Rising Manchester band land Christmas lights switch-on slot after MM prompt councillor to consider home grown talent

Exclusive by Kevin Benson

A rising Manchester indie band is set to perform at the Christmas lights switch-on – after MM prompted a councillor to consider using home grown musical talent for the event.

Manchester-based The Last Party have been asked to perform in front of an estimated 20,000 people at the event in Albert Square on November 9.

Front man Liam Manton described it as an ‘honour’ to be given the chance to play to so many people.

“This is a great acknowledgement from the council that grass roots rock and roll is an important part of this city’s DNA,” he said.

The band had previously expressed their desire to see some local talent at the annual event, so MM contacted Councillor Pat Karney, who oversees Christmas celebrations in Manchester, and asked him whether home-grown bands should be given the opportunity to play.

Cllr Karney admitted that he couldn’t agree more and said it is important that local talent be given opportunities to play to bigger crowds.

He said: “It’s true, Manchester has a long and established musical heritage and therefore we should acknowledge the emerging bands we have here in the city.”

Cllr Karney then got in touch with the band through their Facebook page and was invited down to watch them practice in the Northern Quarter.

Mr Manton said: “[Pat] Karney got in touch with us and said he would like to speak to us – we thought the council were after money or something!

“It turns out that he wanted to know about the band and what we are doing.

“We showed him everything that we’ve been doing over the last two years – running our own record label, getting radio play, having our songs played on TV and striving to one day become part of Manchester’s musical heritage.

“He seemed really impressed but we didn’t expect what happened next.”

It seems Cllr Karney really was impressed by the band, and he offered them a chance to play at this years Christmas lights switch-on.

Cllr Karney said: “I felt that The Last Party encapsulate everything Manchester is about – young, innovative and creative people all coming together to make things happen…it’s the true spirit of Manchester.”

Next week sees The Last Party shoot the video for new single ‘Devil’s Lips’.

It will see the band collaborating with some famous faces as well as giving aspiring photographers, filmmakers and stylists an opportunity to work on a music video.

Cllr Karney said: “It’s a brilliant advert for the city and it’s typical of a place where people work together helping others to achieve.

“This is the kind of spirit we want to inject into our Christmas celebrations – one city, working together,” he said.

The Christmas Lights switch-on is a free event and begins at 19:00 with a dazzling fireworks display.

For more information on The Last Party visit their website here.

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