Buzzcocks to Pale Waves: Acts who ‘defined’ Manchester music on show

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Image copyright
Jill Furmanovsky

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Curator Jill Furmanovsky’s work helped to create the public image of Oasis

“Gritty” images of the musicians who have “defined how Manchester is seen by the world” have gone on display.

The exhibition at the city’s Central Library includes classic artists like Oasis, Joy Division and Buzzcocks and newer acts like IAMDDB and Pale Waves.

It also includes images from the One Love Manchester concert that followed the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

Contributor and curator Jill Furmanovsky said she hoped it was a show the city could “keep forever”.

IAMDDBImage copyright
Jamie Drew

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The show includes images of new acts, such as BBC Music Introducing favourite IAMDDB

Joy DivisionImage copyright
Jill Furmanovsky

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Furmanovsky’s shot of Joy Division is one of several pieces of her work she has included

She said in picking the acts to include in There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, which takes its name from a song by The Smiths, she had given “priority to the revolutionary Manchester bands that had a massive impact”.

“We start with the Manchester punk scene and go through The Stone Roses, The Smiths and obviously Oasis,” she said.

“Then we’ve deliberately left space for pictures… of bands that are still up and coming.”

A Guy Called Gerald and Graham MasseyImage copyright
Peter J Walsh

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Peter Walsh’s shot of A Guy Called Gerald and 808 State was taken at the city’s Victoria Baths

Pale WavesImage copyright
Liz Gander

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Recent arrivals Pale Waves are included as an example of how the scene is still vibrant

She said the exhibition showcased work by “many of the UK’s most talented music photographers, including Manchester-based Kevin Cummins and his brilliant colleague, Pennie Smith”.

“Other contributors either lived locally and recorded the scene, or worked extensively with Manchester bands,” she said.

“They include Paul Slattery, Steve Double, Peter Walsh and Howard Barlow, who all had strong relationships with the musicians they worked with.”

MorrisseyImage copyright
Kevin Cummins

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The show includes work from live shows, like Kevin Cummins’ shot of Morrissey…

Jane WeaverImage copyright
Rebecca Lupton

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And portrait work, like Rebecca Lupton’s image of Jane Weaver…

Mark E SmithImage copyright
Howard Barlow

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And Howard Barlow’s capturing of legendary Fall frontman Mark E Smith

She said the final part 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”.

However, she said it was the last wall, “devoted… to the musical outpourings and audience response that helped people express their grief and defiance after the tragic events at Manchester Arena”, that was the most poignant.

“In a way, the last wall is about the deeper aspect of why a light will never go out in Manchester,” she said.

“We can’t really answer [why] ourselves, but perhaps the public can”.

Shaun RyderImage copyright
Howard Barlow

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Howard Barlow took this shot of a young Shaun Ryder, shortly after Happy Mondays found fame

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: A photographic celebration of Manchester’s rock-music history is at Manchester Central Library until 22 February 2019

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