Biography

Northern Uproar are an English rock band from Stockport.

With a career spanning only two years from formation to original dissolution, the group initially drew some hype and praise from the British music press but were soon forgotten. They also became the subject of a degree of ridicule, for their sometimes loutish appearance and behaviour. They were described as a cross between Oasis, The Clash and the Manic Street Preachers. Northern Uproar reformed in 2006 and released a new album in 2007.



The band formed in 1995 with Leon Meya (vocalist, bassist), Paul Kelly (guitarist), Jeff Fletcher (guitarist), and Keith Chadwick (drummer). Still in their teens and without a recording contract, the band drew praise from the music magazines NME and Melody Maker, following several energetic live performances at the Roadhouse in Manchester.

After a bidding war, the group eventually signed with Heavenly Records and decamped to Monnow Valley Studio in Monmouth to record songs with Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield (producer) and Dave Eringa (co-producer).

The band released their first single, “Rollercoaster”, in late 1995. The track hit number 41 on the UK Singles Chart. The group’s next single, “From a Window”, peaked at number 17. During this period of initial success the band made the cover of Melody Maker and also appeared on the BBC TV programme Top of the Pops. At around the same time, Meya was featured in tabloid newspapers due to a rumoured relationship with the 1980s pop singer Sinitta.

In April 1996, Northern Uproar’s self-titled debut album was released and the group toured England and Japan. In 1997 they began recording their second full-length album, Yesterday Tomorrow Today, featuring songs co-written with the band’s guitar technician, Nigel Banks. Despite being a more commercial offering, and despite radio backing, the album was a commercial failure, its marked change of style proving unpopular with the band’s fans. In addition, the British public was tiring of Britpop, and Northern Uproar was caught in this backlash.

The band, still very young, became disillusioned and issued a fittingly entitled final single, “Goodbye”, before splitting up.

It was reported that vocalist Meya relocated to Barcelona, where he spent two years busking with Basque Gypsies, but later returned to England to become a taxi driver.

In 2004 Meya, and lead guitarist Fletcher, returned to the live circuit under the Northern Uproar name, with two shows in the Manchester area, performing both new and old songs. A reunion was mooted but nothing emerged in 2005. However, the band officially reformed in 2006 with Meya (28), Fletcher (28) and Meya’s cousin, Noel (23), on drums. A new album, Stand and Fight, was released in July 2007 on the independent record label Tiny Rebel, preceded by an album launch gig on March 14 at the Manchester Academy. A full UK tour followed. In October 2007 the band supported The Coral at the Oxford Carling Academy. They were invited after Meya met front man James Skelly on Channel 4’s Transmission show.

Edited by clare220681 on 7 May 2008, 22:47

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