Friday, 21 November 2014

The Band On The Wall, an Historical Archive

One of Manchester's premier music venues, The Band On The Wall has operated as a jazz club since the mid 1970's. This was formerly a public house, The George and Dragon , Swan Street. The pub first opened its doors in 1803 although the building has undergone many changes since then.  As far back as the 1930's the pub boasted a stage on which musicians regularly performed and it was at that time the nickname "Band On The Wall" was first coined.  The adjoining building, now the venue's cafe bar "Picturehouse" has been in the same ownership as the pub since the early 20th century, if not longer. It has had many roles since it was built in 1865 including conversion to a picture house in 1915.

The George & Dragon as a Wilson's house.

The Band On The Wall website has a superb archive. This documents the meticulously researched history of the building and adjoining Picturehouse.
Early days as a music venue

Swan Street is in one of Manchester's oldest districts, an area with a fascinating history.  The archive tells the story of the neighbourhood. Smithfield Market, Little Italy, Ancoats and New Cross all feature as do violent gangs such as the Scuttlers. The music heritage of Manchester is a strong feature of this archive; "Broadsides", cheap song sheets were printed in the area and the Ancoats Brotherhood was founded by Charles Rowley to bring serious music to the streets.

Smithfield Market
This website is highly recommended, it makes fascinating reading. If jazz music is also to your taste then there is even more of interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment