Suggested soundtrack inspired by Ashton-under-Lyne’s pubs and clubs
The streets of Ashton-under-Lyne is far from busy on Fridays and Saturdays these days as many may well know. If you walk along Stamford Street these days, it is hard to imagine how many clubbers went from pub to club or vice versa. It is both hard to imagine and upsetting as to how things have transpired in the last decade. Modernisation of the Stamford Street West and Central area meant the loss of some iconic pubs. The King William IV is now a car park; today, seven checkouts and a bag-packing area are on the site of The Spread Eagle.
However, one way we could restore some of these memories is in musical form. On that note, East of the M60‘s very own ‘Nightlife on Old Street’ has inspired a Rebellious Mixtape entry. In short, a possible soundtrack album. Some of the tunes have been played in Ashton’s pubs and clubs for the last fifty years, in live or recorded form, or as part of karaoke standards.
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Nightlife on Old Street: The Official Soundtrack album
- Sunshine Of Your Love, Cream (1967);
- Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes), Edison Lighthouse (1970);
- All or Nothing, The Small Faces (1966);
- Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond (1969);
- The Night Chicago Died, Paper Lace (1974);
- Penny Arcade, Roy Orbison (1969);
- The Timewarp, Damian (1989);
- Oops Up Side Your Head, The Gap Band (1980);
- Wade in the Water, Ramsey Lewis Trio (1966);
- True, Spandau Ballet (1983);
- I’ll Tell Me Ma, Sham Rock (1998);
- Don’t Stop Believing, Journey (1981);
- Faith, George Michael (1987).
- Vanishing Point, New Order (1989);
- You Got The Love, The Source featuring Candi Staton (1991);
- Zoom, Fat Larry’s Band (1982);
- Run to You, Bryan Adams (1985);
- This Is How It Feels, Inspiral Carpets (1990);
- Human, The Killers (2008);
- Enter Sandman, Metallica (1991);
- Lip Up Fatty, Bad Manners (1980);
- Right Said Fred, Bernard Cribbins (1962);
- Angels, Robbie Williams (1997);
- I Fell In Love With A Minger, 3CR (2006);
- P.S. Goodbye, The Chameleons (1985);
- Midnight Blue, Louise Tucker (1983).
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Behind the Tracks:
Our second and fifth tracks were chosen owing to the two band’s links with the Ashton Palais off Old Street. The inclusion of Sweet Caroline and Penny Arcade (4 and 6) is owing to their popularity as karaoke standards or part of the repertoire of older singers. Anyone familiar with 1980s wedding and birthday dos would have been familiar with tracks seven, eight, ten and eleven.
Track seven has a local connection: the 1989 cover of The Timewarp was sang by a Droylsdonian. Though originally released in 1987, it was remixed two years later by Pete Waterman, becoming a UK Top Ten Hit Single (peaking at No. 7). The eleventh track was reputably a favourite at Molly Malones on George Street. Both tracks 12 and 13 remain popular karaoke favourites.
As well as being a strong anthem from New Order’s Technique album, our first track merits inclusion thanks to Franc Roddam’s Making Out (BBC One, 1989 and 1991) set largely in Tameside. The instrumental version of Vanishing Point was used for its opening and closing title signature theme.
Tracks three and four have an Old Street connection: the respective performers, Fat Larry’s Band and Bryan Adams having performed at the Metro Cinema. Our fifth, ninth, eleventh and twelfth tracks are produced by artistes with local connections. The first one, owing to Clint Boon’s Ashton links (The Mill recording studios in Egret Mill behind The Witchwood). The group on the eleventh track have played locally for several years with The Station among its usual haunts. Returning to karaoke standards, The Killers’ and Robbie Williams’ songs have remained popular favourites (the former probably bigger in Dukinfield public houses today).
Our final track is the forgotten and somewhat underrated Midnight Blue by Louise Tucker, featuring Charlie Skarbek on additional vocals. The Ashtonian link refers to the fondly remembered and long gone Blues nightclub, where Midnight Blue was the Stamford Street club’s final tune of the night.
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Before I go…
Before I leave you on the dance floor to the dulcet tones of Richard Harris’ MacArthur Park (yes, you know what that means, I’m off to the bar or answering a call of nature or something), feel free to add to the list. In fact, I would say ‘the more the merrier’, as our hypothetical soundtrack album only scratches the surface of The Sound of Ashton-under-Lyne. Keep the tunes coming in!
S.V., 27 January 2014.