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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 7 Sep 2021~
Ben Pearce (New Entry) 100
Ben Pearce Listen
426,000 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".
Swing Out Sister (Re-Entry) 99
Swing Out Sister Listen
430,000 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.
Urban Cookie Collective (95) 98
Urban Cookie Collective Listen
435,000 listeners a month
Mancunian Eurodance band formed in 1992 by ex-Yargo, A Guy Called Gerald and Together keyboard player Rohan Heath. Their UK no.2 single "The Key, The Secret" was one of the biggest hits of the 90s, topping the Dutch Top 40 chart. Lead singer Diane Charlemagne died in 2015
See them live at 90s Baby Dance - 17 Sep 2021
Cassia (New Entry)97
Cassia Listen
450,000 listeners a month
The hotly-tipped Paul Simon's "Gracelands" influenced Macclesfield afro beat trio have scored millions of streams on Spotify with their sunny vibes "Replica" debut album reaching no.79 in the UK charts in 2019.
See them live at MANCHESTER o2 RITZ - 5 Nov 2021
Finley Quaye (99) 96
Finley Quaye Listen
450,000 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 and winning the BRIT Award. After time away from the city, he now lives in Reddish - even working as a barman in Chorlton. 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.
Gary Barlow (96) 95
Gary Barlow Listen
451,000 listeners a month
Take That's main man from Frodsham, first went solo in 1996, topping the charts with his first two singles, "Forever Love" and "Love Won't Wait", together with his debut album, "Open Road" A feat he later matched with his third and fifth albums, and the single, "Sing." A prolific songwriter for other acts as well as his own, the Liverpool and Tory fan (two things that don't normally go together), has written 13 UK number-one singles, selling over 50 million records worldwide.
See him live at Manchester Arena - 9th Dec 2021
Matthew Halsall (90) 94
Matthew Halsall Listen
457,000 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.
See him live at The Stoller Hall - 4 Nov 2021
Graham Nash (83) 93
Graham Nash Listen
463,000 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 fan, he grew up near their stadium in Ordsall and attended the famous Salford Lads’ Club
Sweet Female Attitude (88) 92
Sweet Female Attitude Listen
474,000 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 90s Baby Pop - 18 Sep 2021
Kajagoogoo (92) 91
Kajagoogoo (Limahl) Listen
478,000 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 Christopher Hamill. Better known by his stage name of Limahl, 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
hacienda Classical
Starsailor (91) 90
Starsailor Listen
481,000 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 larger venues long before they had even released their debut album (which reached no.2 in 2001). Lead singer James Walsh (a massive Liverpool fan) also enjoys a solo career alongside performing with his United-supporting bandmates.
See them live in Warrington - 8 Oct 2021
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers (87) 89
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers Listen
505,000 listeners a month
Macclesfield-born "Godfather of British Blues" John Mayall 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, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, and fellow Mancunian Hughie Flint amongst many others. Leaving the Bluesbreakers in 1967 to record "The Blues Alone", Mayall enjoyed a successful solo career (234,000 listeners a month) before reforming the band from 1985 - 2009, His solo album,"Memories", was about his days growing up in Manchester. An 85th Anniversary hometown concert at the RNCM, scheduled for November 2019, was sadly cancelled due to ill health.
Richard Ashcroft (93) 88
Richard Ashcroft Listen
509,000 listeners a month
The iconic Wigan frontman of The Verve went solo in 2000, topping the album charts in the UK and enjoying success in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. An avid Manchester United fan, he played at junior level for Wigan Athletic, idolising George Best
See him live in Liverpool - 29 Oct 2021
Marconi Union (73) 87
Marconi Union Listen
520,000 listeners a month
Ground-breaking Mancunian instrumental trio whose "Weightless" track has been streamed 142 million times on Spotify alone (presumably by therapists, masseurs and insomniacs). 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 or operating heavy machinery!
The Charlatans (81) 86
The Charlatans Listen
545,000 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 accident near Monmouth, Gwent, after drink-driving in 1996, aged just 36
See them live at Victoria Warehouse - 4 Dec 2021
Everything Everything (86) 85
Everything Everything Listen
545,000 listeners a month
Darlings of the Manchester music scene, this art pop group with three UK Top 10 albums to their name was formed at Salford University in 2007 by three friends from Hexham, Northumberland. They have been Mercury Prize shortlisted twice.
See them live Manchester Academy - 8 Apr 2022
See them live with FOALS at Castlefield Bowl - 29 Jun 2022
Geko (82) 84
Geko Listen
547,000 listeners a month
Manchester rapper who - despite over 100 million Spotify and YouTube streams - only scored his highest UK chart success in April 2019, reaching just no.49 with the single "New Money." A Manchester United fan 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.
Lucy Spraggan (75) 83
Lucy Spraggan Listen
548,000 listeners a month
The Buxton born, Stockport living folk pop star first found fame on X Factor in 2012, performing her own song, "Last Night". Quitting the show due to illness, she finished 9th but became the first contestant in the show's history to score a Top 40 single and album before the live shows even aired. All five of her subsequent albums have enjoyed UK chart success.
See her live in Leeds & Liverpool - Nov 2021
Robin Gibb (89) 82
Robin Gibb Listen
550,000 listeners a month
The highest charting of the Gibb brothers first went solo in 1969. Born in the Isle of Man, but raised in Chorlton by their Mancunian parents, together with his 6 year old twin Maurice and elder brother Barry, they formed The Rattlesnakes - later renamed Wee Johnny Hayes & the Blue Cats, and subsequently, the Bee Gees - whilst living on Keppel Road in 1955, emigrating to Australia three years later. He left the group in 1969, selling over a million copies of his UK no.2 debut solo single "Saved By The Bell", before rejoining the band in 1970. Alongside his Bee Gees career - where he sang lead vocals on many earlier tracks - Robin recorded eight solo albums, including the 1983 German no.1 single, "Juliet", before dying of colorectal cancer in 2012, aged 62, nine years after his twin brother's tragic death.
K-Klass (84) 81
K-Klass Listen
564,000 listeners a month
1990s electronica act formed by Interstate's Andy Williams and Carl Thomas with Russ Morgan and Paul Roberts, after meeting at The Hacienda in 1988. Basing themselves in Wrexham and Manchester, they added Mancunian vocalist Bobbi Depasois, scoring UK no.3 single "Rhythm Is a Mystery" in 1991, amongst others. As well as their own hits, they have remixed some of the biggest names in music.
See them live at 90s Baby Dance - 17 Sep 2021
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LMC (80) - 80
LMC Listen
567,000 listeners a month
Chart-topping Techno 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. Mancunian singer Rachel McFarlane, famous for her work with fellow Manchester bands Loveland and N-Trance, provided vocals on their 2004 UK no.1 hit "Take Me To The Clouds Above".
Shura (85) 79
Shura Listen
571,000 listeners a month
London born and based, Manchester raised, synth-pop singer Alexandra Lilah Denton played for Manchester City Girls (Under 11 to Under 16 level), before switching to music. Her debut abum, "Nothing's Real" charted at UK no.13. Despite her City connections, she is an avid Manchester United fan,
Shayne Ward (79) 78
Shayne Ward Listen
586,000 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, Richard Fleeshman, Sarah Harding and... erm... Bill Tarmey and Kevin Kennedy.
Happy Mondays (77) - 77
Happy Mondays Listen
604,000 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 Arena - 3 Dec 2021
See SHAUN RYDER in conversation - 3 Sep 2021
See BEZ in conversation - 11 Mar 2022
See BEZ celebrity boxing - 2 Oct 2021
See HAPPY MONDAZE at FAC251 - 2 Oct 2021
Doves (74) 76
Doves Listen
634,000 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, with three UK number one albums, including "The Universal Want" in September 2020.
See them live Manchester o2 Apollo - 3 Mar 2022
See them in Delamere Forest - 19 Jun 2022
When In Rome (78) 75
When In Rome Listen
657,000 listeners a month
New wave Manchester trio 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). Following a fractious break-up in the 1990s, keyboardist Michael Floreale was sacked. He has since used the American legal system to get his revenge, claiming all of the royalties when their biggest hit was used in the 2004 film "Napoleon Dynamite", and trademarking the name When In Rome, meaning the original members now tour under the moniker Farrington+Mann (Original Members of When in Rome UK).
Floating Points

