Stephen Kelly’s impressions of Manchester in 1978

I didn’t particularly want to go to Manchester. I had a life in London, I was very active in the Labour Party in London, I was chairman of the of the Hendon South Labour Party. I was very active. Things were great. I loved Tribune, but as I say, the pay wasn’t very good. So I’d never envisaged going to Manchester. I’d been once or twice, to actually stop in Manchester, I’d driven through Manchester when we used to go see my grandma in Huddersfield. And we’d get a bus from Liverpool, and it would drive through Manchester. But I’d never really been. But certainly my impression, once I got to Manchester, was of this very dark, gothic city. It was very sombre. And you’d go out on a Friday night or a Saturday night, and there was nothing going on. It was very quiet. And I don’t think things were necessarily going on where I wasn’t looking, but it was just deadly. And it wasn’t a particularly nice city. And it’s not an attractive city really, compared to say, Liverpool, where there are dozens and dozens of wonderful buildings. And I was used to that sort of big music scene in Liverpool, and wonderful Liverpool pubs, and going out and having a great time on a Friday night or Saturday night, things would be happening. It wasn’t like that in Manchester. It was very dark, and I think some of the bands later reflected that darkness of Manchester.

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