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City DNA #45: When Doves Fly

DOVES: A class act

DOVES: A class act

While Oasis have always been the band most people associate with City, Doves could have a strong argument for having equally strong ties.

While nobody would deny Oasis and City enjoyed each other’s company for more than a decade, Doves were never too far behind.

And one thing Doves can legitimately claim over Oasis is their band might be smaller, but they are 100% blue.

Formed in Wilmslow in the early 1990s, School, Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Jez and Andy Williams first met at Wilmslow High formed and a few years later, formed Sub Sub and enjoyed chart success in 1993.

Following a fire at their studio in 1996, the band changed from a dance band to indie rock outfit Doves.

It was an inspired decision as their debut album Lost Souls was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize – ironically losing out to fellow Blue Badly Drawn Boy.

It’s fair to say the three-piece indie-rock outfit never flaunted their City connections – they were just City fans and musicians and occasionally mentioned as much in interviews.

Two years later, Doves released The Last Broadcast and achieved their first No.1 UK album as well as once again being nominated for the Mercury award.

 

DOVES: Heavenly music

 

The band's first public appearance as bona fide Blues was at the Maine Road farewell concert after the final game against Southampton.

Though they were regulars on matchdays at both Maine Road and then the City of Manchester Stadium, lead singer Goodwin said that the band’s relatively low media profile meant they were rarely recognised at the game.

“'I'd occasionally hear, "All right Jimi," but it's not like Noel and Liam when they go to a game. We just haven't got that kind of profile.'

But the band were very much on the radar of some City fans and the Club, with their anthem ‘Pounding’ becoming a staple prior to kick-off at home games.

 

 

Later, the band would claim it was “surreal” to see the players coming out to their music, but things were about to shift up a gear.

In 2004, Doves were asked by the Club to create an original matchday anthem – a challenge they accepted and the end result was ‘Live for City’.

At the time, drummer Andy Williams said: 'It's going to be interesting to see how it goes down. It was flattering to be asked and I hope the City fans like it.'

They did.

Doves third studio album, ‘Some Cities’, also gave them their second UK No.1 album and afforded them the opportunity to support Oasis on part of their 2005 UK tour which, famously, meant playing to 60,000 fans at the City of Manchester Stadium – a lifelong dream achieved for the Wilmslow boys.

 

 

They would later play a special concert outside the stadium as a one-off gig with the first 2,000 or so fans buying the new kit allowed entry to a very special set before and in 2009 released their fourth album, ‘Kingdom of Rust’ before taking an eight-year hiatus in 2010.

After a series of solo projects, the boys are back together and played a few select gigs towards the end of 2019 with a new album in the offing, possibly later this year.

Music has long been ingrained in Manchester City’s DNA and the Doves are a shining example of why so many of the UK’s most talented and popular musicians are Blues…

 

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