Manchester City V Manchester United Premier League Title Showdown Build-Up: The Blue And Red Music Bands

30/04/2012 10:35 BST | Updated 30/04/2012 11:24 BST

Manchester City host Manchester United in tonight's Premier League title showdown, and to get you in the mood we have selected seven apt Mancunian music numbers ahead of the game.

Whereas City and United fans are disunited by their allegiances, they are often united in their taste of music. Manchester has given Britain some of its finest and most important bands over the past three decades, from The Bee Gees (yes) to The Courteeners.

And although a rundown of Factory Records or relaying anecdotes from the Hacienda isn't our sector, we can give you seven songs which resonate with the city's two football clubs.


A cover version of John Kongos' 1971 song "He's Gonna Step On You Again", which protested against white man's appropriation of Kongos' native territory in Africa, this came to be synonymous with United. Aside from the Reds-supporting Shaun Ryder and Bez (and his maracas), its release coincided with the start of the club's success under Sir Alex Ferguson, and the arrogant swagger United fans became accused of chimed well with the Mondays' most successful single.


From their eponymous 1989 debut album, "This Is The One" still rings out at Old Trafford prior to kick-off, having been adopted as something of an unofficial United anthem.

The quartet, who have reformed for a series of summer gigs after a 16-year gap, are made up of three United fans and one City fan. Ian Brown, Mani and John Squire are Reds while Reni is the one Blue.


Teasingly, the Old Trafford MC has been playing this in recent weeks as United look to gain their 20th title as English champions.

Approached by famed producer Stephen Street (who had worked with The Smiths, Blur and Morrissey), Liam Fray's unashamedly Mancunian vocals have drawn plaudits from the greatest set of vocals born within an M postcode: Steven Patrick Morrissey himself.


Britpop could have been owned by Oasis. At their zenith with the release of "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?", Wonderwall is perhaps the song most synonymous with the band, even though it reached number two in the charts. Initially dismissed as a "f*****g reggae track" by the underappreciating Liam Gallagher, Blur's Alex James admitted "I wish I wrote that song" years after its release. But it was Coolio's epochal Gangsta's Paradise that prevented it from reaching number one.

Alas, for the Gallagher brothers, the period was one of City's lowest ebbs. Under Alan Ball they would be relegated in the 1995/96 season on the final day of the campaign - and in comical fashion. Drawing against Liverpool at Maine Road, they were time-wasting by shielding the ball in the corner, until Niall Quinn dashed out from the tunnel informing the players they actually needed to win the game.


Released just a month prior to Ian Curtis' death in May 1980, the lyrics appear to reflect the problems in Curtis's marriage to Deborah, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide.

Despite its tragic circumstances, it is arguably Joy Division's most enduring song and a flag-bearer for Factory Records. Curtis was a City fan, but ironically the song was adopted by United fans over 10 years ago for a new chant for Ryan Giggs. "Giggs will tear you apart" still rings out at home and away games.


When Curtis took his own life, Joy Division was disbanded and New Order was reformed by its surviving members Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris. Their versatility in striking the right notes as the 80s veered away from the post-punk era of the 70s is best gauged by "True Faith".

Popularised by Christian Bale's American Psycho , Manchester was in need of a lift in the late 1980s, with United struggling under Ferguson and City were relegated twice.


Morrissey, the vegetarian and animal rights advocate, is as likely to be found at the football as one of his tours is to be sponsored by McDonalds. But that doesn't mean his seminal band didn't offer match-goers some form of compensation.

The Smiths, despite their alternative rock, have a back catalogue which offers a fabulous soundtrack for the Manchester football scene. Their genius guitarist, Johnny Marr, and drummer Mike Joyce, are City fans, but United fans have overlooked their blue allegiances, with "There Is A Light..." becoming synonymous with paying tribute to the 1958 Munich air disaster. "Girlfriend In A Coma" too has been rejigged to "Glazer in a coma", in reference to the club's loathed owner