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Pride Of Manchester - The Top 100 Manchester Bands
THE TOP 100 MANCHESTER BANDS
#Top100MCR

The most listened to bands from Manchester on Spotify and Deezer

List includes artists from 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 17 Nov 2017 ~
Matthew Halsall (New Entry) 100 ~ Matthew Halsall
147,000 listeners a month

MOBO-nominated Mancunian jazz trumpeter and composer who has won rave reviews since his debut in 2008. His album "Fletcher Moss Park" includes Mancunian guitarist Stuart McCallum of the Cinematic Orchestra

 
   
808 State 99 ~ 808 State
148,000 listeners a month

One of the most influential electronica bands to emerge from Manchester. 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 HACIENDA CLASSICAL at MANCHESTER APOLLO - 25th November 2017
   
Black Grape (96) 98 ~ Black Grape
149,000 listeners a month

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. Released a new album in 2017 following a nine year hiatus

 
   
The Inspiral Carpets (94) 97 ~ Inspiral Carpets
155,000 listeners a month

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 an adaptation of their hit "This Is How It Feels" remains one of the most popular terrace chants at Old Trafford. Drummer Craig Gill, who ran Manchester music tours, took his own life in 2016, aged 44

 
   
Rae & Christian (100) 96 ~ Rae & Christian
158,000 listeners a month

Production duo Mark Rae and Steve Christian who also co-founded Manchester's influential Grand Central Records in 1995

 
   
GoGo Penguin (98)95 ~ GoGo Penguin
158,000 listeners a month

Mercury Prize-shortlisted Manchester-based leftfield jazz piano trio, formed in 2012

 
   
Dario G (93) 94 ~ Dario G
166,000 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

 
   
Beady Eye (92) 93 ~ Beady Eye
169,000 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

 
   
IAMDDB (95) 92 ~ IAMDDB
170,000 listeners a month

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

 
   
Jesca Hoop (90) 91 ~ Jesca Hoop
171,000 listeners a month

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

 
   
What's On in Manchester
 
Kajagoogoo (91) 90 ~ Kajagoogoo
173,000 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 Barbirolli (86)89 ~ Sir John Barbirolli
175,000 listeners a month

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 orignal 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.

 
   
Daley (89) 88 ~ Daley
179,000 listeners a month

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).

 
   
The Fall 87 ~ The Fall
182,000 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 has 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

 
   
Badly Drawn Boy (88) 86 ~ Badly Drawn Boy
187,000 listeners a month

Mancunian folk pop singer/songwriter brought up in Breightmet, Bolton. Co-owner of iconic Manchester record label Twisted Nerve. He lives in Didsbury

 
   
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers 85 ~ John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
195,000 listeners a month

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

See JOHN MAYALL live at BRIDGEWATER HALL - 21st November 2017
   
Ian Brown (82) 84 ~ Ian Brown
203,000 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

 
   
Simian Mobile Disco (81) 83 ~ Simian Mobile Disco
207,000 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

 
   
Sweet Female Attitude (76) 82 ~ Sweet Female Attitude
209,000 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

 
   
Geko (79) 81 ~ Geko
209,000 listeners a month

20 year old Manchester rapper with millions of Youtube views and Spotify listens. 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 friend 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 Best Bars in Manchester
 
N-Trance (75)80 ~ N-Trance
212,000 listeners a month

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

 
   
Starsailor (80) 79 ~ Starsailor
213,000 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

 
   
Shayne Ward (77) 78 ~ Shayne Ward
223,000 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 Davey Jones of The Monkees, Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, Kym Marsh, Adam Rickitt and Richard Fleeshman

 
   
Simian (71) 77 ~ Simian
236,000 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

 
   
Marconi Union (78) 76 ~ Marconi Union
238,000 listeners a month

Ground-breaking Mancunian instrumental trio whose "Weightless" track has been streamed 37 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!

