Poet, BBC Presenter, Podcaster, Producer, Actor and Musician David Scott (otherwise known as ARGH KiD) is about to release his debut book Mancunians: Where do we start, where do I begin?
The book promises to unearth a lost chapter on Manchester during the Millenium, a golden period he feels has been “neglected when we talk about the city”.
Bringing together narrative voices as diverse as Guy Garvey, Stan Chow, Tunde Babalola, Sylvia Tella, Nooruddean Choudry and Badly Drawn Boy, these unheard stories of Manchester are brought together as a collective memoir and early reviews suggest this is going to be a must-read.
He said: “This book is all about a certain period of time at the end of the 90s, this was a time when I was coming of age but also when Manchester was on the verge of great change itself”
“Everything you read about the city is largely focused around Hacienda, that club shut the same month I finished school. I realised quickly we don’t talk about what happened after, and it’s a sentiment shared by so many others”
“I’ve never read a book about the post-hacienda period of Manchester but lots of cool and interesting stuff happened across everything we discuss in the book from the music, film/tv, art, the football (on and off the pitch) and how the population was being (mis)represented on screen.”
“The more and more I unpacked this time, I was unravelling stories that haven’t been told.”
Here’s a poem penned by Argh Kid back in 2011 for I Love Manchester
Part memoir, part social history of Manchester between 1996 and 2002, this is a period that Scott refers to as the “missing chapters in the city’s story”.
The book also touches on the reemergence of gang culture in Manchester, in which David lost several of his friends due to the associated violence and fallout.
Mancunians: Where do we start, where do I begin? explores the tail end of the long period of Conservative Government and the optimism for the future that followed under New Labour, not that it was felt by everyone
“My generation was the last products of education under the Tories, of what was basically a completely failing school system; a lost generation and what followed was a decade of binge-drinking, gang culture, where ecstasy was replaced by cocaine whilst big shiny buildings were being built in town”
After the euphoria of Oasis’s popularity, David feels that certain bands who followed them were under-appreciated, despite being great.
“Obviously, they were massive for the city, but there was so much more up here than Oasis. We don’t talk about drum and bass music, reggae artists, female musicians and those artists of colour. Then you look at Elbow, Doves, Badly Drawn Boy, and I am Kloot; musicians who may have been men with guitars but they were the antithesis of laddish behaviour. There’s a lot of underrepresentation and under appreciation so I wanted to change that.
“They don’t get mentioned with the same mythology as the Factory record artists, or what followed but in my mind, these bands and musicians spoke to me and my mates just as much as some of the bigger bands.”
Some of the narratives that have dominated Manchester’s football clubs are also explored, including the purchase of Manchester United by the Glaziers, along with the return to the top flight for Manchester City, which paved the way for the takeover, their move to the Ethiad and the start of their run of successes.
“For example, everyone knows of United’s class of 92 but we don’t talk about of City’s class of 93” – this story is taken up by ex-Man City footballer, Ged Tarpey who talks through his time at City during this period, and the mental health challenges he faced as he suffered a career-ending injury.
Mancunians covers a lot of ground and discusses the representation of the population on TV from The Royle Family to East is East, Queer as Folk to Cold Feet.
“This book tells part of my biography but it’s so much more than that; there isn’t another book on Manchester that is by Mancunians telling their own story of a time when we achieved so much that gets discussed so early. I’m a local lad and thought I knew a lot about Manchester but some of the stuff contributors shared absolutely left me gobsmacked as much as they left me in stitches laughing. Did you hear the one about the ladies that protected Night and Day from Gangsters? Or the man that set his shed on fire to make some pub money? How Horse Semen changed a club? Or The way Caroline Aherne got The Royale Family made? And that’s just a few I can recall now.”
Mancunians: Where do we start, where do I begin? is an authentic and honest account of Manchester on the brink of the Millennium, and in the stranglehold of a myth, told by the original ‘lippy kid’.