Delphic is the new great Manchester Band

I have been listening to Acolyte, the debut album of the much praised new Manchester band Delphic.

It was an album I was waiting to hear before I had even heard of these three young guys from the city where I used to live and where I was lucky enough to come into contact with many other inspiring figures in what is now seen a golden era.

There is a sweetness about the Manchester musical tradition which emanated most obviously from the music of The Smiths, The Inspiral Carpets and The Stone Roses and which, for all their bravura, sits at the heart of Oasis too. The mantle of these very different Manchester “indie” bands now seems to have been passed on to Delphic.

I was fortunate enough to have been a friend and professional colleague of the late but still much celebrated Manchester music impresario, Tony Wilson and, apart from being the beneficiary of several years of highly enthusiastic conversations with a late and lamented friend about the current musical scene, I was also fortunate enough to have been allowed in at the early stages of many of his most cherished ventures – none less than his now legendary club The Hacienda which was to become one of the most important bases for British “Dance” or “House” music inspired by, amongst other things, Tony’s enthusiastic visits to Ibiza in its early halcyon days.

Tony was great because he loved music and was turned on to fits of wild enthusiasm for anything that he thought was new and, inspirational and, most importantly, heart-felt. It was in his company that I first enjoyed that exciting musical forking of the roads when Dance separated at least partially from the traditional four lads with their guitars and drum-kit into the wildly-imaginative musical tradition that followed.

Last year, I was talking to my friend Adam from the Brighton “indie” band Foxes! whose music owes some of its inspiration to the culture of Manchester and Liverpool. He defends his own style, and quite right too, but I remember suggesting to him that it would be interesting if he drew from the parallel universe of “dance” or “trance” music with its exciting sense of rhythm and its imaginative electronica soundscape. He, in the manner of all creative artists, rejected my suggestions, determined to forge his own way. I applaud his freedom of spirit but I am now thrilled to hear music from Delphic which could have been written just to satisfy my own selfish demands.

To my eyes, Delphic reunite two much loved Manchester traditions with plangent vocal lines and guitar led virtuosity mixed with “trance”-like music lab musicianship. If they continue like this, they will surely join the pantheon of great Mancunians.

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