Lamb's Lou Rhodes providing guest vocals. Many of the band went on to form Manchester folk act, The Breath

See Start McCallum live at CLITHEROE - 28th March 2019
Rixton (23) 22 ~ Rixton Listen
1.87 million listeners a month
Manchester boy band formed in 2012 by former Emmerdale actor Jake Roche (son of actor Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan). They seem to have disappeared without a trace since their last song was released mysteriously only on Soundcloud in December 2016. Like the lead singer's famous father, the band are United fans.
CSNY (22) 21 ~ Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Listen
2 million listeners a month
The incarnation of Salfordian Graham Nash's Americana folk rock band with the addition of Canadian legend Neil Young first appeared in 1969. Nash wrote and sings lead vocal on the hits "Our House" and a song rejected by his previous band The Hollies, "Teach Your Children"
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Chemical Brothers (21) 20 ~ The Chemical Brothers Listen
2.03 million listeners a month
Londoners who started their musical career (as the Dust Brothers), whilst studying at the University of Manchester between 1989 and 1992, running their own club nights. Attracted to the city by their love of New Order, Joy Division and The Hacienda, they lived at 237 Dickenson Road, Rusholme. They've kept a close relationship with Manchester, with guest vocalists including Tim Burgess, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and Bernard Sumner
See them live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 22nd Nov 2019
Modest Mouse (17) 19 ~ Modest Mouse Listen
2.14 million listeners a month
American band which enjoyed their greatest success with Manchester legend Johnny Marr as full-time song-writing guitarist between 2005 and 2009. Frontman Isaac Brock said of the Mancunian: "He made a cautious commitment to write and record with us, and then the tighter we got, he was like, ‘okay, let's tour too.' Then he was pretty much a member of the band—not pretty much; he's a full blown member of the band. It's really fuckin' nice."
The Hollies (19) 18 ~ The Hollies Listen
2.14 million listeners a month
The first Manchester band to hit the big time, formed in Salford, 1962, by Ordsall Primary School classmates Allan Clarke and Graham Nash who first bonded over their love of Manchester United, attending Salford Boys Club together. Their line up from 1969-1970 famously included a young session musician by the name of Reg Dwight, now better known as Elton John, who played piano on "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother"
The Outfield (18) 17 ~ The Outfield Listen
2.17 million listeners a month
Mancunian power pop trio popular in America, where they had eight Billboard hits in the 1980s despite remaining largely unheard of back home. They disbanded in 2014 following the death of guitarist John Spinks of liver cancer, aged 60
10cc (14) 16 ~ 10cc Listen
2.25 million listeners a month
International chart topping art rock band formed in Stockport in 1972. One of their famous songs was entitled "From Rochdale To Ocho Rios". They owned Strawberry Studios in Stockport from 1968-1983 where they produced the 1972 Manchester City song, "The Boys in Blue" [video]
See them live at BRIDGEWATER HALL - 10th March 2019
Joy Division (16) 15 ~ Joy Division Listen
2.29 million listeners a month
Influential Salford band formed in 1976, signed to Factory Records and fronted by Manchester City fan Ian Curtis. They would go on to become New Order following his suicide in 1980, aged 23, which is documented in the Cannes-winning movie "Control" [trailer]
See PETER HOOK live at HOLMFIRTH - 8th Feb 2019
The Monkees (15) 14 ~ The Monkees Listen
2.29 million listeners a month
1960s American pop band which included baby faced Stockport vocalist Davy Jones, who sang lead vocals on the smash hits, "Daydream Believer", "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You", and "Valleri", amongst many others. An ex-Coronation Street child star he left the city aged 15, A big United fan, an adapted version of "Daydream Believer" became a terrace favourite amongst Reds in the 1990s. He died of a heart attack in 2012, aged 66. A private memorial service was held at Lees Street Congregational Church in Openshaw, where he had performed as a child. His ashes were placed on his parent's grave there
Thin LIzzy
Thin LIzzy
13 ~ Thin Lizzy Listen
2.46 million listeners a month

Irish rock legends fronted by Phil Lynott, raised in both Moss Side and Dublin - producing a delightful Manc Irish dialect [video] - and also featuring Failsworth keyboard player Darren Wharton (who joined in 1981).