(63) 74

Floating Points Listen
686,000 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. His April 2021 album "Promises" reached no,6 in the UK charts.
See him live at Warehouse Project - 18 Sep 2021
See him live at Warehouse Project - 9 Oct 2021
See him live in Liverpool - 15 Oct 2021
Simian (76) 73
Simian Listen
691,000 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 2002 "Never Be Alone" track (as"We Are Your Friends") in 2016.
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (64) 72
BBC Philharmonic Listen
718,000 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
N-Trance (70) 71
N-Trance Listen
754,000 listeners a month
Multi-million selling dance group formed at The Oldham College in 1990. Amongst their many chart hits, regular guest vocalist Kelly Llorenna - who also comes from Oldham - appears on their biggest smash, "Set You Free", which reached UK no.2 in 1995
See them live at 90s Baby Dance - 17 Sep 2021
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Crazy Penis (66) 70
Crazy P Listen
799,000 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 despite massive popularity on Spotify and YouTube.
See them live Manchester Club Academy - 12 Nov 2021
IAMDDB (68) 69
809,000 listeners a month
Hotly-tipped Mancunian urban jazz vocalist, Diana Debrito, was born to Portuguese and Angolan musician parents. Despite millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube and a partnership with Adidas, she is yet to have chart success.
See her live Manchester Academy - 13 Oct 2021
Limahl (69) 68
Limahl Listen
831,000 listeners a month
Pemberton-born and raised Christopher Hamill went solo after being sacked by synth pop band Kajagoogoo in 1983, after just a year fronting the band. His stage name is an anagram of his real surname. He reached UK no.4 and topped the charts in Norway and Sweden with the theme tune for the 1984 movie "Never Ending Story".
Roisin Murphy (New Entry) 67
Róisín Murphy Listen
847,000 listeners a month
Born in Wicklow, Ireland, the jazz and pop singer-songwriter moved to Manchester with her parents in 1985, aged 12. After three years, her parents divorced and returned to Ireland, however, already immersed in the Manchester music scene, Murphy insisted on remaining in Manchester and lived with her best friend for a year in Stockport, until she could receive Housing Benefit for a nearby flat. She moved to Sheffield, aged 19, for university, where she met boyfriend Mark Brydon and the duo formed trip-hop act Moloko.
See her live at MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 17 Sep 2021
The The (62) 66
The The (Johnny Marr) Listen
864,000 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 and collaborated with Johnson once more for a cover of The Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer In The City" in December 2018
See JOHNNY MARR with The Courteeners - 25 Sep 2021
Paul Lewis (58) 65
Paul Lewis Listen
869,000 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.
Courteeners (65) 64
Courteeners Listen
880,000 listeners a month
Stadium rockers from Middleton and former Manchester United ball boys who have many locally inspired songs including "Fallowfield Hillbilly" who have enjoyed seven UK Top 6 albums since their debut 2007 single "Acrylic," including the no.2 "More. Again. Forever." in January 2020.
See them live at Old Trafford Cricket Ground - 25 Sep 2021
Pip Millett (67) 63
Pip Millett Listen
898,000 listeners a month
Melodic Mancunian soulstress who blissfully fuses R&B and soul. She first found fame by performing the vocals on Joe Hertz 2017 "Goodbye Kisses" track, scoring 13 million Spotify streams, and has since gone on to release an EP and a handful of solo singles, each enjoying millions of streams in their own right without hitting the UK charts.
See her live at Manchester Academy 3 - 27 Oct 2021
ABC (61) 62
ABC (Martin Fry) Listen
950,000 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 in Leeds - 18 Sep 2021
Bou (72) 61
Bou Listen
988,000 listeners a month
Young Algerian-born, Mancunian raised deep, dirty and sometimes soulful Drum & Bass DJ Amine Bou, who swept up the Best Producer, Best Breakthrough Producer, Best Breakthrough DJ and Best Track awards at at the Drum & Bass Awards 2020. Yet to have chart success despite millions of streams.
See him live at Parklife - Sun 12 Sep 2021
See him live at Warehouse Project - 15 Oct 2021
See him live at Warehouse Project - 22 Oct 2021
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Buzzcocks (57) 60
Buzzcocks Listen
1.01 million listeners a month
Punk rock band formed in Bolton in 1976, going on to be one of the most influential Manchester bands ever. Singer and guitarist Pete Shelley died of a heart attack in December 2018.
See them live at Manchester Academy 3 - 11 Mar 2022
Beautiful South (59) - 59
The Beautiful South (Paul Heaton) Listen
1.04 million listeners a month
The multi-million selling 1990's pop legends from Hull were fronted by "Cheshire born, Yorkshire bred, Surrey fed, Manchester living" singer-songwriter Paul Heaton, who moved to Manchester in 2001, famously owning The Kings Arms in Salford from 2011-2015. The band recorded three more albums following his move to the city, including the single "Manchester", shortly before they split in 2007. The "last king of pop" - who has now gone solo and lives in Withington - complained that "the most frustrating thing about Hull is that no one from there has been to see me in Manchester. Not because they don’t like me any more, but because it feels like the other end of the planet. I’m two hours away by train, but it’s as if I’ve moved to Australia." His latest album with The Beautiful South's St. Helen's vocalist Jacqui Abbot, "Manchester Calling", topped the UK charts in March 2020
See Paul Heaton live Castlefield Bowl - 23 Sep 2021
See Paul Heaton at Neighbourhood Weekender - Sun 5 Sep 2021
Kathryn Stott (48) 58
Kathryn Stott Listen
1.05 million listeners a month
Although born up the road in Nelson, this world renowned 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. She has enjoyed much success in the UK Classical charts, especially for her collaboration with leading cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Herman's Hermits (56) 57
Herman's Hermits Listen
1.08 million 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 Ting Tings (55) 56
The Ting Tings Listen
1.1 million 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
Dario G (53) 55
Dario G Listen
1.14 million 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
M People (52) 54
M People Listen
1.16 million 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 at Bridgewater Hall - 1 Apr 2022
Liam Gallagher (51) 53
Liam Gallagher Listen
1.2 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. He has since had three UK no.1 solo albums. Whilst his backing band is made up of Americans and Londoners, original Oasis member Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs performs on two album tracks. Whilst, like estranged brother Noel, he is a huge City fan, he is also a huge fan of Eric Cantona, who appeared in the video for his 2019 single, "Once".
See Oasis tribute bands in Manchester
Pale Waves (71) 52
Pale Waves Listen
(1.23 million 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, whilst their follow up, "Who Am I" reached no.3 while the country was in Lockdown in February 2021.
See them live at o2 Victoria Warehouse - 1 Mar 2022
Lisa Stansfield (50) 51
Lisa Stansfield Listen
1.25 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"
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Elbow (49) 50
Elbow Listen
1.29 million listeners a month
UK Album Chart-topping Mercury Music Prize winning band formed at Bury College in 1990. Amongst many Manchester-inspired songs, including "Station Approach" and "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl", their hit "Grounds For Divorce" was written about The Temple of Convenience bar on Oldham Street and "The Seldom Seen Kid" was a tribute to late Bury songwriter Brian Glancy (who was also David Gray's Best Man).
See them live at o2 Apollo - 28 - 30 Sep 2021
TCTS (40) 49
TCTS Listen
1.29 million listeners a month
Mancunian electronica DJ Sam O'Neill is popular on Spotify and, presumably, in gyms across the country, but still to have chart success,
Noel Gallagher (42) 48
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Listen
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 Oasis tribute bands in Manchester
McFly (43) 47
McFly (Danny Jones) Listen
1.42 million listeners a month
Multi-million selling pop band fronted by Bolton vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Danny Jones, who originally shared 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" and has since taken sole frontman duty since reforming in 2019. A lifelong Bolton Wanderers fan, he also embarked on a solo career in 2018 (93,000 listeners a month)
See them live Manchester Arena - 23 Sep 2021
Solardo (41) 46
Solardo Listen
1.46 million listeners a month
Mancunian house music production duo, Mark Richard and James Eliot, who formed in 2016 and have signed up many local DJs to their Sola label. Popular on the festival circuit, they scored their first chart success in August 2019, with "XTC" reaching no.48 in the UK charts
See them at Parklife - Sun 12 Sep 2021
See them at Warehouse Project - 29 Oct 2021
Blossoms (46) 45
Blossoms Listen
1.51 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, as did their thrid album"Foolish Loving Spaces", in Feb 2020.