 
   
Finley Quaye (74)75 ~ Finley Quaye
241,000 listeners a month

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

 
   
AIM (73)74 ~ Aim
243,000 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

 
   
When In Rome (72)73 ~ When In Rome
244,000 listeners a month

New wave Manchester band formed in 1988 who enjoyed greater success in America

 
   
Solardo (83) 72 ~ Solardo
248,000 listeners a month

Mancunian house music production duo, Mark Richard and James Eliot, who formed in 2016. Yet to have chart success

 
   
Richard Ashcroft (70)71 ~ Richard Ashcroft
270,000 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

 
   
The Best Restaurants in Manchester
 
Floating Points (65) 70 ~ Floating Points
279,000 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

 
   
Mr Scruff (67) 69 ~ Mr Scruff
281,000 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

See him live at ALBERT HALL - 11th November 2017
   
Mecca 83 (69) 68 ~ Mecca:83
286,000 listeners a month

Manchester based beat technician, mixing jazz and hip hop. Yet to have chart success

 
   
Lamb (64)67 ~ Lamb
306,000 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"

 
   
M People (63) 66 ~ M People
331,000 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 ACADEMY 2 - 22nd April 2018
   
Viola Beach (62) 65 ~ Viola Beach
339,000 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

 
   
Sasha (66)64 ~ Sasha
339,000 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 WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 1st December 2017 & BRIDGEWATER HALL - 18th March 2018
   
Pale Waves (84) 63 ~ Pale Waves
359,000 listeners a month

Manchester synth pop group signed to The 1975's label in 2017. Yet to have chart success

 
   
Herman's Hermits (61) 62 ~ Herman's Hermits
360,000 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

 
   
John Foxx (59) 61 ~ John Foxx
371,000 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].

 
   
Manchester North Of England Box Set
 
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (58)60 ~ BBC Philharmonic
373,000 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

 
   
Crazy Penis (68) 59 ~ Crazy P
385,000 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. Yet to have chart success

See them live at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 2nd December 2017
   
Happy Mondays (57) 58 ~ Happy Mondays
390,000 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]

See them live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 13th December 2017
   
The Cribs (60) 57 ~ The Cribs
402,000 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

See them live at GORILLA - 8th + 9th + 10th + 11th December 2017
   
The Charlatans 56 ~ The Charlatans
412,000 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 APOLLO - 2nd December 2017
   
Doves 55 ~ Doves
446,000 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
 
   
Graham Nash 54 ~ Graham Nash
449,000 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
 
   
Everything Everything 53 ~ Everything Everything
449,000 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 MANCHESTER APOLLO - 9th March 2018
   
Buzzcocks (51) 52 ~ Buzzcocks
480,000 listeners a month
Punk rock band formed in Bolton in 1976, going on to be one of the most influential Manchester bands ever
 
   
The The (52) 51 ~ The The
504,000 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
 
   
The best hotels in Manchester
 
TCTS 50 ~ TCTS
531,000 listeners a month
Mancunian electronica DJ Sam O'Neill popular on Spotify and Deezer but still to have chart success
 
   
ABC 49 ~ ABC
561,000 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 BRIDGEWATER HALL - 2nd November 2017
   
Asia 48 ~ Asia
589,000 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
 
   
McFly 47 ~ McFly
594,000 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
 
   
The Ting Tings (45) 46 ~ The Ting Tings
634,000 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
 
   
Lisa Stansfield (44) 45 ~ Lisa Stansfield
665,000 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 RUBY LOUNGE - 21st November 2017 & THE LOWRY - 18th March 2018
   
Blossoms (46) 44 ~ Blossoms
676,000 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
 
   
Courteeners (41) 43 ~ The Courteeners
677,000 listeners a month
Stadium rockers from Middleton and former Manchester United ball boys who have many locally inspired songs including "Fallowfield Hillbilly"
See LIAM FRAY live at ALBERT HALL - 3rd + 4th November 2017
   
The Cult (43) 42 ~ The Cult
686,000 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
 
   
Primal Scream (40) 41 ~ Primal Scream
758,000 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 original keyboard player, Martin Duffy, would later join The Charlatans after the death of Rob Collins
 
   
The best hotels in Manchester
 
Riton (38) 40 ~ Riton
787,000 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
 
