Drawings by John Moss
& Rock Music of Manchester & the North-West
Born Richard Paul Astley on 6th February 1966 in the small Lancashire
mining town of Newton-Le-Willows near Warrington, he was the
youngest of 4 children. He had sung in a local church choir
and joined several emerging local bands during his early teenage
years, including Give Way and FBI. He left school
at the age of 16 and drove a delivery van for his family's garden
centre business. While with FBI, the band contacted record
producer and promoter Pete Waterman (of Stock Aitken & Waterman)
and Rick was immediately brought to his London Studios to learn
about the record industry - he was just 19 years old.
His debut single "Never Gonna Give You Up",
soon followed in 1987, and immediately became a Number 1 hit,
remaining at the head of the music charts for 5 weeks - Britain's
largest selling single of that year. This was followed by "Whenever
You Need Somebody", a Number 1 hit in 7 countries which
sold over 15 million copies worldwide, making him the top selling
British act of the year. At the 1988 BPI Awards (the UK's Grammy
equivalent), he won Best Single Award for "Never Gonna
Give You Up". He performed the song in front of an
estimated television audience of 100 million viewers!
Other successful records followed in swift succession, including
"When I Fall In Love", "My Arms Keep Missing
You" and "Together Forever".
By now he was also a hit in the USA, where his single "It
Would Take a Strong Strong Man" became a Top 10 single
and the album earned him a 1988 Grammy nomination as 'Best New
Artist'. The Guinness Book of Records entry shows him
to have been the first male solo artist to have his first 8
singles reach the Top 10 in the UK, an achievement which has
still to be beaten.
In the 1990s he disappeared from the public eye amidst rumours
that he couldn't handle the fame. After living in Gloucestershire
for a couple of years, Rick settled down in Richmond in Surrey
with his Danish girlfriend Lene Bausager, with whom he has a
In 1993, he made a comeback attempt with the album "Body
& Soul", co-written with Rob Fisher and Lisa Stansfield.
However, the album failed to achieve the success he'd hoped
for and soon after Astley decided to retire from performances.
In 1998 he considered another comeback possibly in collaboration
with Pete Waterman but it failed to materialise. Nowadays he
records his own music in his Fulham studio in Fulham, and in
2002 he released the album "Keep It On".
Guy Garvey of "Elbow"
formed in Bury, Greater Manchester in 2000, and the band includes
Guy Garvey (vocals), Pete Turner (bass), Mark Potter (guitar),
Craig Potter (keyboards) and Richard Jupp (drums) - all from
Bury. Members of the band first played together in 1990 at The
Corner Pin pub in Ramsbottom, Bury. Lead singer Guy Garvey had
met guitarist Mark Potter at Stand College when they were just
16. To date, their biggest hits have included "Grounds
For Divorce" which was UK Number 19 in March 2008,
"Fallen Angel" (August 2003) and "Asleep
in the Back" (February 2002). In 2008 their single
"The Seldom Seen Kid" took the Mercury Music Prize
and were named 'Best British Group' at the Brit Awards ceremony
at Earl's Court. On Monday 11th May 2009, Elbow were given the
Freedom of Bury. Their music has earned critical acclaim for
its blend of sensitive indie rock, its use of introspective
lyrics and unusual instrumentation. Also in 2009 they performed
at Glastonbury and later accompanied the Hallé Orchestra
in a musical performance at the Bridgewater Hall in July as
part of the Manchester International Festival, before dashing
over to appear live at the Castlefield Outdoor Arena before
a very appreciative audience.
Acclaimed for their innovative sound and front-man Guy Garvey's
evocative candid lyrics, Elbow have received vast critical acclaim
and rated by other contemporary musicians despite only minor
commercial success during much of their career. In 2002 they
performed to musical acclaim at the Glastonbury Festival and
in 2004 went on tour in Cuba.
In May 2009, the band won two prestigious Ivor Novello awards:
the song 'One Day Like This' won the main award for Best
Song, and 'Grounds for Divorce' was voted Best Contemporary
Song. Garvey has also developed a successful solo career. Born
in Bury on 6 March 1974, Guy Edward John Patrick Garvey is also
as a presenter for BBC 6 Musicprogramme and A&R manager
of Skinny Dog Records. He previously presented a show on Sunday
evenings on XFM. His versatile vocal range characterized by
a deeply accented and thick tenor has often been compared to
addition, Garvey had a monthly column in the now defunct Manchester
edition of Time Out magazine and is a patron of MAG (the
Mines Advisory Group, the Manchester-based charity responsible
for clearing war zones of mines and munitions world wide.
was born in Bolton, the daughter of Annie and George Haslam,
and was to develop into a notable singer-songwriter. It was
in the early 1970s that Annie discovered a talent for singing,
and with encouragement from her sister she took work at the
Showboat in the Strand, a cabaret style dinner theatre
Further encouraged by her professional debut she went on to
audition in Surrey with a hitherto unknown band, Renaissance.
