New research shows power of Manchester's music scene ahead of rival teams' FA Cup Final clash

New research shows power of Manchester's music scene ahead of rival teams' FA Cup Final clash

On the eve of the first ever all-Mancunian FA Cup Final (Saturday, June 3), new analysis from the BPI reveals the power of the Manchester music scene.

Greater Manchester is the top location outside London for nurturing music talent, according to the trade body. 

The North West England destination finishes top of a league table ranking UK counties outside the capital by the success of their artists on the albums chart over the past 12 months ending April 2023.

There has been an increasing focus on developing the music industry outside of the capital.

Based on Official Charts Company sales and streaming data, the research shows that nearly two thirds of the UK’s most successful albums by homegrown talent were recorded by artists who grew up or formed their bands outside London. The research categorises the top 300 albums from the past year, excluding catalogue titles, reissues and best-ofs.

Sophie Jones, BPI chief strategy officer and interim chief executive, said: “Greater Manchester has long been celebrated for both its music and footballing prowess, so it’s fitting that on the eve of the first ever all-Manchester FA Cup Final, the county should head a BPI league table of the most successful destinations for nurturing music talent. Our research also shows that every part of the UK is blessed with gifted music artists, but only by properly investing in this talent at a time when the global music market is more competitive than ever can we hope to retain and enhance our status as a world-leading music power.”

UK’s leading 10 music counties outside London 

Greater Manchester

East Sussex

West Yorkshire





South Yorkshire


10 Surrey

Greater Manchester’s No.1 status is down to an eclectic mix of talent. Manchester City fan Liam Gallagher’s C’mon You Know became his third successive solo No.1 album last year

Also from the city, rapper and Man Utd fan Aitch’s debut album Close To Home peaked at No.2 last year. Other successful Mancunian artists include rapper Meekz, Everything Everything and Pale Waves. 

A number of artists from the wider region also contributed to the result, including chart-topping indie band The Lottery Winners from Leigh. Wigan rock band The Lathums landed their second chart-topping album in March with From Nothing To A Little Bit More, while Stockport five-piece Blossoms made it to No.1 for a third time last year with Ribbon Around The Bomb.

Outside of London, East Sussex finished in second place behind Greater Manchester, driven largely by artists from Brighton. The south coast city’s music stars include the rapper ArrDee, whose mixtape Pier Pressure was 2022’s biggest breakthrough, indie rock group Lovejoy and rock band Architects.

West Yorkshire’s third-placed finish includes several artists from Bradford, including Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Nia Archives and The Cult. The city is the planned location for BPI’s proposed new specialist creative school based on the successful BRIT School model. 

Leeds makes a significant contribution to West Yorkshire’s showing, including Yard Act and Soft Cell, who released their first new studio album in nearly two decades.

In London, Camden is the city’s top music borough thanks to a mix of seasoned bands such as Coldplay and Suede, who were both formed there, and newer talent such as Rina Sawayama.


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