Artistically influenced by internationally renowned architect, Will Alsop's creative, controversial and inspirational exhibition ‘SuperCity', twelve outstanding, hand-picked bands from the North of England have created original, new and specially written material for an album of the same name. The SuperCity album will take you Northern and offers a peek into the contemporary sounds from the Northern cities. Look out London… Dan Thomas [Director, Fat Northerner Records]

SuperCity began life as Will Alsop's vision for the future of the North. Alsop imagines the M62 corridor existing as a single entity: a vast coast-to-coast zone stretching from Liverpool to Hull , containing a population that considers the entire region to be their local neighbourhood, living in Liverpool, shopping in Leeds and clubbing in Manchester.

In SuperCity, individual city centres enjoy a collaborative relationship, abandoning territorial rivalries to embrace a collective identity. As Alsop says, “uniting the interests of northern cities will generate a critical mass which will propel them into the league of world cities…I hope that future developments will champion the value of a local difference that is not political but aesthetic.”

To anyone familiar with Will Alsop's architecture, it is clear that extraordinary aesthetics are vitally important to the man. For those who visited the SuperCity exhibition I created with Will for Urbis, it is the aesthetics of the future SuperCity which propelled into a new realm of experience. It is therefore appropriate that SuperCity lend its name to a compilation of music from the North – an exploration and celebration of the aesthetic for which this region, this SuperCity, is best known today.

In Alsop's eyes, SuperCity should wear its creativity on its sleeve. So enjoy this tour of SuperCity's creativity today, and imagine where we could go from here. As Alsop says, “The urban patterns of the North are historical, powerful and poetic. The future for urban life here should be no less so.” Scott Burnham [Creative Director, Urbis]

My friend Brian is from North Shields, or is it South Shields ? He hates it when I get that wrong. “You're not from the fucking north” he's hollered at me more than once. But I've another friend from the Isle of Arran and another in Aberdeen and Christopher Eccleston has just said to Billie Piper ‘Lots of planets have a north!”. And the spaceships in films are always the same way up as each other. Well, arguments about geographical and spatial perception aside… ‘Some Spirits Said…' is a snapshot of a Mancunian man whose spirits speak to him. They tell him that the only path to redemption for his sins is mapped out by the bruises and welts on his wife's face. He has to follow this northern map and keep it till he reaches ultimate illumination. It's never ending, but he soldiers on. Jay Taylor [Singer, Bone-box]

Earl – ‘DirtyPrettySuperCity’

‘Finding the pride in me,
As I wander down hectic streets,
And I find the life that place can bring,
To be a part of bigger things,

Roaming down streets you know,
And daring to go down those you don’t,
And I look as far as eyes can see,
The City stares right back at me.

DirtyPrettySuperCity, never leave you’ll always be in me.

When I am far away,
I remember walking through Night and Day,
Up towards an empty club,
In a Chinese restaurant,

DirtyPrettySuperCity, never leave you’ll always be in me.

Night falls on busy streets,
And I look as far as eyes can see,
Taxi queues last for a week,
The City lights shine back at me.

DirtyPrettySuperCity, never leave you’ll always be in me.’

Self-described as an ‘evil garbage’, reviewed as ‘80’s vandals’ and with influences from Nine Inch Nails to Scissor Sisters, the half-boy, half-girl group bring you Manchester’s most unique disco rock sound. Earl played Glastonbury unsigned last year for a chance to play the Dance Tent and were spotted by Fat Northerner Records. They have previously been awarded demo of the year on Xfm, featured on the Glastonbury Unsigned Album and the Ten from Tem Album. ‘Dirty as a downbeat disco dog…’ Chris Long, BBC

Ironweed – ‘Down to my Grave’ Audio Suspects Remix

‘The whole damn world keeps changing
The whole damn world won’t ever be the same
I’m gonna ride this train down to the graveyard
I’m gonna ride this train right down to my grave

Now there’s some things that a man likes to do – like kicking back and holding a brew
There are times when I like to indulge myself and get real melancholy on that old ironweed, but I didn’t partake today.’

