Manchester District Music Archive is an on-line collection of musical memorabilia. Anyone can submit an ‘artefact’, which might be a picture (or scan) of a poster, a ticket, a magazine article or any other physical item linked with the Manchester music scene. When you make a submission to the website, you can add background information, and other people are free to comment.
Because the website is an archive of objects, every story, memory or opinion needs to be attached to a ‘thing’ in order to be included. But if you don’t have an old shoe box stuffed full of bits to scan in, you can always comment on someone else’s ‘thing’. People end up in discussions and debates, sometimes rambling wildly off at a tangent.
Some contributors have submitted in bulk. You find quite a few who have moved or emigrated and are reconnecting with their past through the website. Manchester District Music Archive provides an amazing space for people to share their enthusiasms, observations, opinions and experiences.
Then last winter, a physical exhibition at The Lowry entitled Defining Me – Musical Adventures in Manchester shifted attention onto individual music fans, some of whom also happen to be musicians, DJs or writers.
Contributions from Joyce Rawlings, Pete Maclaine and Pauline Clegg illustrated the music scene around the Oasis Club during the 1960s:
The photo at the top of this post shows part of Dawn Bradbury’s collection of 1970s memorabilia. Here is her profile, shared with Denise Shaw:
Martin Ryan’s display included this photograph of The Electric Circus in Collyhurst on a Sunday Punk Night in 1977:
It was difficult to take pictures because of all the reflections!
Bruce Mitchell’s exhibition contained posters for Albertos Y Lost Trios Paranoias from 1978:
Graham Massey, Sarah Champion, Aniff Akinola and Hewan Clarke’s contributions demonstrated the eclecticism of Manchester’s music scene during the 1980s:
I hope I’ve managed to give a flavour of the exhibition! Apologies to the many contributors whom I haven’t managed to mention.