I’ve thought about this a fair bit, and the first thing that came to my mind as quintessentially local was definitely hardcore and its development in the north of England. Growing up here, and living here now (Leeds), you really see the influence pushing through. So many young hardcore bands, ranging from metalcore to thrash, develop beautifully in the north; the current climate just really seems to work. But what’s the north doing right?
Starting in my teenage years, I’ve gone to local gigs and been involved with the local music scene. And in my town, there’s always been full support of the hardcore scene. Local gigs went on weekly, community centres supported the projects and funding came from bigger organisations. I’m pretty sure this isn’t just where I’m from. The vibrant music scene in Leeds also revolves heavily around the hardcore scene, with venues such as The Well and Cockpit really pushing new bands to get out there, well-known or otherwise. Other cities in the north – Sheffield, Nottingham, York, Manchester – have boasted of other hardcore acts hailing from there and into the mainstream ear.
We’ve seen bands such as Asking Alexandria, Pulled Apart By Horses, Gallows, Bring Me The Horizon and Rolo Tomassi come out so recently and really pushing the boat out with creativity and challenging peoples’ musical perceptions of what hardcore is. The north really must have something to offer in this vibrant breeding ground for new hardcore bands. As well as intense local support from audiences and venues alike, the internet-age must also be doing something right. The use of social media outlets to publicise a bands works definitely helps – especially to get the word out outside the city of origin. Record shops also coming back into fashion really can’t be doing this scene any harm either – the local music stores being so popular allows local bands to support them (e.g. playing at openings/events) and them to support the local bands (e.g. selling their CDs). Supporting local music has never been more potent.
Creativity is really thriving to – of the bands I’ve listed above, most are hybrid/sub-genres and really mix things up in the current hardcore scene. Gallows mixes old-school punk (see: The Clash, The Sex Pistols) with new-core screamo (see: well…. Any kind of screamo). Rolo Tomassi is en eclectic mix of hardcore and progressive-acid-core. Who knew that would be such a good, such a popular, genre? These bands are making their thousands from this.
And they came from humble beginnings. Without the current climate in the north, who knew where these bands would be?