Her unique singing style immediately impressed band members
and she was offered the job as lead singer. This was the beginning
of a musical adventure that took her across most of the world,
and saw her performing in venues like London's Royal Albert
Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. She was to perform with
orchestras like the Royal Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic.
During her time with Renaissance she was to record her
first solo Album.
In 1977 she released 'Annie in Wonderland' which was
written for her, produced, performed and recorded by Roy Wood,
(of The Move, Wizzard and ELO). The couple later
Renaissance successfully produced music as a band from 1972
to 1987. Apart from Annie, the band consisted of Jon Camp on
bass, guitars and vocals, Michael Dunford on guitars, Terence
Sullivan on drums and percussion and keyboard player, John Tout.
Their music was described as classically-oriented progressive
folk rock, and, accompanied by the strong vocalisations of Annie
Haslam they grew in popularity and attracted an almost cult
following and fan base. After its demise, Annie continued with
her solo career.
successes included 'Opening Out', 'The Day of the Dreamer',
'Closer Than Yesterday', 'She Is Love', 'Back Home Once Again'
and 'Kindness At The End'. But their outstanding hit
single was unquestionably 'Northern Lights'. Albums included
'Novella' (1977) and 'Azure d' Or' (1979). One
of the highlights of Annie's solo career was her 1985 album
'Still Life' in which she worked again with the Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she had already performed
with back in her days with Renaissance.
Nowadays, Annie lives in the United States and works on her
solo career, and has recently done work in South America, and
developed a talent for art. Her work can be seen on her own
website at www.anniehaslam.com.
Milne & Steve Clayton
were formed in Rochdale in 1971 from the remains of three-piece
band 'The Way We Live' (originally formed in 1966 at
Balderstone School Rochdale). The band comprised Jim Milne (guitarist,
vocalist and songwriter) and Steve Clayton (drummer, percussionist
and songwriter) who had teamed up in 1971 with their manager
and sound engineer John Brierley, who later recorded many Factory
and other bands at his Cargo Studios in Rochdale.
As 'The Way We Live' they made a 1971 album for Dandelion
Records boss, the late John
Peel. After the release of this album, "A Candle
For Judith", Peel described guitarist Jim Milne as
"...the man responsible for some of the most urgent
flowing and logical guitar playing I've ever heard".
Their second album "Tractor Tractor" got to
number 18 in the Radio Luxembourg album charts and was frequently
played on the BBC by DJs like Peel, Bob Harris and Anne Nightingale.
It was also in the Virgin top 30 selling album charts in 1972.
Later that year former Rochdale College Social Secretary Chris
Hewitt became their tour manager and sound engineer and the
band opened recording studios in Dawson Street in Heywood. They
performed on the college and university circuit in winter 1972
and also released their third album "Worst Enemies".
By 1976 Tractor helped launch the Deeply Vale Free Festivals
and were the main Festival band in 1976 and 1977. As it grew
in reputation other Manchester artists appeared in the Festival
alongside Tractor, including The
Fall, Durutti Column and
Crispy Ambulance, Nik Turner
(of Hawkwind) and Steve Hillage.
During the 1990s Tractor issued singles on Dandelion Records,
UK Records, Cargo Records, Roach Records including in 1998,
"Before, During and After the Dandelion Year".
They played at Glastonbury in 2002 and the Canterbury Festival
in 2003. In 2004 ITV made a documentary about the event - "Truly
Madly Deeply Vale", which is to be released on DVD.
Parrott & Mick Coleman
Bryan & Michael - The Matchstalk Men)
Parrott & Mick Coleman
and Mick Coleman first met at The Albion Hotel at Stalybridge
in 1965. Mick joined Kevin's band 'The Big Sound' as
bass player/singer, while Kevin played lead guitar. They were
augmented with trumpet, tenor & baritone saxophones, and
during the 1960's they were based mostly in Denmark, from where
they regularly toured Europe and Israel. Mick Coleman was born
in the district of Ancoats
where he went to St Anne's school.
When eventually The Big Sound split up, Mick left
the music business for a while, and Kevin joined Manchester
rock group, 'Oscar', who eventually signed with DJM records,
and continued touring the UK and Europe. They were also one
of the few UK bands to play in Tehran, Iran.
