Did you know that David Bowie once had a haircut in Wigan Market? Just joking.
If you've always wanted to know more about the town you grew up in, you're in the right place. Maybe it seems boring. Maybe it seems usual. Maybe you think that nothing good ever comes out of it. WELL. Music-wise, I want to prove you wrong. Here is a list of some interesting, some unexpected, and some rather dubious facts about our local music scene.
*All words written in this blog post may or may not be true. Read with caution. If unsure, go talk to Paul. Find him at Static Records, The Old Courts, Crawford Street, Wigan, WN1 1NA.
1. Before he fronted Kajagoogoo, Wigan lad Limahl was just plain Chris Hamill (for you anagram fans).
2. Candlewick Green, a Wigan pop group that won ‘Opportunity Knocks’ in the mid 70s signed to Deeca and had one hit.
3. Green Day played twice in Wigan, FACT!
4. Punk band The Damned played the Wigan Casino and according to plenty of fans I’ve met, a couple of band members urinated on the audience. True or false… I don’t know.
5. The Sex Pistols were due to play the Casino. The gig was cancelled so the band went and played pool in a café on Station Road.
6. Killing Joke turned up to Trucks in 1980 to play a gig, but they blew the electrics at the venue. They had a juggler and a fire-eater with them, so they entertained the crowd instead.
7. Rainbow Cottage wrote the theme tune to cool and bonkers 70s kids show ‘Cloppa Castle.’
8. When The Verve played Haigh Hall, you could see Richard Ashcroft’s nose from the Great Wall of China.
9. 90s fraggle folkies The Tansads took their name from an old fashioned pram model.
10. In the 60s, Wigan group The Beat Boys ended up being Gene Vincent’s backing band!
11. Wigan band Starsailor are not from Wigan… but Chorley. The lead singer thought Wigan was sexier, so he maintained the myth for financial reasons.
12. Wigan Britpop funsters The Railway Children were signed for a short time to the Manchester Factory label. But when Tony Wilson found out they had nothing to do with the famous film… he dropped them from contract.
13. One of the coolest men ever to walk the earth, Joe Strummer of the Clash, said the best concert he ever attended was the Bickershaw Festival in 1972. Artists including The Kinks, The Grateful Dead, Captain Beefheart, Dr John and Hawkwind amongst others came to Wigan and played in the mud and train for the weekend.
13. So far only one school from Wigan was every represented on the hit kids TV show ‘Cheggars Plays Pop.’
Not the Wigan episode but you get the gist.
14. Frank Sidebottom played Wigan many times. Loved by all who got to see him, his last gig in Wigan was at the Tudor pub and for some reason the organisers built a sandpit at the front of the stage. One chap came from Birmingham, walked into the pub, tripped up on the pit and broke a rib! Bobbins…
15. Room At The Top – Wigan venue in the 60s facing the bus station, the club was run by ex-wrestler Ken Baldwin / Tony Zale?!
Image: Wrestling Heritage.
16. 80s heavy metal group Cloven Hoof once turned down a chance to open for TOTO because it would compromise their pure metal sound. They don’t exist anymore, but one of their members lives in Wigan. FACT!
18. When the tribute Sex Pistols band played at The Old Courts in 2017, the FAKE Jonny Rotten bought five Beatle cassettes at Static Records. Fact!
19. Wiganer Kate Garner was a member of 80s Haysi Fantayzee, who became famous for singles such as ‘John Wayne Is Big Leggy.’ Now, Kate is a renowned showbiz photographer and artist who has exhibited internationally.
20. Wigan has the best record shop in the North West – FACT.
*All words written in this blog post may or may not be true. Read with caution. If unsure, go talk to Paul.
The Old Courts