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Baggy Love Tim London looks at Richard Davis' Madchester Years 1989-91

Baggy Love

Tim London looks at Richard Davis' Madchester Years 1989-91

by Tim London,
first published: March, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

Manchester, Before The Branding

The Madchester Years 1989–91
Richard Davis
Café Royal Books

The latest collection from the invaluable Café Royal Books, features the work of the celebrated photographer, Richard Davis.
Richard Davis moved to Hulme, Manchester in 1988 from Birmingham. He arrived just as the city was beginning to swim in MDMA and the various ‘baggy’ bands of the era were discovering they were always into dance music. Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice about his new collection, The Madchester Years (1989-91), will be the amount of cloth. Most people in these photographs are wearing enough denim and long sleeved T shirt for two. The next thing will be that Manchester, even then, was in flux. The fashions aside, everyone has that unhealthy look which temporarily disappeared with the advent of eight hour dance sessions and regular trips to the Med. By 1992 clubbers were lean and, apart from liver damage, fit.
Pictures of pre-cheek-sucking icons and would-be icons, that wet soot filth of the diesel-soaked walls, Manchester before the branding. It’s gone, thank god, but, as ever, and as these pictures capture, the beauty of young people re-inventing the good times meant that the dismal surroundings were irrelevant.
Class, as they used to say and might well still say. I wouldn’t know. I was there (occasionally) and that makes me too old to know.Manchester market
Madchester, then
Essential Info
Richard Davis - The Madchester Years 1989–91 available from Café Royal Books (£6.50) here
Richard Davis on Facebook here

Tim London

Tim London is a musician, music producer and writer. Originally from a New Town in Essex he is at home amidst concrete and grand plans for the working class. Tim's latest thriller, Smith, is available now. Find out more at

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