Friday, 21 September 2012

Manchester Music Tours

Manchester is the centre of the musical universe....some might say. The City has not only produced some of the best bands in the world but also some of the best venues. The bands iconic pictures in front of local land marks are famous world wide. The lyrics of the City can be found around every street corner. So if you never been to Manchester where would you find Salford Lads Club or the site of The Hacienda?

You might want to try 'Manchester Music Tours' Run by Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig 'Gilly' Gill, the tours take you on a trip round Manchester (& Salfords) musical land marks. Special dedicated tours will take you round 'The Stone Roses' , 'Oasis' , 'The Smiths' and 'Joy Division' land marks or if you prefer a general Manchester Music Tour also runs. 

Craig Gill tells us more:

How long has 'Manchester Music Tours' been running?

I did my first music tour in 2005, its only the last 3/4 years that its really started to take off.

How did it you start running musical tours of Manchester?

I was at a loose end after Inspirals split in 95, Proud Mary my post Inspirals band had fizzled out, so I went into Afflecks Palace selling records/cd's and band t-shirts,  customers were constantly asking directions to the hacienda and Salford Lads Club, for seeing a boom in music tourism and influenced by Liverpool's Magical Mystery Tours, I set up Manchester Music Tours.

Are the tours themed around bands or general music tours?

It started out as a all encompassing walking tour, I now do specialist driving tours as well, such as: The Smiths, Joy Division, Oasis, Stone Roses, and also bespoke tours, some people want to see everything.

What's the most popular place that people want to see?
Salford Lads Club is the most popular tourist attraction, there is a lot more to see than the facade, I never get bored of showing people round, other highlights are 'epping walk bridge' (Joy Division) and 'sifters' record shop (Oasis).

Have you ever been surprised by somewhere that someone wants to see?

I had a request recently from a girl  who only wanted see the grave stones of Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton, Martin Hannett and Ian Curtis...

Why do you think Manchester has such a rich musical heritage?

Maybe because we've always been an industrious bunch here in Manchester?, or the fact that there's always been a melting pot of different cultures that have co existed side by side, meaning that a Mancunians record collection was more eclectic than most? Or is it just simply the rain? People always ask "is there something in the water in Manchester", which is partly true, playing an instrument was an escape from the weather and the boredom of being unemployed in the 70's and 80's, creating punk, acid house and Madchester. knowing there is a rich pedigree of bands that have been before you is not only inspirational but it also sets the bar.

What's your favourite album to come out of Manchester?

Its a tough choice, years ago I would have probably said something by The Smiths, but if push came to shove I'd  probably now say 'Closer' by Joy Division, I think it has more edge than unknown pleasures, both Joy Division albums have not dated in over 30 years, they could have been recorded last week

How can people find out more and book with 'Manchester Music Tours?

Online at and you can follow us on Twitter at 

Craig Gill continues to play drums with Inspiral Carpets and the band have just announced plans to tour their 1990 album 'Life' next year.
For tour dates and tickets check out:

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