Like the songs "Johnny the Fox meets Jimmy the Weed" and "Waiting For An Alibi", their biggest hit, "The Boys Are Back In Town", was said to be written by Lynott about Manchester's Quality Street Gang criminals who were regulars at the Clifton Grange Hotel, a Whalley Range pub ran by his mother - the venue was immortalised by the band's song of the same name.

The actual location of "Dino's Bar & Grill", mentioned in "The Boys Are Back In Town", has been hotly contested, however Phil and his showbiz friends were known to frequent Deno's, a famous Greek Cypriot cabaret club and restaurant off Whitworth Street in the 1960's and 70's, which was popular with the Quality Street Gang and location of one of their most notorious fights. The owner, Denos Kitromilides, once famously turned away Mick Jagger for not wearing a tie.

Lynott died in 1986, aged just 36, from a heroin-related illness. In a cruel twist of fate, he never got to see his beloved Manchester United go on to dominate British football, as Alex Ferguson was only appointed manager a few months later. His statue stands on Harry Street, Dublin

Take That 12 ~ Take That Listen
2.57 million listeners a month
Manchester boy band manufactured by Nigel Martin-Smith in 1989 and initially targetted at the Canal Street gay scene. After splitting on 13 February 1996 (a date etched into the memory of many Mancunian women), they made an incredible record-breaking comeback in 2016 with the "Beautiful World" album, which included the song "Mancunian Way". The band also famously launched the career of Stoke-born Robbie Williams (who would make No.6 on this list if, unlike us, you're including him). Droylsden-born Howard Donald famously wore his Manchester United shirt whilst performing at Crumpsall-born Jason Orange's beloved City Of Manchester Stadium. Like Gary Barlow (from Frodsham), Oldham-born Mark Owen supports Liverpool despite having trials at United and Rochdale as a youngster, whilst playing for Chadderton FC
See them live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th & 27th May 2019
Rick Astley (10) 11 ~ Rick Astley Listen
3.17 million listeners a month
Newton-le-Willows singer who found fame in 1985 thanks to Manchester based producers Stock Aitken & Waterman, recording many of his international chart toppers in the old chapel in Castlefield. A match-going Manchester United fan, his career has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years thanks largely to exposure provided by Bolton comedian Peter Kay.
See him live with TAKE THAT at MANCHESTER ARENA - 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th & 27th May 2019
What's On in Manchester
Simply Red (11) 10 ~ Simply Red Listen
3.35 million listeners a month
One of the best-selling bands ever, formed in Manchester by Audenshaw lad Mick Hucknall in 1985 and has always featured Manchester musicians. Originally a punk band, The Frantic Elevators formed after The Sex Pistols famous 1976 gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, they moved to a more soulful approach in 1985, naming themselves after Hucknall's red hair, love of Manchester United and support for the Labour Party.
The Smiths (8) 9 ~ The Smiths Listen
3.48 million listeners a month

Hugely influential Manchester indie band formed by Johnny Marr and Stephen Patrick Morrissey in Bowdon, Hale, after being introduced to each other by Billy Duffy (The Cult) in 1982. Their political and locally-influenced lyrics summed up living in the city during the Thatcher-era better than anybody in songs like "Rusholme Ruffians" and "The Headmaster Ritual", whilst they also namecheck Whalley Range (in "Miserable Lie") and The Holy Name Church on Oxford Road ("Vicar In A Tutu"). "Suffer Little Children" also chronicles The Moors Murderers. The 1987 album, "Strangeways, Here We Come", was to be their final recording.

Half red (Morrissey and Rourke), half blue (Marr and Joyce), a future reunion is perhaps the most unlikely of all Manchester bands

See JOHNNY MARR live at MANCHESTER APOLLO - 18th November 2018
New Order (9) 8 ~ New Order Listen
3.51 million listeners a month

Perhaps the most influential Manchester band ever, formed in 1980 by the remaining members of Joy Division, following Ian Curtis's suicide. The flagship band of Manchester's iconic Factory Records and the famous Hacienda nightclub, of which they became owners.

As well as Manchester's 808 State, Chemical Brothers and Chase & Status, they are credited as being the biggest influence on the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, Moby and The Killers.