Meantime, Mick joined a folk group and began to write what he
called 'traditional' songs for the group to perform. Then during
the early 1970s, just near to Johnny Roadhouse's music shop
in the Manchester's All Saints district, (where he had bought
his first guitar), he saw several L.S.
Lowry paintings in a shop window, which reflected his own
Manchester childhood, filled him with nostalgia and gave him
the idea to write a tribute song to Lowry. He had just begun
to make progress with the song when Lowry died in 1976.
He first sang the finished song at a folk club near Mosley Street
bus station in Manchester. In the audience that night was Trevor
Hyatt from Granada TV,
with Anna Ford, who complimented
him on the song and asked for several encores. During this time
he had formed a comedy duo with work colleague Brian Burke,
and they began performing as Burke & Jerk.
Kevin and Mick had remained friends throughout, and eventually
borrowed £1000 to produce a record of the Lowry song at
Pluto Studio in Stockport (upstairs from 10CC's
Strawberry Studios). Peter Tattersall of Strawberry suggested
a children's backing choir and they approached St Winifred's
School in nearby Heaton Mersey. They also recruited Tintwistle
Brass Band. The final song, "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk
Cats and Dogs" was recorded over three sessions in
September 1977. After being rejected several times, the song
was eventually picked up by Pye Records and
was released on 25th November 1977. By February 1978 the record
made number 45 in the charts and Kevin and Mick made their first
'Top of the Pops' appearance.
'Matchstalk Men' went to number 1 in the UK charts in
April, and stayed at the top for three weeks. The record soon
went gold, and Mick was awarded the Ivor Novello award, one
of highest accolades a songwriter can receive.
They continued working together as B&M (Bryan & Michael)
until 1980, having made two albums for Pye, but without another
substantial single hit. Despite this, Kevin produced "The
Sparrow", a number 11 hit for The Ramblers in
1979. Mick wrote the Ken Dodd hit "Hold my Hand"
in 1981. Together in their roles as writer/producer, they were
responsible for "It's Horrible being in love when you're
8½" with Claire & Friends during 1986.
There was a stage reunion of the Matchstalk Men in 2002,
when they appeared at the Plaza Theatre Stockport in April,
and most appropriately at the new Lowry
Centre at Salford Quays
during October of that year. A month later, on the 2nd November,
they were back at the Lowry at the Choir of the Year Competition,
being reunited with the original children from the St Winifred's
were a somewhat short-lived Indie band formed in Manchester
in 1989 by Warren (Dermo) Dermody, Cliff Ogier and Tim and Paul
Walsh. They were quickly signed up by Tony
Wilson to his Factory Records label, and were regarded as
one of the most promising so-called 'Madchester' scene bands
of that time. They gained a cult following and to some extent
retain that status amongst a few who remember them.
Their first release, 'Shall we Take a Trip/Moody Places',
met with critical acclaim and was soon followed by their single
'My Rising Star' and an album 'Chicken Rhythms' which
were less well received. With the decline in the music of leading
Manchester bands like the Stone Roses
the Happy Mondays, Northside's
style of music was, sadly, a little late in the day, as the
genre fell out of favour, and their last single release, 'Take
Five', in 1991, and even failed to reach the top 40, despite
their live appearance on BBC1 Television's "Top of the
Pops" show. In 2003 Warren Dermody fronted a new band
called Silent Partners who made several live appearances
at clubs in Manchester.
We are reliably informed that Partners are still going strong
and making a lot of appearances in and around Manchester as
well as further afield. If
you would like more information on Silent Partners, visit their
website at www.silent-partners.info.
John Mayall was born 29th of November 1933 in Macclesfield,
Cheshire, the eldest of three children of a working class family.
His father, who played guitar, had an extensive jazz and blues
record collection that were to prove strong influences on him
and by the age of 13 he had taught himself to play and had developed
his own style.
He spent three years at Art College and then served in the British
Army in Korea, after which he brought his first wife Pamela
to live with him in a tree house! He went on to a successful
career in graphic design, singing and playing blue music in
his spare time. From 1956 until 1962, John was performing publicly
on a part-time basis fronting 'The Powerhouse Four' and
later on 'The Blues Syndicate'. Encouraged by Alexis
Corner in the 1960s John moved to London where he soon turned
professional under the name 'John Mayall's Bluesbreakers'.
Later, he met Eric Clapton and the collaboration culminated
in the first hit album for the Bluesbreakers and resulted
in worldwide recognition.
