‘My dad doesn’t think playing a guitar is a sensible job and he’s probably right’

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For a long time, Leeds didn’t have much of a musical heritage.

While across the Pennines a steady stream of bands had come out of Manchester from Joy to Division, to the Smiths, the Stone Roses and the biggest of them all, Oasis, Leeds struggled.

There had been the Wedding Present and the Sisters of Mercy, but back in the 1980s and 1990s when anyone started to list the city’s famous musicians it wasn’t long before the silence was broken by someone saying, “Didn’t Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits go to university in Leeds?” He did, he studied English there in the early 1970s, but even when you added in the link to The Who and their Live at Leeds gig, it wasn’t exactly a crowded hall of fame.


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