Despite making up after previous breakups, Gillian Gilbert left the band in 2005 to concentrate on raising her children (returning in 2011). Peter Hook bitterly left the band in 2009 and took the three remaining members to court in 2015, claiming lost royalties; a case only settled in September 2017. One thing they can still agree on though is football. Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook are both passionate Manchester United fans whilst Stephen Morris supports Macclesfield Town

The Verve 7 ~ The Verve Listen
5.3 million listeners a month

Incredibly popular Wigan rockers formed at Winstanley Sixth Form College in 1990. Starting out with a more psychedelic sound, their first gig was at the Honeysuckle Inn, Wigan. With internal band conflict throughout their career, they split in 1996 before reforming a year later to record their most successful album, "Urban Hymns".

After splitting again in 2000, lead singer Richard Ashcroft, a Manchester United diehard who played for Wigan Athletic as a youngster, went on to have solo success whilst Peter Salisbury opened a drum shop in Stockport. Despite Aschcroft stating, "You're more likely to get all four Beatles on stage", they reformed in 2007 but have not been on speaking terms since 2009

See RICHARD ASHCROFT live at ALBERT HALL - 23rd Dec 2018
JP Cooper 6 ~ JP Cooper Listen
6.48 million listeners a month

Middleton singer/songwriter who has been playing the Manchester circuit since 2012. He eventually hit the big time in 2016, providing vocals to Jonas Blue's hit, 'Perfect Strangers', (streamed over 575 million times so far, making it the second most popular song on Spotify featuring a Manchester artist). His own "September Song" became an international hit single, shifting over 600,000 copies in the UK alone and has so far been streamed 370 million times! His debut album, with its Manchester influenced title, "Raised Under Grey Skies" reached the UK Top 10 in October 2017.

Despite not yet being a household name, he is the 434th most popular artist in the world on Spotify.

Tom Walker (4) 5 ~ Tom Walker Listen
6.83 million listeners a month

Hotly-tipped Mancunian indie folk singer songwriter born in Scotland but raised in Chelford near Macclesfield. His bluesy Hip Hop pop sound has seen him compared to Ed Sheeran and George Ezra and has already garnered him a massive following on Spotify, Deezer and Youtube with his "Leave A Light On" single topping the French charts and reaching no.2 in Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic. It eventually reached UK no.7 in June 2018, eight months after its initial release, being streamed over 175 million times. He was named as the support act for the 2017 European tour of fellow Manchester United fans, Hurts.

Incredibly, he's now the 400th most popular artist in the world on Spotify.

See him live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 27th April 2019
Harry Styles (3) 4 ~ Harry Styles Listen
6.98 million listeners a month

One Direction heart-throb from Holmes Chapel who went solo in 2017 with his self-titled album topping the charts in an incredible 15 countries, including the UK and USA. Originally the lead singer of Manchester band White Eskimo he found fame thanks to the X Factor. Following the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, the Manchester United fan told fans in Mexico, “Last night there was a tragedy in my hometown of Manchester and I am left with a hole in my heart. I went to my first show in the Arena, and I’ve had some of my best experiences in my life in Manchester."

The 391st most popular artist in the world on Spotify.

Bee Gees
Bee Gees
(5) 3 ~ Bee Gees Listen
7.03 million listeners a month

Born in the Isle Of Man to Mancunian parents, brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb started their incredible career when the family returned home, living at 51 Keppel Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy (1955-1958) and on Northern Grove in Whalley Range (1958).

After attending Oswald Primary School, their first performance (under the name "The Rattlesnakes") took place in December 1957 at the Gaumont Cinema (now Co-op Funeral Care).

They also played the Palatine Picture House in Didbury (demolished) and the Princess Ballroom in Chorlton (now McDonalds), as well as the Russell Club in Manchester, where their father was resident drummer [video].

Their mother was a barmaid at The Royal Oak in Chorlton.

Younger brother Andy, who had huge chart success in America before his untimely death, was born in Manchester but moved with the family to Australia as a baby, (Barry was aged 12, twins Maurice and Robin, 9).

The brothers bought back their old family home on Keppel Road in 2002 (Barry, who was knighted in 2018, now rents it out).

Before his death in 2003, Maurice said about The Bee Gees success, "To me, we are still the three kids from Manchester who wanted to be famous and just wanted to make music... I'm still that kid. I don't see ourselves as legends." [video]. His twin brother died in 2012

They are the 386th most popular artist in the world on Spotify.

