The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Party Pieces: Andy Burnham's Favourite Albums
Fergal Kinney , March 2nd, 2022 09:21

The Mayor of Greater Manchester takes Fergal Kinney through 13 records that shaped him, via his days as a Hacienda regular and his children introducing him to Big Thief


The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

I didn’t realise how lucky I was. I was at university and a mate of mine, who used to listen to John Peel every night, he was into more obscure stuff and he gave me a tape for my Walkman, saying “this isn’t my kind of thing but you’ll probably love this.” It was The Stone Roses. I remember being on my bike, cycling around Cambridge, thinking that this is the band I’ve waited all my life to hear. I still think about that album in that way. That summer, I got home from university and was working in Manchester in 1989 - I went into Piccadilly Records at lunchtime, bought a ticket for The Stone Roses at Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. I immediately bought those tickets. I remember it really vividly, it was one of those gigs you are at where you know it’s a really important gig. How lucky to have been there at that time.

And you went to the Hacienda…

I did! I saw the Fall at the Hacienda actually. Mainly Thursday nights was my night, the student night, and it was pretty special. There would be a few members of Inspiral Carpets hanging around, or Mick Hucknall, you’d drink it all in - as well as drinking a lot of other things! It was pretty special. It felt like the centre of the universe at that moment in time, 1989 going into 1990.

I met Tony Wilson quite a lot. The first time I met him, I’d literally just been elected as MP for Leigh, and for some reason he marked me out and noticed me. He summoned me to a meeting with him in Liverpool - Liverpool! - and the purpose of the meeting was to tell me to stop campaigning for a new Everton ground, because Liverpool needed a music venue more than it needed football. A big music venue. That’s now the Echo Arena. That was the first time I met Tony and we got on famously. I was in awe of him, really. We had quite a bit to do with one another, going into 2003 we were both on a board called Yes For the North West, which was meant to be the devolution campaign. We had a real laugh. I consider myself very lucky, I got to know him quite well. I did In The City once with him too.

Did you ever try ecstasy?

No. Never did. That’s not just a politician’s answer either. It just wasn’t my thing. Lager? Yes. I can drink as much of that as the next person. When things started moving more in the house direction, that wasn’t me. Hacienda on the Saturday night wasn’t me, it was about the Thursday night.