The Reading List: Manchester music

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The Independent Culture


'Twisting My Melon' by Shaun Ryder (Bantam, £18.99)

It's a surprise he can remember anything at all... But of all the players in what became "Madchester", Ryder's are the most intriguing. From working as a brickie, to bacchanalian misadventures recording Happy Mondays' second LP in Barbados to I'm a Celebrity. Ryder has, in theory, more tales to tell than Aesop.


'Manchester: Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain' by Kevin Cummins (Faber and Faber, £30)

Cummins' images of the city and of key players in Mancunian music – from that famous shot of Ian Curtis, cigarette in hand, to Liam Gallagher – are a key part of the iconography of the city's soul. This 2009 retrospective features some of the photographer's greatest portraits of Manchester and its artists.


'Touching from a Distance' by Deborah Curtis

(Faber and Faber, £8.99)

No one knew the late Joy Division singer better than his wife, Deborah. This touching biography of her husband tells of Curtis's life from school to his death via music, epilepsy and an affair with a Belgian fanzine writer. Touching was the basis for Anton Corbijn's wonderful 2007 biopic, Control.


'Designed by Peter Saville' by Peter Saville and Emily King (Frieze, £19.95)

Saville's modernist designs for much of Factory Records' output, including the famous, loss-making artwork for the 12in of New Order's mega-hit "Blue Monday", remain the visual touchstone for Madchester's peak. This collection of Saville's work is 200 pages long and features 250 of the artist's illustrations.


'The Haçienda: How Not to Run a Club' by Peter Hook (Simon & Schuster, £18.99)

Hooky is hardly Cicero, but his story of how New Order lost hundreds of thousands of pounds they pumped into the infamous nightclub is worth a read just for some of his anecdotes – including the tale of Madonna sleeping in the porch of one of the club's DJs.