The 1975 2 ~ The 1975 Listen
8.65 million listeners a month
Manchester indie pop band fronted by Matthew Healy, son of actors Denise Welch and Tim Healy, which formed at Wilmslow High School in 2002. Taking their name from a Jack Kerouac poetry book, it took them over 10 years to find success, when all of a sudden they went from playing free gigs across Manchester's bars to being the 304th most popular band in the world on Spotify with their tracks streamed hundreds of millions times literally overnight. Their first two albums topped the charts in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Exasperated at often being pigeon holed with Manchester bands of the past, they have said "We don't wear the Manc band badge of honour. Our geographical location has never seemed very relevant or inspiring to us. We don't really like the idea of being judged on the city we're from. We'd much prefer to create our own world as opposed to being harboured by a localised ideal."
See them live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 24th January 2019
Oasis Maine Road
1 ~ Oasis Listen
12.18 million listeners a month

The rock band formed in Manchester, 1991, by Burnage brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher are still the 180th most popular artist in the world on Spotify and the most popular Mancunian act. Their biggest hit, "Wonderwall" has been streamed 582 million times. Their original Mancunian line-up ended in 1999 when rhythm guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthur and bass player Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan quit. Levenshulme drummer Tony McCarroll had already been fired in 1995. They continued until 2009 with non-Mancunian replacements before their infamous sibbling rivalry split the band for good.

In the infamous Blur v Oasis Britpop Chart Battle of 1995, billed as "London v Manchester", Blur's "Country House" beat the Mancunian's "Roll With It" to No.1 by 270,000 sales to 220,000. [It also has 5 million more listens on Spotify]. Oasis got their revenge though, heavily outselling their London "rivals" over their 18 year career [7 million listeners more per month on Spotify too].

Interestingly, the iconic album cover of "Definitely Maybe" has a photo of George Best on the window sill that was Bonehead and McCarroll's defiant reminder that there was two Reds in the band. Not to be outdone, the Gallaghers and Guigsy placed an even bigger picture of Manchester City legend Rodney Marsh in the foreground. Bonehead and new drummer Alan White also insisted their photos were not printed on the tickets for the band's 1996 concerts at City's Maine Road stadium.

Eric Cantona's famous quote probably applies to Oasis more than most bands on this list: "Perhaps time will seperate us, but nobody can deny that, here, behind the windows of Manchester, there is an insane love of football, of celebration and of music!"

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~ Ariana Grande (50.48 million listeners a month) Manchester City Council voted to make the Florida superstar an honorary citizen of Manchester following the horrific terrorist attack at her Arena concert on 22nd May 2017, which killed 22 of her fans. She also boasts a Manchester worker bee tattoo. She is now the most popular artist in the world on Spotify.
~ Robbie Williams (6.4 million listeners a month) Adopted Mancunian, the Stoke-on-Trent pop star was a member of Take That (1990-1995 and 2009-2012). He wrote the song "Knutsford City Limits" after going solo in 1996 and famously changed the lyrics of his "Stronger" hit to "Manchester, we're strong!" after the Arena terrorist attack [video]
~ First Aid Kit (2.79 million listeners) Folk and Country sister duo, Johanna and Klara Söderberg, from Stockholm, Sweden who hit the big time whilst Klara lived in Chorlton with singer-songwriter boyfriend Jo Rose (2013-2015). Their fourth album, "Ruins" reached UK no.3 in 2018 (and topped the charts back home in Sweden), the lyrics inspired by the subsequent painful ending of her engagement to the Manchester singer. A regular on the Manchester live music scene, she told The Sun in January 2018, "I loved the Manchester culture of going out and sitting in the pub, that sense of community. I’d have a Diet Coke because I couldn’t drink beer every night."
~ Jamiroquai (2.71 million listeners) Frontman Jason "Jay Kay" Luís Cheetham was born in Stretford to jazz-singer Karen Kay and her Portuguese musician lover (whom he would meet for the first time when he was aged 28). Largely removed from Manchester, he lived a nomadic lifestyle, travelling with his mother as she performed around the UK and Las Vegas and, from the age of four, he spent much of his childhood in boarding schools in Devon and Suffolk, before relocating to his first "permanent home" in Ealing, aged 13.
~ Yes (1.76 million listeners a month) Prog-rock legends fronted by Manchester United-supporting Jon Anderson, from Accrington, who started his career playing Manchester's clubs with his brother in the band The Warriors. Keyboard player, Londoner Rick Wakeman, is one of Manchester City's most famous fans (as well as being a director of Brentford FC).
~ Andy Gibb (439,000 listeners) The Manchester-born younger brother of the Bee Gees moved with his family, as a six month old baby, to Australia. He had a successful solo career, breaking chart records in the USA, before dying shortly after his 30th birthday, in 1988, following a cocaine-related illness
~ Big Country (268,000 listeners) Scottish celtic rock legends founded by frontman Stuart Adamson. Born in Manchester to Scottish parents, the family moved back to Fife when he was four years old. He committed suicide in 2001, aged 43.

