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HOW DO YOU SUM UP THE PAST DECADE?

As we approach the year 2020, we asked artists from the world of music, art, writing and film to give us their verdict on the previous 10 years. So much has happened but the question is simply… “How do you sum up the past decade?”

THE WORLD OF MUSIC SUM UP THE PAST DECADE

Olly Knights (Turin Brakes lead singer): “We aren’t in Kansas any more…”

The Futureheads: “[Our song] Jekyll is about society’s propensity to gravitate towards animalistic behaviour… Unfortunately [this sums up the past decade].

Sasami (musician): “Shit storm. A shit storm of the western empire.”

ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS SUM UP THE PAST DECADE

Stanley Chow (Manchester artist): “The last decade started off being a shower of shit, but somehow I managed to find myself an umbrella… now that it’s torrential I’ve somehow acquired a cagoule and pair of wellington boots to go with the umbrella.”

COMIC STRIPS SUM UP THE PAST DECADE

Andy Capp: “The past decade, well – on the plus side there has been two English teams winning the Champions League and Chalkie has not been made redundant, meaning I’ve always had a steady supply of beer money.”

“But on the downside we had that awful referendum which did nothing but highlight the divisions in this country and even made them worse. Some nights in the pub have been awful, with people for and against bickering all night and no one changing their mind.”

“All wasting valuable drinking time.”

WRITERS SUM UP THE PAST DECADE

R Dean John (author): “It was a decade where social media did more than grow and influence social change, it made getting personal extremely public, affected political change in good and bad ways, and in bringing the world closer together made many of us feel more isolated.”

“But books, music, television, and movies were outstanding-indie bookstores and vinyl came back, binge-watching became the guilty pleasure of millions, Star Wars returned reinvigorated, and there’s been nothing more chic than to be a comic book geek.”

“In a decade marked by the wars and civil unrest no decade escapes, and with a (hopefully short-lived) return to the idiotic tides of nationalism, the creative arts proved yet again to be our conscience and our hope.”

MANCHESTER MUSIC SUMS UP THE PAST DECADE

Thomas Haywood (The Blinders lead singer): “If I could use one word I’d choose seismic. Politically, it’s been one of the most important decades in modern history. The rise in popularity of liberal and humanist ideals is comforting to me. But at the same time the surge of the far-right is frightening beyond belief. The future of the country we live in is still uncertain and across the pond we’ve gone from a socially engaging President to a mad-man running the show.”

“The overall understanding and even open-armed acceptance of the LGBT+ movement gives me faith in ourselves as humans although there is still a long way to go and the threat of a climate crisis is finally being taken seriously (by most). The whole flat earth thing was a bit strange though.”

“Film and music is at the best it’s been for a long time. 2016 was a weird one. So many musicians dying but so many great albums.”

“On a personal level, I don’t think there will be a more important period of time. I’ve been a child, a teenager and an adult in this decade. My childhood was wonderful, my teenage years confusing and my adulthood so far as been taxing. You’ve just got to ride the weird wave I suppose.”

James Walsh (Starsailor lead singer): “I would sum up the last ten years as eventful! Brexit divided the nation. Streaming went from strength to strength & divided the music industry. It was a big decade for women in music (Adele, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish). We sadly lost some great artists & Liverpool FC got back on their perch.”

No Hot Ashes (Manchester indie band): “A complete mess.”

NEW MUSIC SUM UP THE PAST DECADE

Argh Kid (Manchester MC/poet): “Big question… you know what I love about this decade is that there seems there’s a lot of liberation, which is always a beautiful thing, but even more so in this fucked up political climate. I mean there’s shitload of way to go but it feels like it’s 2010’s are the decade where Zero Fucks Were Given.”

“Sexuality, Race, Mental Health – it’s like we’re starting to have conversations about things that you’d have been castigated for in the 90s.”

Velvet Shakes (Manchester indie band): “6/10.”

LOAstate (Manchester alternative band): “Like the last episode of The Office, on repeat.”

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