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Page last updated at 07:46 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 08:46 UK
Manchester Scenewipe's 'special way to see bands'

The Travelling Band on Manchester Scenewipe

If you happen across a band raving in a van or a musician strumming in a field, don't be alarmed - chances are they are being filmed for Manchester Scenewipe.

The new website is the brainchild of Sam Alder and Toby Potter, who are determined to offer something unique to the world of music.

To that end, they've been capturing one-off performances of bands.

It's a process Sam says is about "one take, one song performed intimately in a nice Manchester location."

His filming counterpart, Toby, says that the inspiration for the films came out of their love - and deconstruction - of similar web-based ideas.

Manchester Scenewipe capture Lissie singing in Manchester Museum
What we want to try and get is a unique performance and hopefully give something interesting to Manchester, a special way to see a band close up
Sam Adler

"We got turned onto the concept of it through Blogotheque and the Black Cab Sessions, who are doing similar things in Paris and London.

"As much as we're massive fans of what they're doing, we did see a limitation to it and we thought as we love Manchester and we love the Manchester music scene, we wanted to embrace it.

"So we started emailing Manchester bands and touring bands we could get through to and it's just evolved and developed over time.

"The site went up about a month ago and it's just got bigger and better already."


The pair have had a great response from both local and international acts and say that many of the sessions come together very naturally.

That was certainly the case when they filmed rising Mancunian star Jo Rose in Chorlton Meadows, as Toby explains.

"I gave him a MySpace message and he rang me up about half an hour later and said 'can you come over and film me?'

Honey Feet
Honey Feet performed in a Withington launderette

"So we went, met him and walked off into the Meadows - it really captured the mood of what he was doing.

"Then he said 'do you want to come back to ours? We'll have some White Russians and you can listen to the new demos'.

"A lot of them are that off-the-cuff, even with the big touring acts.

"We filmed Why?'s Yoni Wolf - their tour manager said that he wanted to play the song on a piano but can't find anywhere locally to do it.

"Then he suggested Eighth Day [Café on Oxford Road] as they have a piano downstairs, so we were all set up ready to go and he came down and played a Smiths cover for us."

Laundrettes, library steps and stairwells

Such an open attitude to location and style has meant they have already captured some utterly unique performances.

Amongst many others, they've filmed Honey Feet in the local launderette, put Liam Frost in Salford's Sacred Trinity Church, taken Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six into a snowy Whitworth Park, had Frightened Rabbit perform on the canal side, turned Shmoo's van into a club and got Nine Black Alps to play in a lift.

Shmoo perform for Manchester Screenwipe
Shmoo stripped things down and performed in their van

Sam says there are still many performers that they have in their sights to film and that new acts are attracting his attention all the time.

"It's amazing that every day, a new local band pops up that I haven't heard of and it turns out they're really good.

"There are local bands we have our eye on who we pester daily to try and fit us in, but with the touring bands, we're very opportunistic.

"We just contact their label or management and tell them this is what we're doing, so when you come through, would you give us a time.

"The principle behind the whole thing is if people care about it, then we'll care about it.

"What we want to try and get is a unique performance and hopefully give something interesting to Manchester, a special way to see a band close up."

Given that they've already filmed bands in dressing rooms, cellars, abandoned houses, library steps and stairwells, you'd be hard pressed to argue with them.

With a busy filming schedule ahead and rate of two new videos a week appearing online, Manchester Scenewipe looks set to be a shining stalwart of the city's music scene for the foreseeable future.

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