See them live Manchester Arena - 18 Sep 2021

See them with THE KILLERS - Old Trafford - 11 Jun 2022

Five (45) 44
Five (Jason "J" Brown) Listen
1.54 million listeners a month
The manufactured five piece were largely built around "the resident, president, 5th element" Newton-le-Willows rapper "J" Brown, selling more than 10 million records over a period of, appropriately, five years (1997-2001). The oldest member of the band, he co-wrote and performed the main rap on most of their songs, including UK no.1 singles "Keep On Movin", "Let's Dance" and "We Will Rock You". After leaving the group, he finished third on the 2007 series of "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" . Richie, Scott and Sean have reformed the group without J and Abz.
See them live at 90s Baby Pop - 18 Sep 2021
Asia (44) 43
Asia (Geoff Downes) Listen
1.7 million listeners a month
80's Prog Rock supergroup, popular in America, formed by legendary Stockport keyboard player Geoffrey Downes with John Wetton (King Crimson), Steve Howe (Yes), and Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) in 1981. The prolific Mancunian writes all the group's songs, including the international hit, "Heat Of The Moment" on their US Billboard chart-topping 1982 debut album
Primal Scream (39) 42
Primal Scream Listen
1.79 million listeners a month
After being sacked by Manchester band The Wake in 1983, Glaswegian bass player Bobby Gillespie briefly joined The Jesus & Mary Chain before reuniting with his childhood group in Glasgow, 1986; later recruiting Henry Olsen and Phillip "Toby" Tomanov (1988-96) from Nico's Manchester backing band, The Faction. 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 (1991-1994), and, later, Crumpsall's former Stone Roses bass player, Gary "Mani" Mounfield (1996-2012), who they described as "the best signing since Cantona!". Original keyboard player Martin Duffy would also perform in The Charlatans following the death of Rob Collins in 1996, whilst the likes of Bramhall based Jah Wobble ("Higher Than the Sun") , New Order's Bernard Sumner ("Shoot Speed/Kill Light") and The Chemical Brothers ("Swastika Eyes") all have collaborated. Denise Johnson died suddenly, aged 56, at home in Manchester in July 2020.
Morrissey (38) 41
Morrissey Listen
1.84 million listeners a month
Davyhulme-born former Smiths frontman turned disappointing Brexit-supporting racist 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?" His two 2018 Manchester concerts were cancelled after backlash and planned protests from former fans, after he came out in support of jailed English Defence League leader Stephen "Tommy Robinson" Yaxley-Lennon. It doesn't seem to have affected his popularity on Spotify nor sales of his recent UK Top 5 albums in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
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Chase & Status (37) 40
Chase & Status Listen
1.85 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"
See them DJ at Warehouse Project - 22 Oct 2021
See them live in Blackpool - 18 Sep 2021
Laura White (47) 39
Laura White Listen
1.94 million listeners a month
The Atherton dance singer went from finishing eighth in the 2008 series of "The X Factor" (won by Alexandra Burke), to songwriting for Alicia Keys, Jess Glynne, and Rita Ora amongst others. Her 2009 debut single "You Should Have Known" is her only Top 40 solo hit, although she also wrote and provided vocals to Galantis & Hook n Slingon's UK no.16 hit "Love on Me", and has collaborated with Bugzy Malone amongst others
The Stone Roses (34) 38
The Stone Roses Listen
1.95 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"
See Stone Roses Tributes in Manchester
Nico (32) 37
Nico Listen
2.07 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 was released in 2018 [watch trailer]. Maxine Peake also wrote and performed "The Nico Project" for the 2019 Manchester International Festival, based upon her life.
Read our Nico 1988 Film Review
The Cult (36) - 36
The Cult (Billy Duffy) Listen
2.1 million 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
David Gray (35) - 35
David Gray Listen
2.2 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 in Leeds & Liverpool - May 2022
James (33) 34
James Listen
2.4 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 - 3 Dec 2021
Crosby Stills & Nash (31) 33
Crosby, Stills & Nash Listen
2.42 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"
Hurts (30) 32
Hurts Listen
2.49 million listeners a month
Hugely popular in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the synth popstars originally met outside 42nd Street nightclub in 2005. After unsuccessful incarnations as the Manchester band, Bureau and, later, Daggers, they scored huge success worldwide as a duo in 2010 with their debut album "Happiness" (UK no.4) and topped the UK charts in 2013 as featured artists on Calvin Harris & Alesso's "Under Control" - 354 million Spotify streams. 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 at o2 Manchester Apollo - 13 Sep 2021
CSNY (25) 31
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Listen
2.65 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"
The Best Bars in Europe
The Buggles (29) 30
The Buggles (Geoff Downes) Listen
2.7 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. The two would go on to replace Manchester City fan Rick Wakeman and Accrington vocalist Jon Anderson in prog-rock group Yes in 1980 for the album "Drama", with their epic track "We Could Fly" later recorded in 2011, with Downes as permanent member.
Mike & The Mechanics (28) 29
Mike & The Mechanics (Paul Young) Listen
2.77 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.
The Buggles (27) 28
Yes (Jon Anderson, Ian Wallace & Geoff Downes) Listen
2.81 million listeners a month
Accrington born vocalist and Manchester United fanatic Jon Anderson emerged from the Beatles-inspired Manchester band he started with his brother, The Warriors. Restricted to performing local pubs and working mens' clubs - as well as Manchester Cathedral - he left for London in 1967 with their Bury born drummer Ian Wallace, where he formed Yes with bassist Chris Squire. The prog-rock legends have enjoyed numerous line-ups during their history, with California-based Anderson and Manchester City supporting keyboard player Rick Wakeman originally leaving in 1980, to be replaced by Buggles duo Trevor Horn and Stockport keyboard player Geoffrey Downes; who would deliver the album "Drama", writing the epic track "We Could Fly" - which wasn't actually recorded until 2011, when he became permanent (and current) member. As well as fronting spin off groups including Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, Anderson has rejoined the group various times in their 50 year history - although never at the same time as Downes. Ian Wallace only performed with Yes once, in 1968, before joining King Crimson in 1971 and becoming drummer for Bob Dylan, The Travelling Wilburys and Graham Nash, amongst others. He died of cancer, aged 60, in 2007.
See them live at Bridgewater Hall - 17 Jun 2022
New Hope Club (60) 27
New Hope Club Listen
2.86 million listeners a month
Manchester-based boy band who reached UK no.5 with their self-titled debut album in February 2020 despite no charting singles. Signed to The Vamps record label, the trio includes Macclesfield's Blake Richardson and former Accrington-born X-Factor Stereo Kicks contestant Reece Bibby, who had previously dated Noel Gallagher's daughter, Anais.
Chemical Brothers (24) 26
The Chemical Brothers Listen
2.94 million listeners a month
Londoners Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons 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. With six UK no.1 albums to their name, they've kept a close relationship with Manchester, with guest vocalists including Tim Burgess, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and Bernard Sumner
Cinematic Orchestra (26) 25
The Cinematic Orchestra Listen
2.99 million listeners a month
Nu-jazz band formed in London by Jason Swinscoe in 1999. Many of the band members were 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. With Swinscoe taking a hiatus from 2012-2019, the Manchester-based musicians would go on to form the brilliant folk act The Breath (29,000 listeners). in 2016, with Manchester Irish musician Ríoghnach Connolly. Flowers (whilst still performing with The Breath), was the only Mancunian member to appear on the Orchestra's "To Believe" UK Top 20 comeback album in 2019.
See THE BREATH in Shipley - 4th Nov 2021
Modest Mouse (22) 24
Modest Mouse (Johnny Marr) Listen
3.25 million listeners a month
American band which enjoyed their greatest UK success with Manchester legend Johnny Marr as full-time song-writing guitarist between 2005 and 2009, recording the band's only Billboard chart-topping album "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank" in 2007 and writing their biggest hit "Dashboard". 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."
See JOHNNY MARR with The Courteeners - 25 Sep 2021
Rixton (23) - 23
Rixton Listen
3.37 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. Despite the UK no.1 single "Me & My Broken Heart" and a huge following, they disappeared without a trace after their label dropped them. A mysteriously released track on Soundcloud in December 2016 indicated they had not split up but it wasn't until April 2019 that they would re-emerge, so far with less success, under the name Push Baby (268,000 listeners)
10cc (21) 22
10cc Listen
3.4 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 Bridgewater Hall - 28 Mar 2022
See GRAHAM GOULDMAN live RNCM - 9 Oct 2021
Joy Division (20) 21
Joy Division Listen
3.51 million listeners a month
Influential Salford band formed in 1976, and famously signed to Factory Records. Fronted by Manchester City supporting Macclesfield songwriter 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 - Manchester o2 Apollo - 14 Jan 2022
See Joy Division Orchestrated - Manchester o2 Apollo - 17 Sep 2021
See New Order in Heaton Park - 10 Sep 2021
See Joy Division Tributes in Manchester
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The Hollies (19) 20
The Hollies Listen
3.81 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 - 14 Jun 2022
Take That (18) 19
Take That Listen
3.81 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 Arena - 9th Dec 2021
Thin LIzzy (16) 18
Thin Lizzy (Phil Lynott & Darren Wharton) Listen
4.1 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. A statue stands in his honour on Harry Street, Dublin. 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.
See Thin Lizzy Tributes in Manchester
Mammal Hands (15) 17
Aitch Listen
4.1 million listeners a month
"M-Manchester way; you get me"; endorsed by Jesse Lingard & Marcus Rashford, the increasingly popular 19 year old freestyle rapper from New Moston who is signed to Manchester's Northern Quarterz label, where his "Straight Rhymez" track clocked up over 20 million YouTube views, and 16 million Spotify streams in 2018. It wasn't until the summer of 2019 though, that the Manchester United fan would enjoy his first taste of UK chart success; dominating the chart in September with three singles in the UK Top 10 at the same time; including a remix of Ed Sheeran & Stormzy's chart-topper"Take Me Back To London," ("Take me back to Manny"), and his own UK no.2 banger,"Taste (Make It Shake)" with his debut album "AitcH20" reaching UK no.3. The follow up, "Polaris" also reached the UK Top 10 in June 2020.
The Monkees (14) 16
The Monkees (Davy Jones) Listen
4.26 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
The Outfield (17) 15
The Outfield Listen
4.29 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. Bassist and lead singer Tony Lewis died, aged 62, in October 2020.
Bipolar Sunshine

