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Greg Wilson opens ‘Electrospective: Manchester Pre-Rave ’82-’88’

Seminal north west DJ and producer, Greg Wilson, opens proceedings at the Electrospective event. Held in the artistic hub of Islington Mill in Salford, the event aimed to highlight the creative and cultural importance of Manchester’s dance and music scene during the 80s. Discussions and showcases shone a light on the relatively undocumented period of 1982 to 1988, as new music influences and techniques helped shape a generation of young, mixed audiences; and lay a template for the dj culture/house/rave era which followed.

Greg Wilson opens Electrospective at Islington Mill, Salford

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Greg’s undisguised passion and knowledge of this fertile period of Manchester’s musical history underpinned the event, and he chaired a discussion with four of the major DJs of the time: Hewan Clarke, Colin Curtis, Chad Jackson and Mike Shaft. Their anecdotes, opinions, musical knowledge and sheer enthusiasm gave a fascinating insight into the late 70s and 80s in Manchester. During a few hours genres such as post-punk, jazzfunk, soul, electrofunk, hip hop, electronic disco and proto-house were covered, alongside clubs like the Haçienda, Legends, Rafters, The Gallery, Angels and others.

Two core pillars of B-Boy culture: breaking and graffiti, were also represented by the Broken Glass and Street Machine crews, and Gecko. Unfortunately I had to leave before the breaking and DJing started, but I’d attended the Broken Glass reunion gig in 2004, and expect the floorwork was equally good this time round. Special mention must go to Tim ‘Bones’ Forde, whose documentary ‘The Birth of the British B-Boys’ was shown on rotation at the event. His introduction and tribute to a former crew member added poignacy to the event. You can watch his raw and passionately personal account here on YouTube.

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Mick Rock photography exhibition at Voxpop

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Manchester’s music lovers just got an extra treat to savour: one of the best record selections just got bigger and better, and the city’s musical heritage is captured with a new exhibition by celebrated photographer, Mick Rock. Voxpop have expanded their operations and moved into bespoke premises on Thomas St. in the Northern Quarter. They recently hosted this exhibition as part of the successful Manchester vs Cancer campaign.

Footnote: Soon after putting this online I found out Mick Rock had linked to it on his website. I grew up surrounded by some of Mick’s classic works, and felt honoured to be mentioned by this photographic legend!

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The Church of St Philip’s with St Steven, Salford

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A panoramic exploration of this delightful late Georgian church, designed in 1825. This Anglican church is still home to regular worship, and remains well-kept and loved. One of the most impressive landmarks in the historic centre of Salford: more information on the church can be found here.

This was my first ‘real’ panorama, after several test shoots elsewhere I felt ready to try out something more ambitious. Thanks to Rev. Andy Salmon for letting me photograph the church.

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