The British Indie scene flourished in Manchester in the early 1980s. Manchester was transformed by The Smiths, through Morrissey's lyrics into a place of epic romance as part of a critique of the hard northern working class life under Thatcher. The Indie scene was diverse and contained bands such as The Cocteau Twins, The Fall and The Jesus and Mary Chain. By 1986, The Smiths had become one of Britain's most established band's, a record deal with label EMI had been agreed and they began to play larger and larger venues in the U.S. However, this brought its own pressures and eventually this contributed to The Smiths splitting in the summer of 1987.

This split coincided with the rise of house music and the development of a new wave of indie bands giving the music “a psychedelic twist”. The Stone Roses, combined indie, house and a "west-coast" psychedelic feel, with rhythms at the forefront of the music and instrumentals crossing into the world of dance. In 1989, they played The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, popularising the new scene and led to the media spotlight falling on “Madchester”, containing groups such as Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets. Blur were made to put out a record based around the Madchester sound; this was not the band's own sound, however, but their record company's wishes.

In the summer of 1993 Oasis signed to Creation Records and began gigging up and down the country, then moving to London once they had an established fan base. This was perfectly timed as the centre of Indie music had moved from Manchester to London due mainly to the influence of Suede. Suede had an image around dark glamour and sexual ambiguity, being declared the leaders of Britpop. This section is where reductive shades into absurd. Blur's second and third albums truly launched Britpop, going to the top of the album charts crossing them to mainstream, this was soon followed by Oasis’ debut, creating a scene encompassing groups from Pulp to Elastica. In August 1994, Blur and Oasis had a sales battle for the number one spot with Blur getting to number one just. However, Oasis’ (What's the Story) Morning Glory? became one of the biggest selling albums of all time, with them being called the "Voice of a generation". They sold out football stadiums and indoor arenas making it hard for them to find venues. In early 1996, they organised a festival at Knebworth for 250,000 people to which one in 20 people in the UK applied for tickets. However, this was as big as Indie music was going to get, as many felt they could no longer be truly called Indie.

The Libertines attempted to bring Indie music back down to earth. Like The Smiths before them, their concerts focused around direct interaction between band and audience. They also held spontaneous guerrilla gigs at fans homes and pioneered the use of the internet for bands. However, when Doherty's drug habit spun out of control, creating tension in the band, it eventually lead to their split in 2005. Many new guitar bands have risen to prominence in recent years, such as Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs, with some, such as Arctic Monkeys, displaying their influence from the Libertines.

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