(54) 14

Bipolar Sunshine Listen
4.46 million listeners a month
LA-living, 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 - until being passed by "Wonderwall" in March 2019 - was the most streamed song ever featuring a Mancunian artist - an incredible 832 million plays so far! A Manchester City fan, his solo material is popular on Spotify with "Whole Heart" being streamed 105 million times without gaining any chart success. In August 2019, he co-wrote the hit single "Brown Skin Girl" for Beyonce.
Simply Red (13) - 13
Simply Red Listen
4.87 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.
See them live at Manchester Arena - 16 Oct 2021
New Order (11) 12
New Order Listen
5.36 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 New Order in Heaton Park - 10 Sep 2021
See Peter Hook - Manchester o2 Apollo - 14 Jan 2022
See Joy Division Orchestrated - Manchester o2 Apollo - 17 Sep 2021
Tom Walker (8) 11
Tom Walker Listen
5.75 million listeners a month
The down to earth Mancunian indie folk singer-songwriter - born in Scotland but raised in Chelford, near Macclesfield (he naturally fluctuates between a Scottish or Mancunian accent depending on his audience) - finally hit the big time in March 2019 when his debut album topped the UK chart.

His bluesy folk pop sound helped him garner a massive following on Spotify, Deezer and Youtube by October 2017, earning him a support slot for fellow Manchester United fans Hurts, on their European tour, before his "Leave A Light On" single catapulted him to international fame, reaching no.2 in Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic - eventually climbing to UK no.7, eight months later - and being streamed over 374 million times.
Manchester Restaurants
Rick Astley (12) 10
Rick Astley Listen
5.78 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.

Now living with his Danish wife in Copenhagen, he is a match-going Manchester United fan whose career has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, thanks largely to exposure provided by Bolton comedian Peter Kay.
See him live at Manchester Arena - 13 Nov 2021
Bugzy Malone (5) 9
Bugzy Malone Listen
6.04 million listeners a month
The popular grime artist from Crumpsall set the trail for the current crop of 0161 rappers, singing about his experiences growing up in a criminal family in North Manchester and, more recently, the wealth (and Lamborghini Huracán Spyder) his four Top 10 albums have brought him. A United fan, most of his songs reference Manchester (and his success). Seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Bury in March 2020, he bounced back with his biggest singles chart success yet, reaching UK no.18 with "M.E.N. III" in August 2020.
See him live at MANCHESTER ARENA - 4 Dec 2021
The Smiths (10) 8
The Smiths Listen
6.22 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 Smiths Tributes in Manchester
The Verve (9) 7
The Verve Listen
6.43 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 in Liverpool - 29 Oct 2021
The 1975 (7) 6
The 1975 Listen
9.71 million listeners a month
The Manchester indie pop band fronted by Matthew Healy - son of actors Denise Welch and Tim Healy - 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 one of the most popular bands in the world, with their tracks streamed hundreds of millions times literally overnight; their first four albums all topped the charts in the UK, with no.1 places in the 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."
JP Cooper (6) 5
JP Cooper Listen
12.14 million listeners a month
The Middleton singer/songwriter 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 801 million times so far).

His own "September Song" became an international hit single, shifting over 600,000 copies in the UK alone and has so far been streamed 477 million times, helping his debut album, with its Manchester influenced title, "Raised Under Grey Skies" reach the UK Top 10 in October 2017,
See him live at GORILLA - 29 May 2022
Oasis Maine Road (3) 4
Oasis Listen
16.07 million listeners a month
The rock band formed in Manchester, 1991, by Burnage brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher still ride high in the UK album charts and worldwide on Spotify. Their biggest hit, "Wonderwall" only became the most streamed song by a Manchester artist in March 2019 (overtaking Bipolar Sunshine's "Middle"), becoming the first by a local artist to clock over a billion plays (currently at 1.22 billion). It has since been surpassed by Harry Styles' "Watermelon Sugar."

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. Based in London, 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. Oasis got their revenge though, heavily outselling their London "rivals" over their 18 year career (8 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 two of the band were Reds. 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.