~ Shed Seven (181,000 listeners) York rockers fronted by Manchester United supporting Moss Side born Rick Witter, who moved to York as an eleven year old, forming the band at high school.

~ Billy Thorpe (96,000 listeners) The Manchester-born Aussie pub rock legend emigrated with his parents to Melbourne, as a 9 year old, in 1955. He moved to Brisbane a year later, the city where the Bee Gees would also arrive just two years on. He died of a heart attack, aged 60, in 2007
~ Lemmy (59,000 listeners) The Stoke born Motorhead and Hawkwind frontman started his career whilst living in Stockport, Prestwich, Wythenshawe, and Cheetham Hill between 1962 and 1965, performing in many Manchester bands, most notably The Motown Sect, The Rainmakers, and The Rockin Vickers; none of whom made it big, which is why we have excluded him. He died, aged 70 in 2015.
~ The Unthanks (35,000 listeners) Folk band from Tyne & Wear built around sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank. Becky was studying at Manchester Metropolitan University when their first two albums were released (as Rachel Unthank and the Winterset in 2005 and 2007). Staying in the city after university, she first heard the poem "Hawthorn" at a folk night she ran locally and also wrote the song "Flutter" whilst living in Manchester (2015). See them live at St. PHILIP'S CHURCH SALFORD - 7th May 2019
~ Star.One (29,000 listeners) Growing out of the culturally diverse Manchester music collective of DJs, producers and musicians, known as the Murkage Cartel, this sibbling garage DJ duo from London formed whilst Adam (better known around Manchester as DJ Phaze One) was studying at the University of Manchester
~ Throbbing Gristle (24,000 listeners) The post-punk industrial band were set up at Hull University by Longsight born Genesis P-Orridge (born Neil Andrew Megson), who left Manchester at the age of 14, moving to boarding school in Sollihull
~ Roy Harper (18,000 listeners) The English folk legend was born in Rusholme in 1941 but moved to St Annes, aged 6
~ John Gardner (9,300 listeners) Composer born in Manchester but raised in Devon. Died in 2011.
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~ John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers (195,000 listeners) Macclesfield-born Godfather of British Blues learned to play piano at the Manchester School of Art (where Mick Hucknall would later attend) before moving to London, aged 30, to form the influential Bluesbreakers, showcasing young musicians like Eric Clapton, Peter Green and fellow Mancunian Hughie Flint amongst many others. His solo album, "Memories", was about his days growing up in Manchester.
~ 808 State (193,000 listeners) Influential electronica band formed in 1989 when Eastern Bloc record shop owner Martin Price joined forces with customers Graham Massey and Gerald Simpson (who would enjoy solo fame as A Guy Called Gerald). See them live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 21st Dec 2018
~ Stephen Hough (192,000 listeners) Classical pianist originally from Thelwall, who studied at Chetham's School of Music from the age of 10 to 15 (1972-1977) followed by four years at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating, aged 20 in 1981. He is now the International Chair of Piano Studies at the RNCM. Topped the UK Classical charts in June 2018.
~ Finley Quaye (189,000 listeners) Following his mother's death from a heroin overdose, the Edinburgh-born soul and reggae singer was brought up by his aunt and uncle in Manchester, from age 11 to 16. He returned, aged 19, to enrole on a music course, recording his hit "Maverick A Strike" album four years later. After time away from the city, he now lives in Reddish. Declaring himself bankrupt and serving community service for two assaults, he has reappeared in 2018 with the mysterious weekly release of various unannounced tracks on Spotify.
~ Christy Moore (188,000 listeners) Irish folk legend who started his career in Manchester, living in Moss Side, Didsbury, Cheetham Hill, Crumpsall, Bury and Rochdale, immersing himself in the Lancashire folk scene, 1966-70, playing his first ever gig in May 1967 at The Wellgreen Folk Club in Hale. As well as recording many Ewan MacColl, Mike Harding and Manchester folk covers, he often dedicates the live version of "Butterfly (So Much Wine)" to George Best, singing of his times watching the footballer at Old Trafford.
