Mancunian poet Mike Garry (pictured above) has teamed up with music composer Joe Duddell to pay tribute to Mr Manchester, Tony Wilson.
The single, St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson, spans over five minutes and blends the straight-talking sound of Garry’s voice and an epic string composition reminiscent of Manchester band Elbow, who Duddell has worked with.
The poem delves into the influence Wilson had on Garry’s own life and Manchester as a whole. Wilson founded Factory Records in 1978, a label that signed the likes of Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays. Garry, who never met Wilson, urges the record label owner to talk to him throughout the poem, “as a boy sat inside my Fallowfield council home” to nowadays, in a city of “trendy flats within warehouses”.
Garry said: “When Anthony H Wilson died in August 2007, I knew the world would never be the same. Tony Wilson built the modern Manchester.”
The accompanying video, created by Soup Collective, features many famous faces from the North West and beyond, showing the breadth of Wilson’s admirers. They include singer Iggy Pop, Steve Coogan, who portrayed Wilson in the hit film 24hr Party People, and punk poet John Cooper Clarke.
The single is to be released by Skinny Dog Records on 14 August and all profits will go to The Christie Charitable Fund, supporting the hospital where Wilson died in 2007. A party launching the single will take place at Granada Studios on the release date. Garry and Duddell will be performing the piece alongside a screening of the video. Previously unseen exclusive interview footage from the shoot will also be shown.
Read our Q&A with Mike Garry on Monday 17 August in the See/Hear section of bigissuenorth.com.