   
Paul Lewis 39 ~ Paul Lewis
804,000 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
 
   
Bugzy Malone (37) 38 ~ Bugzy Malone
848,000 listeners a month
Popular grime artist from Crumpsall who raps about his experiences growing up in a criminal family in North Manchester. A big Manchester United fan, most of his songs reference Manchester
 
   
Mike & The Mechanics (36) 37 ~ Mike & The Mechanics
926,000 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
 
   
Elbow (42) 36 ~ Elbow
927,000 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 MANCHESTER ARENA - 4th March 2018
   
Hurts (35) 35 ~ Hurts
954,000 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
See them live at MANCHESTER APOLLO - 9th December 2017
   
James 34 ~ James
991,000 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 ALBERT HALL - 18th December 2017
   
Nico 33 ~ Nico
1.03 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.")
 
   
Chase & Status 32 ~ Chase & Status
1.08 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
See them live at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 24th November 2017
   
The Buggles 31 ~ The Buggles
1.09 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
 
   
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The Stone Roses 30 ~ The Stone Roses
1.16 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"
 
   
CSNY 29 ~ Crosby, Still, Nash & Young
1.27 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"
 
   
David Gray (27)28 ~ David Gray
1.35 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
 
   
Chemical Brothers (28) 27 ~ The Chemical Brothers
1.35 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 WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 9th December 2017
   
Noel Gallagher (21) 26 ~ Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
1.35 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 MANCHESTER ARENA - 4th May 2018
   
Crosby Stills & Nash (24) 25 ~ Crosby, Stills & Nash
1.49 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"
 
   
10cc (25) 24 ~ 10cc
1.51 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]
 
   
Morrissey (26) 23 ~ Morrissey
1.55 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?"
 
   
The Outfield (23)22 ~ The Outfield
1.58 million listeners a month
Mancunian power pop trio popular in America in the 1980s but largely unheard of back home. They disbanded in 2014 following the death of guitarist John Spinks of liver cancer, aged 60
 
   
Take That (20) 21 ~ Take That
1.6 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 GARY BARLOW live at MANCHESTER APOLLO - 3rd + 4th + 5th May 2018
   
Special Offers in Manchester Restaurants
 
Cinematic Orchestra (22) 20 ~ The Cinematic Orchestra
1.6 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

 
   
The Monkees 19 ~ The Monkees
1.63 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
18 ~ Thin Lizzy
1.73 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

 
   
Bipolar Sunshine 17 ~ Bipolar Sunshine
1.95 million listeners a month
Chorlton-raised, former Kid British frontman, Adio Marchant, whom alongside his popular solo material, provides the soulful vocals to DJ Snake's "Middle", which is the most streamed song ever featuring a Mancunian artist - an incredible 538,000,000 times so far! A Manchester City fan, his solo material is popular on Spotify despite, so far, not gaining any chart success
 
   
The Hollies 16 ~ The Hollies
2.06 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"
See them live at THE LOWRY - 18th March 2018
   
Liam Gallagher (10)15 ~ Liam Gallagher
2.2 million 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
See him live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 16th December 2017
   
Simply Red 14 ~ Simply Red
2.23 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
 
   
Rixton 13 ~ Rixton
2.29 million listeners a month
Manchester boy band formed in 2012 by former Emmerdale actor Jake Roche (son of actor Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan). Like the lead singer's famous father, the band are United fans
 
   
Modest Mouse 12 ~ Modest Mouse
2.36 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."
 
   
Joy Division (15)11 ~ Joy Division
2.39 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 & THE LIGHT perform "Substance" at THE ACADEMY - 15th December 2017
   
Manchester Bands live in Manchester
 
Rick Astley (11) 10 ~ Rick Astley
2.56 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
 
   
Tom Walker (8) 9 ~ Tom Walker
2.7 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 despite not yet scoring any chart success. He was named as the support act for the 2017 European tour of fellow Manchester United fans, Hurts
See him live at NIGHT & DAY - 23rd November 2017
   
New Order (9) 8 ~ New Order
2.86 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

See PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT live at THE ACADEMY - 15th December 2017
   
The Smiths 7 ~ The Smiths
2.99 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 THE SMYTHS tribute band at THE RITZ - 23rd February 2018
   
The Verve 6 ~ The Verve
3.78 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

 
   
The 1975 5 ~ The 1975
4.75 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 having millions of listeners on Spotify and YouTube literally overnight, their first two albums topping 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."
 
