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The Roses Soundtrack

Kristina Wemyss and Alex Thompson take a look at some of the best music from Yorkshire and Lancashire in anticipation of Roses Unlocked.

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Image Credit: Alex Thompson

Roses Are White: Alex Thompson

When the Arctic Monkeys first exploded onto the scene in 2006 with their electrifying debut Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, it was most of our generations first taste of what Yorkshire had to offer to the music scene. With the worldwide success of the Sheffield lads, it’s easy to forget that Yorkshire has a lot more to offer than the Monkey’s discography.

It wouldn’t be a Yorkshire playlist without some classic indie, and we have this in an abundance. Kicking off with the ripping chords of Arctic Monkeys ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor', a track so iconically Yorkshire and something that will get everyone up on their feet and moving (even if it is in their living room). This is followed up with the anthemic ‘I Predict A Riot’ from Leeds lads the Kaiser Chiefs, and the blistering guitars and soaring vocals of Longpigs’ ‘She Said’.

Leeds group Gang Of Four earn their spot on this playlist with ‘Damaged Goods’, the spiky guitars and tight drum grooves battling it out on this post-punk classic. This is followed up by rising stars of the indie scene Bull with the gorgeous ‘Perfect Teeth’, taken from the York bands major label debut Discover Effortless Living that was released last month.

I cannot say enough nice things about this album so please go give it a spin.

We then have two ‘Chasing’ tracks for some reason, with ‘Chasing Rainbows’ by York’s Shed Seven and ‘Chasing Shadows’ by The Sherlocks sitting back to back. Both great tunes and a nice bit of symmetry at the midway mark.

A Yorkshire playlist wouldn’t be complete without some classic 80s tunes, and we have this in spades with ‘Don’t You Want Me’ from The Human League and ‘Tainted Love’ by Soft Cell providing a one-two punch of iconic synth pop bangers. These tracks are classics for a reason and guaranteed to build that pre-game energy.

You don’t understand the lyrics, I don’t understand the lyrics but we’ve all got a soft spot for Alt J’s ‘Left Hand Free’, with that proper feel-good indie pop factor. Following up this is another indie belter from The Cribs with ‘Men's Needs’ and the brilliantly punchy ‘Take Her Back’ by the Pigeon Detectives.

We had to end on a high, so to close out our Roses Unlocked playlist it’s arguably Yorkshire’s two biggest tunes, with Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ and Pulp’s ‘Common People’ closing out with a bang. Two huge tracks that you can’t help but chant along every lyric to.

Yorkshire’s got the classics, it’s got the emerging talent and this playlist has got a hell of a punch. Do your worst Lancaster, Roses are white.

Link to the playlist: Roses Are White



Roses Are Red: Kristina Wemyss

The red rose county certainly does have some fantastic artists to brag about. We are kicking this year’s Lancashire playlist off with a bit of Chumbawamba, whose iconic nineties tune ‘Tubthumping’ will provide a great morale-boosting soundtrack to Roses- one of the biggest on-campus events of the year. It’s a shame that we won’t get to hear huge crowds chanting and cheering on the sidelines in 2021, but this song is guaranteed to keep York’s team spirits up. The hook “I get knocked down but I get up again” sums up the resilient attitude that Covid-19 has given us all. Hopefully, this year’s Roses will provide a welcome light at the end of the tunnel and give us a taste of what we have to look forward to in post-pandemic times.

Admittedly, far more iconic musicians have come out of Yorkshire, and no, we aren’t making that up. It was definitely more difficult to find a playlist’s worth of talent from Lancashire than it was for Yorkshire. To compensate, we have supplemented the ‘Roses Are Red’ playlist with some tracks from areas that surround Lancashire and historically belonged to this county, such as parts of Greater Manchester.

That being said, it’s still a stiff competition between the whites and reds. Notably, the opposition’s playlist includes many of the most influential rock and indie artists from recent years. The undeniably catchy ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘Ever Fallen in Love’ might remind us of how much of our youths we have lost to the pandemic, but they also bring a sense of nostalgia and hope. Other tunes like ‘Charlemagne’ by Blossoms and ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley provide the feel-good factor with unashamed synths galore. The array of cheesy classics hark back to blissful sweaty nights on the Flares dancefloor and remind us that summer is just around the corner.

No post-pandemic playlist would be complete without some more angsty tunes too. We’ve picked out songs by Joy Division and The Smiths as who could possibly do angsty better? Overall, the red roses have a fantastic selection of songs, but our own editors think that Yorkshire-bred talent takes the top spot here.

Link to the playlist: Roses Are Red

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