Liam would later team up with Eric Cantona for the video to his "Once" solo single. It is the United legend's quote which 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 Oasis tribute bands in Manchester
Bee Gees (4) 3
Bee Gees Listen
16.55 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
Riton (2) - 2
Riton Listen
19.76 million listeners a month
The electronica DJ from Newcastle, Henry Smithson, started his career in Manchester with Mark Rae's Grand Central label in 2001 whilst working at the Fat City Records shop in the Northern Quarter. Despite being popular on the Manchester scene, he only scored his first mainstream success in 2016 when his catchy UK no.13 hit "Rinse & Repeat" was used on the Vauxhall Corsa Energy advert. He has since gone on to enjoy billions of streams with the January 2021 single "Friday" delivering his biggest chart success to date, reaching no.4 with an incredible 451 million Spotify plays.
Harry Styles (1) - 1
Harry Styles Listen
34.19 million listeners a month
With an unbelievable 34 million monthly streams, the One Direction heart-throb from Holmes Chapel is now the 42nd most popular artist in the world on Spotify; after going solo in 2017 with his self-titled album topping the charts in an incredible 15 countries, including the UK and USA.

Overtaking Oasis' "Wonderwall", despite only being released in May 2020, his Grammy and BRIT award-winning, U.S. Billboard chart-topping single "Watermelon Sugar" is now the most streamed song by a Manchester artist, with over 1.41 billion Spotify plays.

Originally the lead singer of Manchester band White Eskimo, he found fame thanks to the X Factor. Highlighting his global appeal, his 2019 second album, "Fine Line", topped the charts in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Croatia, Ireland, and Lithuania.

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."

