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THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT

A photographic celebration of Manchester's rock music history

 

Manchester is a city inextricably linked to its musical heritage.

When our Oasis DNA exhibition finished showing at Manchester Central Library in 2017, the idea of a Manchester rock exhibition seemed a natural follow up. So in collaboration with writer, Jon Savage and help from the Manchester Digital Music Archive we have pulled together a unique collection of over 90 photographs to display at the library.

We decided to concentrate on showing gritty images of those bands and musicians whose music is so deeply rooted in Manchester, one cannot imagine rock music or the city itself being the same without their contribution. Many of these are the bands and musicians that formed in the wake of punk, at a time when Manchester’s music scene was expanding in a unique and inimitable way.

So long is the reach of the city’s collective musical talent, we could have created an exhibition twice the size of the one we have finally presented. Consequently we have not been able to feature every band or image we would have liked and some hard decisions have been taken as what to include.

We are thrilled to be show-casing work by many of the UK’s most talented music photographers, including Manchester based, Kevin Cummins, and his brilliant colleague, Pennie Smith, whose pictures of The Stone Roses shown define the very essence of a band that gel together effortlessly. Other contributors either lived locally and recorded the scene, or worked extensively with Manchester bands. They include Paul Slattery, Steve Double, Peter Walsh & Howard Barlow who all had strong relationships with the musicians they worked with. A number of historic photographs from Jill Furmanovsky's Manchester archive are also on display.

The final section of the exhibition reflects Manchester’s vibrant and diverse current music scene, with photos of many of the contemporary acts who continue to keep the flame of Manchester music alive today. We have also devoted a wall to the musical outpourings and audience response that helped people express their grief and defiance after the tragic events at Manchester Arena in 2017.

Manchester’s musical legacy continues to dominate even to this day in a proud and strong city whose light will never go out.

 Here are a small selection of iconic shots from the exhibition that runs until 22 February 2019

Exhibition Hall
First Floor
Manchester Central Library
St Peter's Square
Manchester
M2 5PD

Joy Division (JD002KC)

Joy Division

Classic early shot of Joy Division rehearsing at the TJ Davidson's Rehearsal Rooms in August 1979

Prices from £1,500.00
print
Oasis (OA001STDO)

Oasis

Oasis pictured at Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire in June 1994

Prices from £166.67
print
Joy Division (JD001LR)

Joy Division

Ian Curtis of Joy Division performing at the Paradiso, Amsterdam in January 1980 wearing his famous 'The Sound and the Fury' t-shirt.

Prices from £375.00
print
Smiths, The (SM001GL)

The Smiths

Morrissey wields a protestor’s placard bearing the title of The Smiths anarchic ‘Queen is Dead’ tour and album in Manchester,1986

Prices from £291.67
print
Happy Mondays (HAPPY001KC)

Happy Mondays

Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays captured in Yellow 2 Studios, Stockport in 1986

Prices from £291.67
print
Joy Division (JD001JF)

Joy Division

Joy Division backstage before a gig at the YMCA London (supported by Monochrome Set) in August 1979.

Prices from £2,500.00
print
Fall, The (FALL001KC)

The Fall

Early shot of The Fall at Central Station Car Park, Manchester in the summer of 1978

Prices from £291.67
print
Johnny Marr (SM002RIMA)

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr onstage with The Smiths at the GLC's Jobs For Change free music festival in the summer of 1984.

Prices from £208.33
print
James (JAMES001STDO)

James

James on a photo shoot in Manchester in June 1990

Prices from £166.67
print
Happy Mondays (HAPPY002HB)

Happy Mondays

Shaun Ryder from the Happy Mondays relaxing at Factory Records, Manchester in 1992

Prices from £166.67
print
Joy Division (JD1001KC)

Joy Division

Iconic shot of Joy Division walking in the snow near Manchester Cathedral in 1979

Prices from £1,500.00
print
Buzzcocks (BUZZ001KC)

Buzzcocks

Punk group Buzzcocks performing at the legendary live music venue Band On The Wall, Manchester in May 1977

Prices from £291.67
print
Stone Roses (SR001KC)

Stone Roses

In the NME 50th anniversary issue both Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft said that this picture was the defining moment of the era.

