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Stockport Music Story ~ celebrating 60 years of local music heritage

Tameside's 'Matchstalk man' is joining well known singers and musicians from very different traditions for a unique all-star performance at Stockport Plaza.

Songwriter Mick Coleman from Gee Cross will be on stage with his brother Tim and the Vernon Park School choir singing the 1978 chart-topper Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs written by Mick as a tribute to the artist L.S. Lowry. 

Mick and Tim Coleman - appearing with Vernon Park school choir

The Stockport Music Story concert at the Plaza on Thursday 14 September will be a celebration of the town's musical heritage from the 1960s to the present day

The present day St Winifred's school choir from Heaton Mersey will step back in time to salute the famous class of 1980 who had the Christmas No.1 There's No-One Quite Like Grandma.

Two years earlier the choir also sang on the original Matchstalk Men  single by Brian and Michael accompanied by Tintwistle Brass Band. With a very limited budget it was recorded at Pluto Studios, Stockport - a cheaper alternative to the much more famous Strawberry Studios in the same building. Pluto could be hired for £16 an hour - compared with £25 per hour at Strawberry

Clint Boon, Inspiral Carpets keyboard player and Manchester music legend also features in the concert's eclectic line-up along with Mossley based Kyla Brox, internationally acclaimed blues and soul singer - the daughter of Ashton-born veteran blues man Victor Brox who died earlier this year. Kyla will welcome on stage her mum Annette Reis, Stockport-born author, poet and jazz singer.

John Barratt who organises the popular Stockport Music Map walking tours will host the concert featuring classic songs by 10cc, Blossoms, Joy Division, The Beatles, The Hollies, Neil Sedaka and many more. It also promises a 'never to be repeated' collaboration as Joe Beard and Chris Millward from Stockport College art school folk band The Purple Gang team up with the Take Note Community Choir from Marple to perform their 1967 cult single Granny Takes A Trip.

Two songs about the town itself are included in the set list - .Great Moor Junior School will sing Frank Sidebottom's classic Stockport Is Really Fantastic. The evening will end on a high with Clint Boon and  Fuzzy Sun performing  Frankie Vaughan's 1983 homage Stockport


Veteran rock'n' roller Pete Maclaine - the original lead singer of '60s Manchester band The Dakotas (pre-Billy J. Kramer) - will be performing a set with current Stockport band The Tall Faces, including his 1963 Pete Maclaine and The Clan single Yes I Do and Stay, The Hollies' debut hit.

Pete was a good friend of The Hollies' Graham Nash - they had worked together at The Toggery boutique on Princes Street, Stockport, the 'go-to' hip and trendy clothing store for the region's teens and '20s including many of the local bands. Its iconic status would see five up-and-coming musicians naming their 'freakbeat'* group The Toggery Five. (* 'freakbeat' = R&B, beat and psychedelia).

The concert will pay tribute to The Toggery Five and also Wimple Witch ~ the resident band at The Sinking Ship, a nightclub in the town's historic Underbank, where they played support to The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Another Hollies' connection - Eric Haydock, the group's original bass guitarist hailed from Stockport and later opened a record shop there. In the late '90s he had a shop in Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge, specialising in guitars, strings and accessories

The Stockport Music Story concert is supported by Arts Council England Lottery Fund and presented in collaboration with Stockport Town of Culture, British Drum Co, Seven Miles Out Records and Stockport Music Map

For tickets contact the box office 0161 477 7779 or online at Stockport Plaza


The excellent Manchester Beat website has a wealth of information on many of the local bands active during the '60s including:

Pete Maclaine and The Clan


The Hollies


The Purple Gang


The Toggery Five


Wimple Winch 




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