Withington history
Popular music
Withington has a number of connections with the development of popular music. One of the key events was the creation of Factory Records in 1978 operating from 86, Palatine Road. This meant that members of Factory bands were often seen around Withington, and some bands were Withington-based.

On 15th June 2017, BBC Music (Radio Manchester) held an event to celebrate the role of this building in popular music with an unveiling of a blue plaque.


The M20Festival celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of Factory Records in Withington was held on 6th October, 2018. Throughout Withington Village, there were live bands, DJs, talks, an exhibition, a guided walk, and film showings.

In addition to Factory Records, there was another record label in Withington, Rabid Records, run from the former Co-op shop on Cotton Lane, set up by Tosh Ryan, Bruce Mitchell and Martin Hannett. Bands and artists associated with this label include The Buzzcocks, Slaughter and the Dogs, John Cooper Clarke, Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds and Jilted John. See the Manchester Evening News article for more details.

For details of the history of Factory Records and Rabid Records and their association with Withington, see the M20Festival display.

In addition to these connections, St. Annes Music Ltd. was a promotion company located for a period in Kennedy House, 2 Swinbourne Grove, Withington and associated with a number of bands, including 10cc., Manchester

Bands associated with Withington

Joy Division

[Image courtesy moviespicture.org]  

New Order

[Image courtesy Bonafide magazine bonafidemag.com]
Durutti Column

The band performing in Portugal 1995 [Image courtesy Wikipedia].



More details of the music scene in Withington, and in Manchester, may be found in the following publications:
  • Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor: Manchester, Music and More. Dave Haslam. Little, Brown, 2018. Memoirs of the Withington and Manchester music scene 40 years ago.
  • Manchester, England: The story of the pop cult city. Dave Haslam. Fourth Estate, 1999.
  • Factory: The story of a record label. Mick Middles. Virgin Books, 2009.
  • The Hacienda: How not to run a club. Peter Hook. Simon and Schuster UK Ltd., 2009.
  • Shake, Rattle and Rain: Popular music making in Manchester 1955-1995. C.P. Lee. hotunpress, 2008.
  • When We Were Thin: Music, Madness and Manchester. C.P. Lee.Hardinge Simpole
  • We Were Strangers. Ed. R.V. Hirst, Confingo Publishing, 2018. A collection of prose pieces inspired by the works of Joy Division.