- features the unique vocal talent and production of Aniff Akinola (Backyard Dogs, Argonauts). His single, due to be released later this year ‘Down To My Grave’ contains 1930s dustbowl style vocals with more groove than the vinyl it should have been pressed on. The track made it onto Terry Christians’ top 40 tunes of 2004 before it had been released. After an outstanding live performance of this dance-based music at Fat Northerners Digital Event 2005, the popularity of Iron Weed has excelled in the North-West and beyond. “Down To My Grave from Iron Weed has a certain wild west feel to it with bottleneck guitar slides, husky vocals and sampled train bells. The Americanised drawl of the vocals offers up direct comparisons to Alabamba 3, dealing as they do in the same format of laid back soulful grooves and driving beats.”
UK Band Search

Band website:

The Casual Saints – ‘Fallen From Grace’

The band hail originally from the geographical extremities of the Granada region. However, they first met whilst racing cornflake canoes on the Manchester Ship canal sometime in the future. It was on this rain soaked afternoon that the boys discovered they had a shared interest in the eclectic sounds of Latvian teatime techno, acid skiffle and German brit pop. From this day forward, they embarked on a voyage into the frighteningly familiar world that is Rock N' Roll.

“Assured and accomplished Casual Saints come to us a tantalising proposition...Could well be the next evolutionary step in classic mancunian rock n' roll!” City Life Magazine, Manchester.

Band website:

Rebbeca – ‘The Thousandth Man’

Rebbeca are rapidly becoming recognised as one of the most hard working, innovative and uplifting rock bands to play the current Manchester-Liverpool scene, displaying confidence without arrogance and determination without naivety. Rebbeca were scouted at In The City 2004 by Fat Northerner A&R for their outstanding live performance and have gone on to win a national band competition (Rock Idol, 2005). Fat Northerner Records set-up a 20 date UK tour for the band in early 2004 taking them from Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, London amongst other locations.
“Rebbeca’s "Fortune For The Flame" is expansive, well-executioned indie along the lines of Doves and Puressence.” Whisperin’ and Hollerin’

Band website:

Slims – ‘Powder Burn’

Thrilling, energy fuelled rock music, accompanied by frank and offensive lyrics from distinctive rock vocalist and bassist, Dan Thomas. Distorted, riff-driven guitar is provided by the legendary Demitrius Bleakly and Marcus Law provides the upfront drums.

"Breakneck guitars and infectious grooves make Utunc the most intriguing thing to emerge from Manchester since Shaun Ryder’s bowl cut." Total Guitar Magazine.

Chimes – ‘602’

‘Station blues her static air
It could bring you everything
But I don’t like the day it’s not my scene

All her tracks are twists of fear
They could lead you out of here
But I don’t like the way you fall asleep in this silence
I don’t like the way you sleep and leave me here in this silence

See new towers start to rise
Leave to meet you there on time
I see this place with clearer eyes
602, city lights

I don’t like the day it’s not my scene, its right that I’m here for now’

Chimes put the ‘Manc’ back into Manchester. Their recent release, ‘Intercontinental Girl’ has classic Manchester flavours, mixing the sophisticated with the scally. “Chimes will make you feel right at home… you might just be privy to the next big thing!” The Big Issue North

Band website:

Bone-box – ‘Some Spirits Said’

‘My friend Brian is from North Shields, or is it South Shields? He hates it when I get that wrong. “You’re not from the fucking north” he’s hollered at me more than once. But I’ve another friend from the Isle of Arran and another in Aberdeen and Christopher Eccleston has just said to Billie Piper ‘Lots of planets have a north!”. And the spaceships in films are always the same way up as each other. Well, arguments about geographical and spatial perception aside… ‘Some Spirits Said…’ is a snapshot of a Mancunian man whose spirits speak to him. They tell him that the only path to redemption for his sins is mapped out by the bruises and welts on his wife’s face. He has to follow this northern map and keep it till he reaches ultimate illumination. It’s never ending, but he soldiers on.’ Jay Taylor – Bone-box