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~ Ariana Grande (59 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 has fallen from being the most popular artist in the world on Spotify to 7th position
~ One Direction (25 million listeners a month) The world conquering UK/Irish boy band finished third on the 2010 edition of "X Factor". The line-up includes Holmes Chapel singer Harry Styles, who shares vocal duties with the four other members of the band. He co-wrote the songs "Happily". "Where Do Broken Hearts Go". "Stockholm Syndrome", "If I Could Fly", and "Olivia" . See LOUIS TOMLINSON: 02 APOLLO - 19th Apr 2022
~ Robbie Williams (10 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 (4.27 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.
~ Blue (2.24 million listeners a month) The boy band, formed by close friends in London, 2001, includes Moss Side singer and big United fan, Simon Webbe. He shares singing duties with the three other members of the band and, amongst many other songs, co-wrote the hits "All Rise" and "Fly By II", whilst Gary Barlow wrote the no.2 hit "Guilty". He has since enjoyed a succesful solo career (244,000 listeners a month)
~ First Aid Kit (2.05 million listeners) Folk and Country sister duo, Johanna and Klara Söderberg, from Stockholm, first 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), with its 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."
~ Moloko (1.4 million listeners) The "Sing It Back" and "Time is Now" duo were formed in Sheffield by Mark Brydon and his girfriend, the Irish-born, Manchester-raised Róisín Murphy in 1994. They split in 2003. See ROISIN MURPHY live: MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 17th Sep 2021
~ Andy Gibb (960,000 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
~ Slade (730,000 listeners) Despite the fact that loveable lead singer of the 1970's Wolverhampton glam rockers, Noddy Holder, has lived in Castlefield and Prestbury for most of his life, he has never lost his strong Black Country accent. See their current line up: MANCHESTER o2 RITZ - 19th Dec 2021
~ Connan Mockasin (582,000 listeners) Laid back New Zealand dream pop and psych-funk oddball Connan Tant Hosford lived in Whalley Range at his manager's house in 2012 and 2013. See him live at STOILLER HALL - 25 Nov 2021
~ Big Country (527,000 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. See their current line up live: BOWDON ROOMS - 26th Sep - EXCLUSIVE 20% OFF - & MANCHESTER ACADEMY 2 - 11th Dec 2021
~ Charlotte OC (517,000 listeners) Fresh from supporting Chelford's Tom Walker on tour, Charlotte O'Connor, from just up the road in Blackburn, is a name to follow!
~ BT (489,000 listeners) American trance DJ Brian Transeau who recorded his legendary "Ima" album whilst briefly living in Manchester
~ Shed Seven (283,000 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: ACADEMY - 11th & 22nd Dec 2021 + RICK WITTER at THE BOWDON ROOMS - 24 Mar 2022
~ Fun Boy Three (181,000 listeners a month) Former Specials frontman Terry Hall left the 1981 Coventry-formed new wave pop trio when he moved to New Mills in 1984 - the band deliberately never playing gigs on a Manchester United match day, so that the huge red could attend the games. Whilst in Manchester, he formed another trio, The Colourfield. Despite the fact that all three members were, again, originally from Coventry, the band was based in Manchester, before splitting in 1987, with Hall relocating to London shortly afterwards (46,000 listeners)
~ Billy Thorpe (172,000 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
~ Star.One (80,000 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
~ Lemmy (49,000 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.
~ Roy Harper (46,000 listeners) The English folk legend was born in Rusholme in 1941 but moved to St Annes, aged 6
~ Throbbing Gristle (42,000 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
~ The Unthanks (40,000 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).
~ John Gardner (1,600 listeners) Composer born in Manchester but raised in Devon. Died in 2011.
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~ Hot Milk (406,000 listeners a month) The Mancunian emo power-pop duel fronted band were formed in 2018 by housemates, music promoter Han Mee and lighting director James Shaw. Despite millions of streams on Spotify, they are still to have chart success. See them live: MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 10th Sep 2021
~ Aim (394,000 listeners a month) Electronic Hip Hop producer, Andrew Turner, whose jazzy 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.
~ The Cribs (Johnny Marr) (387,000 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" UK no.8 album at Moolah Rouge studio in Stockport. See them live: MANCHESTER ACADEMY - 6th Mar 2022
~ The Mouse Outfit (385,000 listeners) Part hip hop production team / part live band and Band On The Wall regulars, this ever growing collective of Manchester jazz influenced hip hop, funk, and reggae musicians have enjoyed millions of steams without chart success. Since being founded by longstay members Chini and Defty in 2013, their line up has included over 85 local musicians including IAMDDB, Black Josh, Kinkai, Layfullstop, and Fox, and Dr Syntax.. See them live: LEEDS - 29 Oct 2021
~ Ian Brown (385,000 listeners) The Warrington-born, Altrincham-raised Stone Roses frontman 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. He fragmented his fanbase in 2020, during the COVID pandemic, bizarrely repeating many conspiracy theories and advocating for the anti-mask and anti-vaxx movements.
~ Viola Beach (381,000 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 - who started their tour with a pre-recorded set of Viola Beach's music. Manchester City and Tottenham fans held a minute's applause in their memory the following match whilst Coldplay, (who were famously signed by Parlophone after a concert at Manchester's Cuba Cafe in 1998), started their Glastonbury performance with a cover of "Boys Who Sing." Released posthumously, their debut album topped the UK charts.
