The city of Manchester is one which has contributed way above its weight to the world of music. Whether it’s The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, Oasis or The 1975, the city has produced bands who have mass followings all over the world. The biggest band to come out of Manchester is undoubtedly Britpop kings Oasis. Though they didn’t always seem to be destined for the glory that they achieved. Oasis’ songwriter Noel Gallagher was 27 before he reached fame with Oasis and up until then was a roadie for fellow Manchester band The Inspiral Carpets. Noel lugged the band’s gear around on the band’s tours after he auditioned to be their lead singer and was rejected. In the 2016 documentary, Supersonic Noel spoke positively of his time as a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets but did mention that he was eventually fired by the band and this is when he came home to Manchester and joined his brother Liam’s band Oasis. After countless hit records later, Noel’s old boss found himself in a new job giving bus tours of Manchester to show Oasis fans where his once employee turned one of Britain’s most treasured Rock Stars used to hang out. How is this? Externalities.
Externalities are a concept in economics which explain the unintended consequences of activities which occur within the economy. The most widely used example of externalities is that factory production leads to pollution. Though this is what’s known as a negative externality, there too can be positive externalities arise from economic activity. Such as Oasis’ success leading to enough interest in the band members that a tour bus of the Gallagher brother’s old haunts could thrive as a new business for former Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill.
In 2005, Manchester Music Tours was set up by Gill after years of Oasis fans coming into his CD shop asking where they could find places around Manchester that the Gallagher brothers grew up around. Eventually, taking inspiration from The Magical Mystery bus tour in Liverpool which gives a tour around where the Beatles grew up, Gill set up the Manchester equivalent. The Tour runs for two hours and shows fans around to the Gallagher brothers house which they grew up in, where the lads used to go on nights out and even the shop Sifters which inspired the lyric for the song Shakermaker “Mr Sifter sold me songs when I was just sixteen”.
The Tour received very positive reviews and is quite hands on for dedicated fans being able to find answers to nearly all the questions they have about the Oasis men as tour guide Craig Gill knew the lads quite well having hung out and worked with Noel for years but unfortunately the tours are not given by Gill anymore following his death in 2016. The tour website can be found below if you find yourself near the Manchester area.
By Daragh O’Leary