   
Bee Gees
Bee Gees
4 ~ Bee Gees
5.5 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 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

 
   
JP Cooper 3 ~ JP Cooper
7.96 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 481 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 232 million times! His debut album was released in October 2017
 
   
Harry Styles 2 ~ Harry Styles
8.69 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."
See him live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 9th April 2018
   
Oasis
Oasis Maine Road
1 ~ Oasis
9.73 million listeners a month

Rock band formed in Manchester, 1991, by Burnage brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher. Their biggest hit, "Wonderwall" has been streamed 353,000,000 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 4 million more listens on Spotify]. Oasis got their revenge though, heavily outselling their London "rivals" over their 18 year career [6 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!"

See DEFINITELY MIGHTBE tribute band at THE RITZ - 15th December 2017
   
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"MANCUNIANS" NOT INCLUDED...
 
~ Robbie Williams (4.1 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]
~ Jamiroquai (2.25 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 (1.3 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)
~ Big Country (206,000 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.
~ Andy Gibb (185,000 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 in the USA before dying shortly after his 30th birthday, in 1988, following a cocaine-related illness
~ Shed Seven (161,000 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. See them live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 22nd + 23rd December 2017
~ Billy Thorpe (67,000 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 later. He died of a heart attack, aged 60, in 2007
~ Roy Harper (15,000 listeners) The English folk legend was born in Rusholme in 1941 but moved to St Annes, aged 6
 
JUST MISSING OUT OF THE TOP 100...
 
~ Stephen Hough (138,000 listeners a month) 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.
~ Star.1 (136,000 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
~ Johnny Marr (133,000 listeners) 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
~ Urban Cookie Collective (131,000 listeners) 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
~ Christy Moore (130,000 listeners) Irish folk legend who started his career in Manchester, living in Moss Side, Didsbury, Cheetham Hill, Crumpsall, Bury and Rochdale 1966-70, immersed in the Lancashire folk scene. As well as many Ewan MacColl, Mike Harding and Manchester folk covers, he dedicates the live version of "Butterfly (Too Much Wine)" to George Best, singing of his times watching him at Old Trafford. See him live at BRIDGEWATER HALL - 6th May 2018
~ Barry Gibb (130,000 listeners) The eldest of Chorlton's Gibb brothers released his first solo music in 1970
~ Swing Out Sister (126,000 listeners) Soulful Manchester band who had 1986 hit "Breakout.
~ Robin Gibb (119,000 listeners) The Chorlton-raised Gibb brother first went solo in 1969. Died in 2012
~ BBMak (118,000 listeners) Liverpool-formed trio fronted by Mancunian Mark Barry, who is now a fitness instructor in Bolton
~ Electronic (112,000 listeners) Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr's pop supergroup
~ Karen Elson (111,000 listeners) Singer-songwriter from Chadderton
~ Gary Barlow (107,000 listeners) Take That's main man from Frodsham first went solo in 1996. See him live at MANCHESTER APOLLO - 3rd + 4th + 5th May 2018
~ John Mayall (106,000 listeners) The Macclesfield frontman of The Bluesbreakers went solo in 1967. See him live at BRIDGEWATER HALL - 21st November 2017
~ Barclay James Harvest (102,000 listeners) 1960's Oldham rockers who are incredibly popular in Germany, Switzerland and France. Chadderton keyboard player Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme died in 2010
~ The Hallé (87,000 listeners) Manchester's leading orchestra, formed in 1857 by German pianist and conductor Charles Hallé.
 
ALL 1,000 MANCHESTER BANDS
 
Also check out our Spotify Playlist featuring over 1,100 Manchester musicians, from 1895 to 2017
(listed in order of popularity of their biggest hit)
 

#Top100MCR
Manchester Bands live in Manchester
 
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