Manchester, a city known for good food, nightlife, shopping, entertainment, and most importantly: unreal music.

This week we’re taking Manchesters most influential rock bands of all time.

The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses are probably the best band Britain has produced since the 70s. The band even lead the ‘Manchester’ movement, a cultural music scene linked to that of indie dance. Manchester even contributed towards the inspiration of bands like the Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, Oasis, and the Arctic Monkeys.

Waterfall‘, ‘She Bangs The Drums‘, ‘Fools Gold‘? Some of the best music both Manchester and rest of the world has ever seen.

There is definitely nothing like screaming the lyrics to ‘I Am The Resurrection‘ on a night out in the 0161.

Noel Gallagher even admitted once “without that band [The Stone Roses] there would have been no Oasis”.


Back in the days when they used to actually get along, brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher were in Oasis and sold an estimated 75 million records worldwide.

The most popular band of the 90s, Noel Gallagher’s unbelievable songwriting produced top songs like ‘The Masterplan‘, ‘Live Forever‘ and many more. Unfortunately critics didn’t quite dive deep enough into the lyricism. But when Liam got behind the mic, with his distinct gritty vocal, the band become unstoppable.

The band’s influence on Manchester is still apparent, with both Liam and Noel as solo artists influencing the new generation. I don’t know a single Mancunian who doesn’t love a bit of Oasis.

The ability to connect with people both 20 years ago and now is incredible. I’ve met many a boy (drunk or not) on a night out in Manchester who’s told me he wants to be LG and I think that says a lot!

The brothers went their separate ways in 2009 but fans are still hopeful a reunion will happen one day… probably not, but who knows!?

The Smiths

The Smiths – I wouldn’t call them extremely influential on a personal level, but they had so many unreal songs and at their peak, a frontman with a great vocal.

They’re one of the most famous rock bands to come out of the UK, with the exception of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It gave people at the time something really interesting and new to listen to.

Most likely down to Morrisey, Manchester was featured in The Smiths music regularly. Locations like Salford Lads Club and The Gentlemen Club were often used when shooting music videos.

In his autobiography, Morrissey described Manchester as ‘a place where everything remains where it was left 100 years ago’.

Though Morrissey has since fallen into disrepute for his xenophobic views, we can still enjoy hits such as ‘This Charming Man‘ and ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out‘. Their music is, and will forever remain, top class.


Our local lads from Stockport, Blossoms have had hit after hit such as ‘Charlemagne‘ and ‘If You Think This Is Real Life‘.

The 5-piece all grew up in Stockport and officially put out music as a band in 2014 after releasing their debut single, ‘You Pulled a Gun on Me‘.

Blossoms have had success after success. Their latest album, Foolish Loving Spaces was number 1 in the UK album charts, their second record to achieve this feat.

Foolish Loving Spaces spawned amazing singles like ‘Your Girlfriend‘ and ‘The Keeper‘.

They fit best in the indie-pop genre, with funky guitar riffs and catchy melodies.

Joy Division

Before Oasis and the Stone Roses, we had Joy Division. They only had a short run in their career of around 5 years, but they managed to create timeless songs such as ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘ and ‘Transmission‘ that will be remembered and played for years to come.

The band’s gloomy haunting sound, combined with their imagery and artwork will remain iconic, and their legacy is one few match in the industry.

I’ve had many a night in 42nd street screaming Joy Division’s lyrics at the top of my lungs.


Buzzcocks, formed in Bolton, pioneered the punk music scene in Manchester.

Their EP debut was self-produced by Buzzcocks’ own label, and encouraged tonnes of young punk bands to aim for fame as part of the indie scene.

Despite losing a member in the early days, the band continued to create long-lasting records and hits like ‘Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)‘, an unbelievable hit with a title relating to almost everyone.

The Hollies

The Hollies made a name for themselves out of catchy light tunes, with a catalogue of covers that would transform them into superstars. The lyricism in their songs had a major relevance to Northern England.

The band had eight Top 25 singles in England between 1963 and 1965, six of them reaching the Top 10.

Despite not necessarily paving no new ground for music for Manchester, The Hollies covers and hits like ‘(Ain’t That) Just Like Me‘ and ‘Bus Stop‘ earned them a legacy.

The Courteeners

The Courteeners frontman Liam Fray began playing gigs whilst studying at The University of Salford. The band members all met across two schools when they were younger, and now play to sell-out crowds not only in Manchester but around the UK, with hits such as ‘Not Nineteen Forever‘ and ‘Small Bones‘.

Something uniquely special about The Courteeners is their atmosphere at gigs. I’ve been in the pit for a few concerts in Manchester and I’ve never seen crowds like it; rowdy, up for it, and with their upbeat indie-rock sound it’s not a surprise that their crowds are the most fun I’ve ever had.

The band love Manchester and have even headlined an unbelievable gig at Heaton Park.

Happy Mondays


It was funky Northern Soul that inspired Happy Mondays, who became the unofficial kings of Manchester’s rave scene. Originally from Salford, we have seen much of their music remixed by DJs, proving their influence on British dance music.

The band are remembered for their hits including ‘Step On‘, ‘Kinky Afro‘ and ‘Wrote For Luck‘.

Up against The Stone Roses at the time, the Happy Mondays were able to stay in their own lane and create an aura of dance, partying and buzzed up nights on the town, very Manchester to say the least.

Which Manchester band is your favourite? Let us know @pieradiouk