Bone-box mainman Jay Taylor’s 9 to 5 is as booker, promoter, call it what you will at Manchester’s distinguished Night & Day venue (direct your browsers to In the scant hours he has left he painstakingly divides his time between several other endeavours, that is to say producing Rock’n’Roll bands, DJ-ing, writing, illustrating and occasional forays into radio. He is currently working on a TV pilot celebrating magnificent unsigned Mancunian bands. Jay was previously responsible for Guitar hero duties in Rock’n’Roll stalwarts Gold Blade, who in their time: played to 30,000 free minded Serbian's in Belgrade, were the second band to ever play in Macedonia, appeared at the handing over ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth games as well as appearing on CD UK with Ant and Dec. He also wrote and drew a monthly strip for seminal UK comic mag 'Deadline' alongside Gorrilaz / Tank Girl creator Jamie Hewlet, and (along side his Gold Blade brothers) was also part of the in-house modelling team for leading alternative shoe makers 'Underground shoes' if that counts for anything.

Bone-box are currently at work scoring the soundtrack to the Mancunian film GEORGE BEST and contributing a track to the score of the UK’s first Alt-country musical (yes, really).

“Superb” Big Issue Alternative Rock LP of the Year "If you are really looking for a revival in British guitar music, Manchester's Bone-box may be the combination you have been dreaming of. Bona-fide brilliant" NME "A beguiling musical tapestry...there really aren't any bones to pick with a record as fulfilling as this. Bone-box are definitely out there on their own" Kerrang

Band website:

The Remote Control – ‘Letting The Side Down’

‘No, no, no, your nicotine stains on show, You’re letting the side down, you’re letting the side down, Rolling on an open road, wheel spinning don’t shift no load You’re letting the side down, you’re letting it... down.

Whoa, whoa, whoa - I’ve waited too patiently, To not go for the big crown, And then I’m letting my hair down, Waiting on an open goal's no way to enrich your soul, You’re letting the side down.

Under burning sun, in love with everyone, This town don’t look too bad, too bad In time.’

The Remote Control are poised, tightly coiled, waiting to unleash their infectious sound on a world they believe needs them. They claim to be “bringing back some originality and authenticity” to accessible, inventive rock; their blistering, often guttural and infectiously memorable music confirming this presumptuous statement.

“Near inspirational…accessible…their songs are full-blooded, intelligent, anchored by strong melodies and hooks [and] driven home by a huge sound. An assured demonstration of pop rock…”

Band website:

Grand Volume – ‘Summon’

‘You’re the first in the world to successfully, summon me back home,
Wait for me there I’m coming, exhale your breath,
Why my feet always cold, maybe the blood’s busy as well,
Or is it just lazy after all it’s a long way down.’

‘Grand Volume have always had a deeply political conviction beneath their melodic outlook. Instead of utilising the obvious skills they have to produce another version of Coldplay, Grand Volume believe in the blistering pace and efficiency of cut throat guitars and epic soundscapes.’’ Manchester Music

Band website:

Blue Avenger – ‘When You’re Young’

‘In this light,
The smoke looked so good,
Empty glass,
When it should be full.

Another drink,
Share a cig with me,
Don’t get up,
This one’s on me.

Wish I was home now, getting lucky,
Try, try again
Wish I was home now, getting lucky,
But I’m here.’

Blue Avenger is Manchester’s most exciting new remix and intelligent dance artist, mastering his unique brand of electronic ‘fatfloor’ groove.