Prices from £291.67
print
Joy Division (JD003KC)

Joy Division

Ian Curtis taking a break during rehearsal at the TJ Davidson's Rehearsal Room, Manchester in August 1979

Prices from £1,500.00
print
Slaughter & The Dogs (SLAU001JF)

Slaughter & The Dogs

Pioneering punk band Slaughter & The Dogs outside The Electric Circus venue in September 1978

Prices from £208.33
print
Smiths, The (SM001SWRI)

The Smiths

The image of The Smiths outside Salford Lads' Club that graces the inner sleeve of their classic album The Queen is Dead

Prices from £125.00
print
Joy Division (JD004KC)

Joy Division

Ian Curtis during Joy Division rehearsal in Manchester in August 1979

Prices from £1,500.00
print
New Order (NEW001JF)

New Order

New Order relaxing in a hotel room near Kings Cross, London in 1984

Prices from £208.33
print
Smiths, The (SM002SWRI)

The Smiths

Iconic Strangeways Road sign from the back of the ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ album shot in 1987.

Prices from £125.00
print
Joy Division (JD002JF)

Joy Division

Contact sheet of Joy Division backstage at the YMCA, London in August 1979

Prices from £333.33
print
Electric Circus (ECIR001KC)

Electric Circus

The legendary The Electric Circus venue in Collyhurst, Manchester.

Prices from £291.67
print
Buzzcocks (BUZZ002JF)

Buzzcocks

Punk group Buzzcocks captured under a Manchester street sign in August 1977

Prices from £208.33
print
Buzzcocks (BUZZ001JF)

Buzzcocks

Buzzcocks captured in a public library whilst on a press session in Manchester in August 1977.

Prices from £208.33
print
Stones Roses, The (SR001ES)

The Stones Roses

The Stone Roses, Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni captured in 1989. The same year as they released their debut album

Prices from £208.33
print
Magazine (MAG001KC)

Magazine

Punk band Magazine performing at Rafters venue in Manchester in January 1978

Prices from £291.67
print
The Distractions (DIST001KC)

The Distractions

British new wave band The Distractions at the amusement park in Belle Vue, Manchester on the 22nd August 1979.

Prices from £291.67
print
Oasis (OA044JF)

Oasis

Noel & Liam Gallagher from Oasis backstage before performing onstage at Wembley Stadium in July 2000

Prices from £291.67
print
Oasis (OA051JF)

Oasis

Noel Gallagher tuning his guitar on the floor of Studio Two, Abbey Road Studios during the recording sessions for Be Here Now in 1996

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print
Oasis (OA045JF)

Oasis

Taken during the Oasis 'Definitely Maybe' Tour in Detroit, USA in 1995

Prices from £250.00
print
Oasis (OAMR001JF)

Oasis

Noel recalls "Maine Road was where we all used to go as kids. So I was standing there, trying to make sure I never forgot this moment"

Prices from £2,000.00
print
Morrissey (SM003RIMA)

Morrissey

Morrissey performing at the GLC's 'Jobs for a Change' Festival on London's South Bank

Prices from £208.33
print
Happy Mondays (HAPPY001STDO)

Happy Mondays

Happy Mondays messing about in Clerkenwell, London in 1986

Prices from £166.67
print
Happy Mondays (HAPPY002KC)

Happy Mondays

The Happy Mondays performing onstage at Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in January 1991

Prices from £291.67
print
A Certain Ratio (ACR001KC)

A Certain Ratio

A Certain Ratio captured in a Whalley Range studio in Manchester in August 1979

Prices from £291.67
print
Joy Division (JD005KC)

Joy Division

Joy Division on the Princess Parkway in Hulme, Manchester in January 1979

Prices from £1,500.00
print
John Cooper Clarke (JCC001KC)

John Cooper Clarke

Performance poet John Cooper Clarke at Salford City Art Gallery in August 1978

Prices from £291.67
print

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Oasis (OA045JF)

Oasis

Taken during the Oasis 'Definitely Maybe' Tour in Detroit, USA in 1995

Prices from £250.00
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Bob Marley (BM002RF)

Bob Marley

Bob Marley relaxing with friends and family after a show in Houston, Texas in 1976

Prices from £291.67
print
Faces, The (FA003ABAL)

The Faces

Rod Stewart standing next to his concert tour plane in Los Angeles, December 1977. Rod recalls, "The tour got off to a terrible start."

Prices from £208.33
print
AC/DC (ACDC002JA)

AC/DC

Angus Young, from AC/DC, captured in a small street outside a press meeting in Copenhagen in 1977

Prices from £291.67
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David Bowie (DB007DUFFY)

David Bowie

David Bowie wearing a two piece quilted suit designed by Freddie Burretti for the 1972 Ziggy Stardust tour.

Prices from £245.83
print
Billy Idol (IDOL001ABAL)

Billy Idol

Billy Idol with Ziggy Stardust flash makeup. New Wave just wouldn’t have been New Wave without Billy to pave the way through the 1980’s.

Prices from £208.33
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