~ Badly Drawn Boy (381,000 listeners a month) Mancunian folk pop singer/songwriter Damon Gough, who was brought up in Breightmet, Bolton and emerged from the Manchester underground scene as co-owner of iconic Northern Quarter record label Twisted Nerve, on which he released a series of limited edition EPs in 1997. His debut album "The Hour of Bewilderbeast" won the Mercury Music Prize in 2000, ironically beating his friends (and occassional backing band) Doves, before he famously recorded the soundtrack for the 2002 movie "About A Boy". He lives in Didsbury.
~ Crywank (374,000 listeners) Humorous Manchester anti-folk duo originally started as a solo project by misfit James Clayton. Despite millions of Spotify streams, the duo were set to split in July 2020 after touring - currently delayed by the COVID19 pandemic.. See them live at BAND ON THE WALL - 2 Feb 2022
~ Phil Lynott (373,000 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.
~ Lamb (366,000 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"
~ William Walton (365,000 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
~ Laurent Garnier (353,000 listeners a month) Legendary French electonic music DJ, who started his career after moving to Altrincham, as a 20 year old chef, in 1986. His mixtapes were picked up by Tony Wilson, who invited him to put on the Wednesday night, Zumbar parties at The Haçienda between 1987 and 1988 (under the name "DJ Pedro") with Mike Pickering. He returned to France in 1988 for military service where his DJ career blossomed further. See them live at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 18 Sep 2021
~ Meekz (347,000 listeners) Hooded and masked Gorton freestyling rapper "Meekz Manny" already had millions of Spotify and YouTube streams under his belt before scoring his first UK chart success in July 2020 with the Top 50 single "Like Me" and no,32 album "Can't Stop Won't Stop". See him live at MANCHESTER PARKLIFE - Sat 11 Sep 2021
~ Mr. Scruff (336,000 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
~ 808 State (334,000 listeners a month) 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 o2 RITZ - 16 Oct 2021
~ Barry Gibb (333,000 listeners) The eldest of Chorlton's Gibb brothers released his first solo music in 1970. Knighted in 2018.
~ Barclay James Harvest (331,000 listeners) 1960's Oldham rockers who are incredibly popular in Germany, Switzerland and France. Chadderton keyboard player Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme died in 2010
~ Glue70 (331,000 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. See him live with BARRY CAN'T SWIM at YES MANCHESTER - 2 Oct 2021
~ Sir John Barbirolli (326,000 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 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. See THE HALLE in MANCHESTER
~ Danny Dearden (324,000 listeners a month) Manchester pop singer/songwriter who has notched up millions of streams as a featured artist on dance tracks from Swedish DJ Erlandsson and French DJ Michael Calfan, as well as solo releases
~ Krystal Klear (324,000 listeners) New Order inspired Irish House DJ Declan Lennon - who emerged through the Manchester club scene, whilst living in the city, with longstanding residences at Warehouse Project and Hoya:Hoya. ~ See him live at PARKLIFE ~ Sat 11th Sep 21 + HALLOWEEN at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 30 Oct 21
~ Salute (322,000 listeners) Manchester and Vienna based Nigerian DJ. ~ See him live with DISCLOSURE at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 30 Oct 21
~ Christy Moore (313,000 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. Two days later he played at The Bury Folk Club, where his set including the track "Spancihill", which has remained part of his set ever since. 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.
~ Jonathan Ogden (312,000 listeners) Mancunian Christian worship singer and frontman of Rivers & Robots
~ Johnny Marr (300,000 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. See him live with THE COURTEENERS at OLD TRAFFORD CRICKET GROUND - 25 Sep 2021
~ Virus Syndicate (294,000 listeners) The Mancunian pioneers of dubstep and grime, centred around JSD and Nika D
~ Rae & Christian (284,000 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.
~ The Fall (278,000 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. Also see: THE FALL WALKING TOUR - 25 Sep 2021
~ The Durutti Column (277,000 listeners) Former Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds guitarist Vini Reilly's Factory Records post-punk jazz project, which often featured Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias drummer Bruce Mitchell. The first band to be released on Tony Wilson's iconic label in 1978, alongside Joy Division, John Dowie and Cabaret Voltaire. Original bassist Dave Rowbotham was murdered in 1991 and later memorialised in the Happy Mondays song "Cowboy Dave."
~ GoGo Penguin (272,000 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. See them live: ALBERT HALL - 22 Oct 2021
~ Simian Mobile Disco (268,000 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
~ Push Baby (268,000 listeners) Formerly known as Rixton, the Manchester boy band re-emerged in 2019 after a 4 year hiatus
~ Sasha (266,000 listeners) The influential North Wales trance and house DJ and electronic producer famously started his career at The Hacienda in 1988, playing his first ever set at a club in Stockport, whilst living in Disley. He moved to Stoke-on-Trent two years later.
~ DRS (265,000 listeners) Popular Mancunian drum n bass vocalist Delroy Pottinger
~ Frameworks (262,000 listeners) Acclaimed Mancunian down tempo and instrumental producer Matthew Brewer
~ Flip & Fill (250,000 listeners) Mancunian Trance DJs Graham Turner and Mark Hall signed to the All Around The World label.
~ Simon Webbe (244,000 listeners) The Moss Side born United supporting former Blue star who went solo in 2015
~ Ellysse Mason (244,000 listeners) Enchanting Rochdale artist currently enjoying millions of streams on Spotify.
~ Electronic (242,000 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.
~ John Mayall (234,000 listeners) The Macclesfield frontman of The Bluesbreakers went solo in 1967.
~ The Lathums (232,000 listeners) Upcoming Wigan indie rockers. ~ See them live at GORILLA - 27 Oct 2021 + o2 VICTORIA WAREHOUSE ~ 16th Oct 2021 /  See them support BLOSSOMS at MANCHESTER ARENA ~ 18th Sep 2021
