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Last on

Mon 15 Nov 2010 22:00 BBC Radio 2

1 hour
First broadcast:
Monday 15 November 2010

Elbow front man and BBC 6 Music presenter Guy Garvey discovers that it is thanks to, rather than in spite of, the rain that Manchester has become a powerhouse for progressive culture and politics.

Speaking to a mix of people from the worlds of music, sport, literature, media and politics, Guy first makes an appointment with weather forecaster Diane Oxberry. Local historian Jonathan Schofield then explains how this weather has had a significant impact upon the city's industrial development, proving ideal conditions for spinning yarn and powering mills.

He examines the work of artist L S Lowry, with the help of museum director Michael Simpson; considers the music of Morrissey, Joy Division; and catches up with I Am Kloot frontman Johnny Bramwell. Punk poet John Cooper Clarke shares a theory that the rain encourages creativity and community spirit; while the award-winning screenwriter Paul Abbott talks about the rain scenes he created in popular dramas like Cracker and Shameless.

With the help of DJ Dave Haslam, Guy traces the evolution of Manchester's night life, from 19th century music halls like Ben Langs, to the Magic Village in the 60s, and the heady days of The Hacienda. Meanwhile, former Lancashire and England cricketer David Lloyd remembers fire engines being called to drain the pitch at Old Trafford.

Throughout the programme, we hear music from some of Manchester's most treasured musicians and extracts from poetry and literature. It first broadcast on BBC 6 Music in October 2010.


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