~ Phil Lynott (177,000 listeners) The Mancunian Irish lead singer of Thin Lizzy went solo in 1979. As well as collaborating with Gary Moore on numerous hits including "Parisienne Walkways" and "Out In The Fields", his single "Yellow Pearl" was used as the theme tune for the Manchester made "Top Of The Pops". Raised in both Moss Side and Dublin - producing a delightful Manc Irish dialect [video] - he split his time between the two cities, visiting his mother's Clifton Grange Hotel in Whalley Range and following his beloved Manchester United. He died of a drugs related illness in 1986, months before Alex Ferguson was appointed manager.
~ Barry Gibb (177,000 listeners) The eldest of Chorlton's Gibb brothers released his first solo music in 1970. Knighted in 2018.
~ William Walton (175,000 listeners) Legendary Oldham composer, ranked as one of Britain's most historically important musicians. He died in 1983, aged 80, with a memorial stone placed at Westminster Abbey next to Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten
~ Rae & Christian (175,000 listeners) Production duo Mark Rae and Steve Christian who also co-founded Manchester's influential Grand Central Records in 1995. Their sound influenced the Manchester scene throughout the 1990s and launched the career of many artists, such as long-time collaborators Veba and Rae's Canadian cousing, Kate Rogers.
~ Electronic (175,000 listeners)The side project that united New Order's vocalist Bernard Sumner with The Smiths guitar legend Johnny Marr, released three UK Top 10 albums between 1991 and 1999, with additional help from Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe as well as Kraftwerk's Karl Bartos.
~ Black Grape (173,000 listeners) Funky Mancunian rockers formed in 1993 when Shaun Ryder and Bez of Happy Mondays joined forces with Kermit and Ged Lynch of The Ruthless Rap Assassins, and Wags of the Paris Angels. Big Manchester United fans, their track "Fat Neck" was dedicated to Droylsden prankster Karl Power, who notoriously lined up alongside the United squad for the team photo ahead of their 2001 match against Bayern Munich. They released a new album in 2017 following a nine year hiatus.
~ The Durutti Column (170,000 listeners) Vini Reilly and Bruce Mitchell's Factory Records post-punk project
~ The Gondwana Orchestra (169,000 listeners) The Manchester jazz orchestra from Gondwana Records founder Matthew Halsall.
~ Gary Barlow (163,000 listeners) Take That's main man from Frodsham first went solo in 1996. See TAKE THAT at MANCHESTER ARENA - 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th & 27th May 2019
~ Rivers & Robots (159,000 listeners a month) Jonathan Ogden's popular Salford electronic folk worship band, combining Scandinavian sounding folk with minimalist electronica. Now living as full-time missionaries, they perform largely at churches, festivals and "Gathering" gigs around Manchester.
~ BBMak (159,000 listeners) The Liverpool-formed trio fronted by Mancunian Mark Barry, who is now a fitness instructor in Bolton, hit the big time when their 1999 debut single "Back Here" reached no.13 in the USA (no.5 in the UK). Taking their name from their initials (Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Ste McNally), they scored three UK Top 40 and US Top 100 hits before disbanding in 2003. They are enjoying a Spotify resurgence after announcing they are back in the studio together, currently recording new material.
~ Robin Gibb (157,000 listeners) The Chorlton-raised Gibb brother first went solo in 1969. Died in 2012
~ Glue70 (154,000 listeners a month) The mellow jazz-driven Manchester electronica producer who emerged from the Flow Theory music collective and is a long time collaborator of local poetic rapper KinKai.
~ Flip & Fill (143,000 listeners) Mancunian Trance DJs Graham Turner and Mark Hall signed to the All Around The World label
~ Inspiral Carpets (139,000 listeners) Madchester indie band formed in Oldham, 1983, known for their baggy organ and guitar heavy sound. Noel Gallagher was once their roadie. Keyboard player Clint Boon still hosts regular club nights around Manchester and different adaptations of their hit "This Is How It Feels" remain amongst the most popular terrace chants amongst both United and City fans. Drummer Craig Gill, who ran Manchester music tours, took his own life in 2016, aged 44
