Northside was a minor-league player in the Madchester field of all-stars. Formed in Manchester, England, in 1989 by Warren Dermody (vocals), Michael Upton (guitar), Cliff Ogier (bass), and Paul Walsh (drums), Northside had the backing of the indomitable U.K.
indie Factory Records, but musically the band wasn't as ambitious as its peers the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays. In fact, the British press accused the group of simply jumping on the Madchester bandwagon, borrowing the shuffling guitars and club beats of the Roses and the Mondays without contributing anything new or different. In 1990, they recorded a pair of singles, Shall We Take a Trip and My Rising Star, that capitalized on the popularity of the Madchester sound. Shall We Take a Trip was banned by U.K. radio stations for its drug references, but it landed at number 50 on the English charts. Timmy Walsh also replaced Upton that year. In July 1990, the group signed with Geffen Records in the U.S., and My Rising Star leapt to number 32 on the British charts in October. On June 17, 1991, Northside released its debut album, Chicken Rhythms, produced by Ian Broudie of Care and the Lightning Seeds; the LP quickly penetrated the Top 20. The single Take 5 was one of the last British pop songs to perform well on American modern rock stations before the format's grunge takeover of the early '90s. It was also the closest they ever came to having a hit in the U.S. In 1993, the band toured with Revenge and searched for a new label after Factory fell apart. Northside underwent several lineup changes for the next few years as the group tried to write material for a second album. The band broke up in December 1996 after a final performance at the Hacienda in Manchester, England. ~ Michael Sutton, Rovi