Famous Bands from Blackpool

Famous Bands from Blackpool

Blackpool has produced some great artists and musicians in its time including Nicholas McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand), Robert Smith (The Cure) and the band Jethro Tull. As well as hundreds of lesser know act over the years, with the likes of Karima Francis, Litterbug, The Locals, and Goonies Never Say Die in recent years. Blackpool is perhaps most famous for imposing an indefinite ban on the Rolling Stones in 1964 after a riot broke out during a suggestive performance at the Empress Ballroom - it was only in 2008 that this ban was lifted!

Robert Smith's band The Cure rose to prominence in the 80s as the world foremost alternative rock band. Influencing the birth of an entirely new breed of music Smiths dark musical style helped mould the Gothic Rock movement, with the Cure managing to sell over 27 million records in the process. Internationally recognizable hits like Love Cats, In Between Days, Boys Don't Cry have been complemented with the release of over 37 singles and 13 studio albums stretching over a colossal thirty years. The Cure remains as popular as they ever were, emphasized by their headline performance at the Reading Festival 2012.

Nicholas McCarthy, born in Blackpool in 1974, actually grew up in Vagen near Munich, Germany before relocating to Glasgow and starting a number of projects that eventually led into Franz Ferdinand. Their self-titled debut album released in 2004 reach number 3 in the UK album charts, selling over 3.6 million records and winning the 2004 Mercury Music Prize. Hits like The Dark of the Matinée propelled Franz Ferdinand to international fame, their second album You Could Have It So Much Better (2005) marked the bands first UK number 1 album with Do You Want To as the lead single. Their 2009 album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, their last released to date, reached number 2 in the UK albums chart selling yet did not sell as much as the band had hoped with Ulysses, the lead single only reaching 20 in the UK singles chart. Franz Ferdinand are currently recording their fourth album, so expect to hear more soon!

Jethro Tull lead singer Ian Anderson grew up in Blackpool during the 1960s, attending Blackpool Grammar School and the Blackpool College of Art. Andersons started a few musical projects in Blackpool during his late teenage years before relocating to London in 1967 where his band, Jethro Tull, began to capture the attention of music critics and audiences. By the early 70s, the band had become internationally famous, with their 1972 release Thick As A Brick reaching number one in the UK albums charts. Jethro Tull successfully registered the second number one album a year later helping the band to sell over 60 million records during a music career of over 40 years. Although Jethro Tull has faded from memory for many they remain one of the best selling British bands of all time.

If you would like to find out where most of the bands perform, please read our article about Music Venues in Blackpool.

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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