~ The Mouse Outfit (134,000 listeners) Mancunian production team and 8 piece hip hop, funk and reggae band. See them live at THE BAND ON THE WALL - 18th Dec 2018
~ Beady Eye (130,000 listeners a month) Liam Gallagher's post Oasis project formed in London after the split with his brother in 1995. He was joined by former Oasis bass player Andy Bell and guitarist Gem Archer. The band split in 2014 with Archer ironically joining Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
~ Jesca Hoop (130,000 listeners) Californian folk singer who moved to Chorlton in 2008 after meeting Elbow's tour manager, Tom Piper. Popular on the Manchester scene, she has also recorded with Guy Garvey and Fingathing
~ Barclay James Harvest (125,000 listeners) 1960's Oldham rockers who are incredibly popular in Germany, Switzerland and France. Chadderton keyboard player Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme died in 2010
~ Sir John Barbirolli (124,000 listeners) London-born conductor and cellist who will forever be associated with Manchester for saving the Hallé Orchestra from dissolution in 1943, a feat that almost never happened; swapping flights from New York with actor Leslie Howard, he landed safely in Manchester, whilst his original flight was shot down. Reponsible for turning the Hallé into a full-time orchestra, he spent 25 years as Principal Conductor until his death in 1970, aged 70. Barbirolli Square in Manchester is named in his honour and features a sculpture of him.
~ The Hallé (122,000 listeners) Manchester's leading orchestra, formed in 1857 by German pianist and conductor Charles Hallé.
~ Ultimate Painting (119,000 listeners) Jack Cooper, the Blackpool-born, United supporting former frontman of Manchester bands Mazes and Jim Noir backing group, The Beep Seals, joined forces with Londoner Jack Hoare (of Veronica Falls), in 2014. Together they released three 60's inspired acoustic pop albums, drafting in former Mazes bandmates along the way, before unexpectedly cancelling the release of their fourth album and bitterly splitting up in February 2018.
~ Daley Listen (113,000 listeners) Incredibly soulful singer from Sale. Gareth Daley first shot to fame in 2010 singing lead vocals on "Doncamatic" by Gorillaz, a band who also boast Mancunian Jeff Wootton as guitarist. He, in turn, replaced Farnworth guitarist Simon Tong (2005-2010). See him live at GORILLA - 10th Dec 2018.
~ Shotty Horroh (110,000 listeners) Mancunian battle rapper turned hip hop star from Harpurhey, (real name Adam Rooney), who collaborated with Deadmau5 on the popular track "Legendary" and appeared on James Arthur's UK no.1 album "Back from The Edge"
~ Sleeper (109,000 listeners) Britpop band formed in 1993 by Manchester University politics students Louise Werner and Jon Stewart.
~ The Chameleons (102,000 listeners) 1980's Middleton post punk band
~ John Mayall (99,000 listeners) The Macclesfield frontman of The Bluesbreakers went solo in 1967
~ White N3rd (99,000 listeners) Sale Moor/Gorton dance music producer, Scott Wild.
~ Crywank (97,000 listeners) Humorous Manchester anti-folk misfit, James Clayton.
~ Autechre (93,000 listeners) Groundbreaking and experimental Rochdale electro duo, Sean Booth and Rob Brown
~ Cassia (92,000 listeners) Hotly tipped Macclesfield afro beat trio. See them live at o2 RITZ - 15th Dec 2018.
~ Mint Royale (92,000 listeners) Mancunian electro-pop group who topped the charts with a 2008 remix of "Singin' in the Rain"
~ Mecca:83 (88,000 listeners) Manchester based beat technician, mixing jazz and hip hop. Yet to have chart success
~ LiTek (84,000 listeners) Manchester record producer Vlad Slusarenko
~ Heather Small Listen (80,000 listeners) London-born vocalist who found fame with Manchester 90's favourites, M People and was awarded the Freedom of the City of Manchester in 1999. Going solo in 2000, she recorded the smash hit "Proud", performing it live at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony. Whilst living in the city she had a long-term relationship with Wigan Rugby League legend Shaun Edwards, with whom she has a son. See her live at HOLMFIRTH - 19th Apr 2019.
 Manchester Music Books Manchester Bands live in Manchester
The Must-Read Manchester Music Books Manchester Bands Performing in Manchester
Also check out our Spotify Playlist featuring over 1,520 Manchester musicians, from 1895 to 2018
(listed in order of popularity of their biggest hit)

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