A Northern Soul Book of the Year
Nominated for the 2018 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research

‘Makes a convincing – and thoroughly entertaining – case for Manchester studios Pluto and Strawberry being the lightning rods for the city’s celebrated music scenes.’
Q Magazine

‘An ambitious, engaging history of Manchester music… Hanley really gets to grips with the entire tale, and relates it to the reader with clarity, skill, wisdom and wit. All told, it might just be the definitive book on the subject.’
Northern Soul

‘A broad reinvestigation of Manchester music history from the 60s to the 90s. Written with passion, flair and an attention to factual detail worthy of the BBC’s John Motson, Hanley convincingly argues that the endeavours of oft-derided British Invasion-era Mancs The Hollies, The Mindbenders and Herman’s Hermits resulted in Manchester wrestling some control from the London music moguls a decade before Buzzcocks’ self-released Spiral Scratch. To further illustrate his point, the author then isolates 13 mould-breaking Mancunian recordings which mirror the richness and diversity of his city’s musical heritage. Hanley inevitably endorses influential titles such as The Smiths and Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, and to his credit also salutes brilliantly unlikely home-grown smash hits including 10cc’s opulent I’m Not In Love and LS Lowry-inspired folkies Brian & Michael’s Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs.’
Record Collector

‘One of the best books on rock’n’roll I’ve ever read’
Mike Sweeney, BBC Radio Manchester

‘Well written, educational and very entertaining’
John Maher, Buzzcocks

‘An informed perspective written with intelligence and wit. Hanley tells his story entertainingly and does it in a thorough, readable, unpretentious manner. Hanley’s witty prose is to be found even in the book’s copious footnotes. Well researched, Hanley provides some good, unique information about the British music scene that most probably do not know. It is one of the best books I have read on a rock topic in years.’
Robert Iannapollo, Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal

Leave The Capital explores the best bands that Manchester had to offer the world, and how that talent was grown and nurtured in the heart of the North West. Forget The Beatles and all of Epstein’s acts who never recorded anything further north of the Watford Gap. This book celebrates Mancunian bands in the city that made them.’
We Are Cult

‘A must-read account of a particular time and location that came together to alter popular culture… by leaving the capital.’
The Big Takeover

‘It’s a fascinating look at pop music, recording, musical influences and the history that binds together any given record made in the city in these formative years. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a terrifically funny book… sounds like the best pub conversation you ever overheard.’
Graham Wynd

‘A great document and seriously well written (for a drummer)’
Marc Riley

‘Definitive stuff’
Chorlton Bookshop