Why did Manchester become Madchester? Salford conference set to debate link between places and music

By Feargal Brennan

Manchester’s place at the centre of the music universe is set to be debated at an International Music conference at Salford University next month.

Academics, postgraduate students and music aficionados from across the world will gather at the event to discuss why some places have such a strong connection with pop music.

Manchester has never been short of pop musician’s eager cite the influence their Mancunian roots have had upon their music and careers.

From bands such as the Smiths, New Order and James bursting on to the scene in the early 80’s through the ‘Madchester’ years of the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets, Manchester has been a dominant force in modern British pop music.

In fact Stone Roses front man Ian Brown memorably claimed that Manchester had ‘everything except a beach’, to underline just how important he felt the city was.

The Charlatans, Oasis and The Courteeners have continued Manchester’s connection with influencing pop music throughout the last twenty years.

Manchester and its bands are sure to be debated during next month’s conference, as well as looking at role of Englishness and the USA in affecting the music produced in other areas.

Former NME and Rolling Stone writer Barney Hoskyns will be the keynote speaker for the event, and his vast experience in the industry is likely to make for an interesting few days in Salford.

Event Organiser Professor George McKay said: “To host the International Association for the Study of Popular Music 2012 conference at MediaCityUK is a real treat for Salford pop and rock scholars and fans.

 “The University has a proud tradition of popular music scholarship—we inaugurated the first ever Professor of Popular Music in the UK many years ago, and music remains an important part of our teaching and research in the creative economy.

“We have scholars coming from around the world, to talk about music from tango to techno!”

The ‘Imaging Communities Musically: Putting Popular Music in its Place’ event will take place at Salford University, MediaCityUK from September 5-8.

Tickets cost £180 for three days (£140 student concession), or £75 for one day.

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