Alternative Music in Cumbria

Skiddle's newest wordsmith Jono North, takes us on a magical mystery tour of Cumbria's burgeoning music scene... Apparently 2005 Smells Gooooood!

Date published: 16th Feb 2005

2005 Smells Gooooood!


Ah, another Friday night… the beautiful stench of Stella, smoke and rotting flesh still being pummelled by huge bouncers floats through the heavily pierced noses of the bobbing crowd, as another local band plays out their set. But one thing is different... the music they’re playing is actually good!


It’s true, up north we’ve always been more famous for our morris dancing than mosh pits, but Cumbria is slowly being recognised as a place of budding rock n’ roll talent.

Motive Sounds in Carlisle and Papscene in Kendal, along with various others, have been endlessly promoting bands and advertising gigs, and there are signs of change.


Local favourites arty-hardcore-geniuses Second to Last have been recently picked up by Lockjaw Records, with an album to be released early 2005. Meanwhile, Workington punks Colurblind have been gaining much acclaim through national radio play, and came sixth in the 2003 “Best Band in the UK” competition (although now a year ago, the band have been too busy recording and gigging to take part in silly competitions).


More wonderment can be found in the form of CtrlAltDelete, continuing to stun with their beautiful melodies, Sonic Youth-esque noise and consistently original instrumental genius, and Cornerstone’s dirty alt rock seems untouchable, loved by audiences all over northern England.


Can you tell I’m excited? And I haven’t even mentioned Kyra, Tauntra or Allegiance Free… Music from every genre is bursting from every cold crevice of the North, Carlisle is being hailed (by me) as the next Seattle. Watch out or we’ll get ya!


Words: Jono North