Mayall became as well known for discovering new talent - his
"discoveries" included Peter Green, John McVie and
Mick Fleetwood (who became "Fleetwood Mac"),
Andy Fraser (who formed "Free"), and Mick Taylor
(who joined the "Rolling Stones"). His 1969
album "The Turning Point", from which his song
"Room To Move" came, was destined to become
a rock classic and was awarded a Gold Album.
In the 1970's he developed many jazz/rock/blues innovations
with such notable performers as Blue Mitchell , Red Holloway,
Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel. He also backed the likes of
John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson on
their first English club tours.
Rock and Blues Music went into popular decline by the late 1970s
and Mayall struggled to keep his career afloat. It was at this
time that he met his current wife Maggie, herself a singer/songwriter
from Chicago. Further, a brush fire devastated his Laurel Canyon
home, destroying his personal diaries and those of his father,
as well as irreplaceable master recordings, extensive book and
magazine collections, Mayall artwork.
In 1982, together with Mick Taylor and John McVie, Mayall decided
to re-form the original Bluesbreakers for a couple of
tours and a video concert film entitled "Blues Alive".
Bluesbreakers would include guitarists Coco Montoya and Walter
Trout, as well as drummer Joe Yuele.
The 1990s saw a revival of his fortunes with albums like "Behind
The Iron Curtain", "Chicago Line", "A Sense
of Place", and the Grammy-nominated "Wake Up
More recently he has released "Blues For the Lost Days"
and "Padlock On The Blues", which he co-produced
with his wife Maggie, and which featured a rare collaboration
with John Lee Hooker. In 2001 he released "Along For
The Ride". In 2002 came "Stories", and in
December 2003 the BBC broadcast an hour-long documentary on
John Mayall's life and career, entitled "The Godfather
of British Blues". In 2004 came the DVDs "Cookin'
Down Under" and "Godfather/Turning Point"
and the CD "The Turning Point Sound Track".
John Mayall is a father of six and grandfather of six, and shows
no signs of slowing down. John
Mayall has a website at www.johnmayall.com.
Singer Shayne Ward was born on 15th October 1985 and lives and
was raised in Clayton, Manchester. He is the youngest son, and
a twin, of a large family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, and was
educated at St Gregory's High School. His career took off in
2005 when he won the ITV television "X Factor"
He began by singing at a karaoke machine and in his bathroom.
Singing is Shayne's main passion, but his second love is dancing.
He's self-taught and believes that he could hold his own on
most dance floors!
nation voted for him in their millions to crown him winner of
The X-Factor 2005, his record-breaking debut single "That's
My Goal" went immediately to the top of the charts
and was the Christmas 2005 No.1 record, a position it occupied
for the next four weeks. Following this he released his second
single "No Promises" in April 2006.
Easter 2006 he performed a free live concert before the Town
Hall in Manchester's Albert Square
His success has quickly brought financial rewards and he is
reputed to have bought his mother her dream house. He rigorously
denies reports that he has a penthouse suite in the Beetham
Tower and is currently seeking an apartment in London, because,
as he says, "that's where most of my work is". Shayne
loves football and says that this keeps him fit.
Manchester-born Wayne Devlin lives in Davyhulme with his with
wife Val and their two children. He's been described as "Trafford's
Frank Sinatra" and has begun to make a name for himself
on both sides of the Atlantic. As a child Wayne was taught to
appreciate good music and good diction by his father. He made
his singing debut at the age of six in school.
It was during his first trip to New York that he started singing
as Frank Sinatra in bars and cafes. "I was making more
in tips than I was getting paid," said Wayne. He was actually
singing in a bar in New York when he was spotted by Gary Anthony,
an established Sinatra 'soundalike' and friend of Nancy Sinatra.
This encounter secured him a supporting act at the Flamingo
Casino in Las Vegas; shortly after he was invited to sing at
the Golden Nugget Casino and he appeared as part of a Rat Pack
set with two other singers.
When his work permit expired and he was forced to return home
to England it seemed for a while that all the notoriety and
attention that he had got used to in Americas had completely
disappeared. So, Wayne travelled to work in Europe, funding
himself by performing in local bars and hotels. It was still
a far cry from Vegas but after a few years working as a builder,
barman and a short spell in the Army, his dream of making his
way as a professional singer became a reality. He currently
has dates around the UK and locally he performs at the Trafford
Centre in Manchester.
Singer Wayne Devlin has been compared to other great jazz artists
like Harry Connick Junior and Michael Bublé, as well
as Sinatra himself. His website is at www.myspace.com/waynedevlinjazz.