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Manchester is the cancer capital of England. Death rates from the disease are higher than anywhere else in the country.

There are many reasons for this such as poor lifestyles and people going to see their GP too late. But one thing is certain: this is a situation which cannot carry on.

Unless this current generation starts to take stock, this sorry picture could get even worse.

Fortunately, thanks to pioneering work at places like the Christie, treatments are getting better and survival rates are improving all the time. But the best cure of all has to be to not get the disease in the first place and there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.

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Manchester v Cancer 06 Artists  //  (click to view)
New Order
Doves
Badly Drawn Boy
Johnny Marr & The Healers
Andy Rourke
Nine Black Alps
Bez & Domino Bones
Shaun Ryder
Elbow
Utah Saints
808 State
MC Tunes
Mr Scruff
Mani
Stephen Fretwell
Graeme Park
Audio Interviews  //
 Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke
© Great Northern Productions/Nat Curtis

Click below to listen to interviews with Andy and Johnny prior to the 2006 concert.

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Artists  //

Andy Rourke
Founder Director of Great Northern Productions (the people who bring you Manchester v Cancer), Andy is recognized as one of the worlds leading bass players.

Andy Rourke

Originally with The Smiths Andy has taken up many projects in recent years performing with the plethora of musical talent. Since their split, he's never stopped: playing in many bands, some alongside fellow Smith Mike Joyce.

He's now just as likely to be seen behind the decks, having become a world-renowned DJ.

He's the man who booked the bands for Manchester v Cancer.

On the night, Andy played alongside a host of musical associates. He joined Badly Drawn Boy for 'Everybody's Stalking', Johnny Marr & The Healers for an unforgettable performance of The Smiths ' How Soon is Now?' and the finale 'W.F.L (Wrote For Luck)'


Mani
Bassist, DJ, whit, raconteur and man about town. Mani has played in two of Britain's most important bands, The Stone Roses and (currently) Primal Scream.

Highly respected throughout the musical community and loved by the Manchester community, he's never too far away from a gig – either playing or watching.

Manichester was on top form throughout the evening shooting bullets of wisdom through his wonderful DJ set. The former Stone Roses bass player and current Primal Scream bass player ditched his axe and bandmates for vinyl pleasure so was able to woo the crown all on his own.

He's working closely with Andy Rourke and Peter Hook on a band project called Freebass.


Badly Drawn Boy
Andy Rourke and Damon Gough have known each other for donkeys. Andy toured and played on Jools Holland with him. He signed up for the gig on the spot and lets face it, the Chorlton dwelling self assured chap has a musical track record that takes up all the lanes and then runs them in whatever way he wants.

Badly Drawn Boy

With a soundtrack, more singles than we have fingers plus 4 albums up his sleeve, he's a great icon of modern British music.

His performance at Manchester v Cancer 2006 was unshakable, a real crowd pleaser was his version of 'Silent Sigh' which started out as Madonna's hit 'Like A Virgin'. Buy the DVD when it comes out and you can hear for yourself. Love it.


Bez & Domino Bones
Bez is a true Manchester legend and after freaky dancing his way through the Happy Mondays he's now back with new band Domino Bones.

Bez and Domino Bones

“It's great to be back playing on home turf and for such a good cause,” he said.

Domino Bones were the first band out on the night and set the benchmark display of on stage antics and energy.


Nine Black Alps
The youngest band to perform at the concert as I'm sure they were reminded by the numerous old school vets at the gig, Nine Black Alps banged out 5 songs in 17 minutes.

Nine Black Alps

Great on record, even better live and NME have described them as incredible.

Their performance was a testament to the high quality of music currently coming out of Manchester plus a decent amount of stage cheekiness (guitarist David teasing the crowd with a couple of bars of She's Lost Control by Joy Division). We like.

Elbow
"We're absolutely over the moon about playing at this gig," Guy Garvey told us. "The line-up looks amazing and it's brilliant to be involved in an event that will make a difference to so many people's lives."

Nine Black Alps

Elbow were the final addition to Manchester v Cancer's line up. They sat firmly in the drivers seat thoughout their time onstage and proved unequivocally that they are now one of Manchesters biggest musical exports. A particular triumph with singalong hit Forget Myself.

Shaun Ryder
Frontman of The Happy Mondays Shaun made a special guest appearance at Manchester v Cancer to perform the Mondays 'W.F.L (Wrote For Luck)' along with the all star cast from the night.

Shaun Ryder

It perfectly wrapped up an unforgettable evening. It's highly unlikely that all these artists will meet onstage together again and we are privileged that they united for Manchester v Cancer.

FYI – It's the only time that all three of Manchesters top monkey dancers were all onstage at the same time. At one point we had Bez, MC Tunes and Cressa (former Stone Roses dancer).

Tintin
Thanks to Tintin who DJ'd not just the night but the aftershow and the exhibition opening night, all for the cause, we didn't need to ask – he just offered. You star.


Johnny Marr & The Healers
The Healers totally exploded onto the stage catching the crow unawares when they decided to open with The Smiths 'There is a Light That Never Goes Out', the reaction was, needless to say, out of this world.

Johnny Marr and The Healers © Mick Rock

A warm reception meant that they sailed though two new Healers songs, 'Denial Denial' and 'Sparks of Life' followed by the hit 'Down on the Corner', the crowd showing their approval. Andy Rourke joined them onstage and when they played the opening riff of 'How Soon is Now' over 10,000 people went totally and utterly berserk.


New Order
We were in for a treat when the last act of the night turned to us and said they were only going to play Joy Division songs plus we were treated to 'Twenty Four Hours' being played for the first time since their dear friend Ian Curtis death. Aside playing a comlete blinder in their own set with the likes of 'Love will Tear Us Apart', 'Ceremony', 'Transmission' and 'Atmosphere' and more, we saw some wonderful collaborations.

New Order

Bernard Sumner took to the Stage with Johnny Marr and Doves to perform the Lou Reed song Vicious and R. Dean Taylor's 'There's a Ghost In My House'. With New Order returning for the finale Hookys Bass added great new character to 'W.F.L (Wrote For Luck)'

The whole night the arena felt like everyone was everybody's best mate, we all knew something important was taking place and it was a moment which has to be savoured.

New Order's Peter Hook says “We are delighted to support this important cause. Cancer is like a lottery..but a lottery you wouldn't want to win. We are behind this fundraising event 100% and are looking forward to helping raise money for Christie Hospital”.


Doves
Considering these fellas had just finished a world tour we don't think anyone could have predicted the absolute class act these guys were on the night.

Doves clearly had put the groundwork in for this concert and brought together some awesome collaborations.

Doves

After playing some of their hits, Badly Drawn Boy popped up on stage for a great rendition of Disillusion. Jimi Goodwin has played with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr on Electronic so it was good sense for them to get together to do a couple of songs (see New Order section) and the sublime harmony on 'There Goes The Fear' with Elbows Guy Garvey was the perfect end to the set with everyone in the crowd aware they were seeing something very special indeed.


Stephen Fretwell
You've probably heard of him, he's a Dylan influenced songwriter and artist who lives in Manchester and with an ever expanding following.

Stephen Fretwell

He played a few of his most popular songs to an appreciative Manchester Crowd. And made the airy arena feel like a 500 person capacity venue.

The crowd listened intently and it proved a wonderfully dynamic set even with a hoard of technicians in the background moving the stage around for the next act. In the face of all this commotion we take our hat off to Stephen who engaged the crowd throughout and delivered the goods with superb renditions of 'San Francisco', 'Emily' and more.


808 State
An absolutely flawless performance from 808 State who have now got nearly 20 years under their belt. For people who have never seen them live it was spectacular, far from the static keyboard dwelling bands of the late eighties, more ecstatic if anything. They hammered out eternal versions of 'Cubik' and 'Pacific' plus teamed up with MC Tunes (see MC Tunes section).

808 State

Graham Massey said to us, "It didn't take to much thinking for 808state to get back together for this event, like a lot of people in the north west we all know people who have been taken care of at Christie and have felt the gravity of the job that they do there. We are lucky its in our back yard so to speak and we cant take it for granted."


MC Tunes
Nicky Lockett aka MC Tunes will performing together with 808 State for the first time in 8 years.

MC Tunes

He delivered a blistering rendition of 'The Only Rhyme That Bites' to the seemingly thousands of 808 State fans in the building. He teamed back up with pals 808 State as if he'd never been away and clearly revelled in the opportunity to help the cause.


Utah Saints
"We are extremely honoured to have been asked to participate in this event - it is an amazing line up of talent. We are big fans of everybody on the bill, and are really looking forward to what we believe will be a fantastic and very special night. Cancer is something that unfortunately will touch pretty much everybody's life at some point,and events like this are really crucial in keeping research going forwards."

Utah Saints opened the DJ sets and teased the crowd with some eclectic mixes of Manchester classics putting everyone in the mood.

Utah Saints

Mr Scruff
Mr Scruff stepped up to the crowd and pleased them every step of the way with a bag of tremendous tunes. It was impossible not to get hooked in.

Mr Scruff

It's surprised us how the DJ's managed to engage the crowd so well in the short space of time they had. Mr Scruff did us proud.


Graeme Park
Think Hacienda, think Graeme Park.

Graeme Park

When that Detroit and Chicago scene finally filtered through into the UK, Graeme was at the forefront. Hitting the Hac in 1987 he was the main man and when the Summer of Love came along he quickly became one of the biggest names on the dance scene.

He was the first British DJ to play places like Australia and some South American countries, as well as producing and remixing tracks for the dancefloor. And he played Manchester v Cancer 06. We're honoured.