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But you've gotta hand it to Birmingham: it couldn't give a shit.
hmm let's see
ELO v Happy Mondays
Birmingham wins due to:
people not being smug about how brilliant their city is like people from Manchester and Liverpool
ace canals and parks
not feeling threatening to Southern people like Manchester does
Excellent curry area which doesn't feel like a weird theme park
Black Sabbath/Judas Priest being better than The Happy Mondays/D:Ream
sheer numbers of people - Britain's second city officially
people saying inabit as a closing to a phonecall
looks like a whole different sentiment in the emoticon age
(inevitable, but appropriate)
I'd count this as a plus point in Manchester's favour tbh
but Birmingham has the worst accent on the planet, and the worst train station, so it loses to most things.
Worcester people are so unfortunate.
And as a Brummie who has probably come to live a bit of a yuppie/soft southerner lifetyle, Manchester is a far more yuppiefied/soft southern town than Birmingham. Which let's be honest, is a pretty nice thing.
But I do think that in the long run Brummie ambivalence will trump Manc self belief, just because there hasn't really been a great (successful) Manchester band in fucking ages, and it kind of gets a bit embarassing going into a bar and hearing a Joy Division song followed by a Smiths song followed by a Happy Mondays song. Which does happen.
them's a London band, with members from various parts of the UK.
the Northern Quarter in particular. It has certainly had a tendency to bask in former glories - I'm looking at you, FAC251 - although the emergence of promoters such as Now Wave and Wotgodforgot has definitely helped to liven things up in recent years. And the pubs are mint.
and he came out with the usual "Manchester is the musical capital of the UK stuff" stuff.
I said "not really mate, not now anyway."
He said "well, at least it's not Birmingham. What has Birmingham ever produced."
Fifteen minutes later when I'd exhuasted the list of rather good bands from Birmingham, he was a broken man(c).
He co-opted Macclesfield. I think we all know why.
Because without Black Sabbath and their influence, rock music would not be the same.
I've never spent a significant amount of time in either the second or third biggest cities in England.
So neither wins.