~ Stephen Hough (230,000 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.
~ The Lottery Winners (226,000 listeners) Indie pop rockers from Leigh whose long-awaited debut album reached UK no.23 in March 2020. See them live at o2 RITZ - 25 Sep 2021
~ Inspiral Carpets (223,000 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. See TOM HINGLEY live: SNUG COFFEE HOUSE - 6 Nov 2021
~ Larkins (220,000 listeners a month) Emerging Manchester indie pop-rockers surely destined for big things.
~ Children of Zeus (219,000 listeners a month) Manchester Soul/Hip Hop duo Tyler Daley and Konny Kon. See them live at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 18 Sep 2021 + o2 RITZ - 14 Oct 2021
~ BBMak (Mark Berry) (212,000 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. Reunited in 2018, their new album is due September 2019.
~ Rivers & Robots (207,000 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.
~ The Chameleons (207,000 listeners) 1980's Middleton post punk band. See them live at MANCHESTER o2 RITZ - 17 & 18 Dec 2021
~ Russell Watson (201,000 listeners a month) The Salford tenor who went from performing social clubs and the Half-Time entertainment at his beloved Manchester United, to topping the UK Classical charts. See him live:BRIDGEWATER HALL - 26th Nov 2021
~ Elkie Brooks (187,000 listeners) The Prestwich "Queen of British blues", born Elkie Bookbinder (sister of The Dakotas drummer Tony Mansfield), she fronted Dada and Vinegar Joe before enjoying a massively successul solo career in the 1970s and 80s
~ Mastermind (180,000 listeners) Young Manchester MC who reached UK no.39 with single "War" in April 2020
~ Mint Royale (180,000 listeners) Mancunian electro-pop duo Neil Claxton and Chris Baker who topped the charts with a 2008 remix of "Singin' in the Rain". Since 2014, the act has re-emerged as the solo alias of Neil Claxton
~ Uniting Nations (176,000 listeners) Liverpool formed UK Top 10 dance act from Stockport's Daz Sampson
~ Dub Pistols (171,000 listeners) Electro dub ska punksters formed by Manchester club promoter and DJ Barry Ashworth back in the 1990s ~ See them live in LEEDS - 14th Oct & Liverpool - 20th Nov 2021
~ Autechre (163,000 listeners) Experimental 1990s Rochdale techno legends Rob Brown and Sean Booth
~ Mammal Hands (162,000 listeners) 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. See them live: MANCHESTER STOLLER HALL - 28th Sep 2021
~ Sleeper (154,000 listeners) Britpop band formed in 1993 by Manchester University politics students Louise Werner and Jon Stewart.
~ Kelly Llorenna (141,000 listeners) The London-born, Oldham raised trance vocalist who emerged from N-Trance to enjoy many top 10 solo hits as well featuring on tracks by fellow Manchester dance acts Flip & Fill and Love to Infinity.
~ The Slow Show (140,000 listeners) Beautifully moody Manchester band. See them live: HALLE St. PETERS - 4th Mar 2022
~ Daley (138,000 listeners) Mancunian R&B singer Gareth Daley first found fame on the Gorillaz single "Doncamatic"
~ The Dakotas (127,000 listeners) Legendary 1960s Manchester instrumental band, best associated for playing with Billy J Kramer.
~ Black Grape (124,000 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.
~ Heather Small (122,000 listeners) The London-born M People vocalist went solo in 2000, scoring the hit single "Proud". See her live at BRIDGEWATER HALL ~ 1st Apr 2022
~ Hear'Say (117,000 listeners) The original winners of ITV talent show "Popstars", Bury's Suzanne Shaw and Wigan's Kym Marsh, were hand-picked to be a member of the five piece pop group in 2001. The losing finalists (including Preston's Jessica Taylor and Chorley's Kevin Simm - who went on to win"The Voice UK" and is now lead singer of Wet, Wet, Wet), formed the more popular Liberty X.
~ Mason Maynard (116,000 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 PARKLIFE ~ Sun 12th Sep 21
~ Zed Bias (115,000 listeners) Chorlton UK garage/2-step, broken beat DJ Dave Jones, a.k.a. Maddslinky. See him live at WAREHOUSE PROJECT - 18 Sep 2021
~ Working Men's Club (109,000 listeners) New wave post-punk synthpop trio formed at BIMM Manchester music college in 2017. Their eponymous debut album, with the track "John Cooper Clarke", entered the UK charts at no.26 in October 2020. See them live: THE WHITE HOTEL - 10 Sep 2021 + o2 RITZ - 12th Nov 2021 + WITH NEW ORDER: HEATON PARK 10 Sep 2021
~ Kavana (108,000 listeners) Moston pop singer and actor Anthony Kavanagh scored a number of platinum hit singles in the late 90s.
~ The KVB (108,000 listeners) The London-formed Manchester-based audio/visual electronic psychedelic duo Nicholas Wood (under the alias Klaus Von Barrel) and Kat Day who mix abstract imagery with shoegaze guitars and drum machine beats
~ Jesca Hoop (104,000 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. See her support ELBOW live at o2 APOLLO ~ 28th - 30th Sep 2021
~ Beady Eye (103,000 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.
~ Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (102,000 listeners a month) The 1960's Mancunian pop band topped the US Charts in 1965 with "The Game of Love" before lead singer Wayne Fontana (real name Glyn Ellis) broke away for a solo career. The Mindbenders continued with their guitarist Eric Stewart taking over vocals on the UK and USA no.2 cover "A Groovy Kind of Love." Stewart and Graham Gouldman would later go on to form 10CC. After a troubled later life, with bankruptcy in 2005 Fontana was held under the Mental Health Act. He died from cancer on 6 August 2020 at the age of 74.
~ The Orielles (100,000 listeners a month) Halifax formed, Manchester-based strato-pop band, whose first two albums have entered the UK Top 100. ~ See them live at SALFORD WHITE HOTEL ~ 26th Sep 2021
~ Discotron (100,000 listeners a month) Stockport DJ and Tasty Recordings boss who remixes classic disco tracks into formulatic funky house tracks under many aliases, including Audio Jacker.
 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 2,350 Manchester musicians, from 1895 to 2021
(listed in order of popularity of their biggest hit)

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