1984 – 1990 (5 years)
- Mark Collins (1986 – 1990)
The Waltones were a guitar pop band from Manchester, active as part of a scene centred around The Boardwalk club and Dave Haslam's Temperance nights at The Hacienda, and releasing records between 1987 and 1989.
They released four singles (Downhill, She Looks Right Through Me, Spell It Out and The Deepest) and and album (The Deepest) on the Medium Cool label - also home to The Raw Herbs, The Siddeleys and Rain - as well as contributing two tracks (The British Disease and Bold) to the label's sampler album Edge of the Road. They also featured on the Sarah Champion-compiled Bop Cassettes release Manchester: North of England, which also included James, The Milltown Brothers, The Man From Delmonte, The Railway Children, Inspiral Carpets and Dub Sex.
Influences came from the typical indie-pop canon of the day (Orange Juice and The Beatles) although frequent use of a harmonica gave them - along with other of the Medium Cool artists - something of a country rock feel as well. Although firmly in the guitar pop tradition, the band were championed by fanzines and followers of the growing pre-baggy Manchester scene, many of who were also listening to hip-hop and house music. None of these influences seeped into The Waltones' work, although befringed guitarist Mark Collins later went on to success with The Charlatans.
As well as counting as one of Manchester's many 'great lost pop hopes' the band also provided a welcome touch of fun to a city whose music scene often takes itself too seriously. Along with The Man From Delmonte, they were one of few bands of the time and place who appeared to actually enjoy themselves and exhibited very little in the way of Manc 'attitude' - indeed, the album track first released to the public on the Manchester: North of England cassette, was encouragingly titled Smile.
A compilation of pretty much all of their recordings was released on Cherry Red Records in 2007.
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