‘Do The Right Thing sounds like the missing link between Doves and The Chemical Brothers, the vocals echoing Jimi Goodwins soaring melodics and the beats driving things along amidst the squelches and bleeps.’ UK Band Search

  • 29 th June 2005 – Liverpool Barfly – The Casual Saints, Rebbeca, Bone-Box
  • 2nd July 2005 – Joseph's Well, Leeds – The Remote Control, The Casual Saints, Bone-Box + Fry-Up DJs
  • 6th July 2005 – Birmingham Bar Academy – Rebbeca, Grand Volume, Chimes
  • 14th July 2005 – Bar Med, Harrogate – Chimes, Rebbeca, Earl
  • 15th July 2005 – Blowout @ The Bier Keller, Manchester – Earl, Ironweed, The Casual Saints, The Remote Control, Bone-Box
  • 17th July 2005 – Liverpool Hub Festival – Grand Volume
  • 21st July 2005 – Stoke – Chimes, Bone-Box, Rebbeca
  • 23 rd July 2005 – The Castle, Oldham – Chimes, Grand Volume, Rebbeca
  • 28th July 2005 – 13 th Note, Glasgow – Earl, Grand Volume, The Remote Control
  • 29th July 2005 – Snafu, Aberdeen – Earl, Grand Volume, The Remote Control
  • 4th August 2005 – Centro, Manchester – Launch with Fry-Up DJs
  • 6 th August 2005 – Fry-Up @ The Southern, Manchester
  • 12th August 2005 – View Two Gallery – Acoustic SuperCity ( All SuperCity bands) + Fry-Up DJs

London t.b.c. – Earl, Grand Volume, The Casual Saints, The Remote Control

To book tickets call ticketline on 0161 832 1111 or visit

Centro and View Two are invite only, but you can try to twist our arms for free tickets by emailing . The Hub Festival is a free event.

1. DirtyPrettySuperCity – Earl
2. Down To My Grave – Ironweed (Audio Suspects Remix)
3. Fallen From Grace – The Casual Saints
4. Summon - Grand Volume
5. Some Spirits Said – Bone-box
6. Letting The Side Down – The Remote Control
7. When You’re Young - Blue Avenger
8. The Thousandth Man – Rebbeca
9. 602 – Chimes
10. Powder Burn - Slims

You can check out all the tracks and fat northerner's other releases on the fat northerner media player back in the main site.

All tracks mastered at Manchester Mastering House by Jonny Singh and Bud Fudlacker. ©Fat Northerner Records 2005.

Urbis -
Alsop Architects -
SuperCity Tour -

Our special thanks –

Frank Lea, Eddie Thomas, Jonny Singh, Steph Grant, Matt Trueman, Scott Burnham, Will Alsop, Mark Brown, Peggy Manning, Graham Thomas, Phil Styles , Pete Finnigan, Andy Woods, Richard England , Steve Jones, Alan Jepson, Andy Thomas, Fry-Up, Bud Fudlacker and all the bands.

Manchester Mastering House, Blowout (, Urbis, Fistral PR ( ), Philistyne Web Design, Cadiz, ACE, Blue Soap, XL Artistes (, Sound Control ( ).

Win a copy of the forthcoming SuperCity limited edition, signed album, a Fat Northerner t-shirt and pair of tickets to a SuperCity gig near you... all you need to do is add your email address to the mailing list on the Fat Northerner home page for a chance to win. Winners will be announced on the website in July!
you can mail-order this release through Pay-Pal:

You can also find Supercity stocked in the following sites:

  • Portico Library and Gallery – 57 Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3HY
  • Bend In The River – 54 Bridge St, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2AQ
  • University of Liverpool Art Collections – 6 Abercromby Square, Liverpool, L69 7WY
  • Bluecoat Display Centre, Bluecoat Chambers, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX
  • Urbis – Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG
  • View Two Gallery, 23 Matthew St, Liverpool, L2 6RE

as well as in HMV and Virgin Megastores nationwide and Piccadilly Records (Manchester).