Liam Gallagher films on top of Manchester landmark – on the roof terrace that time forgot

Rock ‘n’ roll star Liam Gallagher made the most of the Manchester sunshiiiiiine – by filming his new single on top of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Former Oasis frontman Liam had teased fans with news that he would be filming on a roof somewhere “up north” on Thursday.

And it didn’t take long for fans to spot the location – up on the “secret” roof terrace on top of Manchester’s most historic hotel, The Midland on Peter Street. He was spotted with a film crew and band on the roof that has been closed to the public for over 100 years.

Liam had earlier tweeted to fans: “Doing a video shoot up NORTH for new single we’re gonna be on a roof so keep your Roy Kinnears pealed for the sound of the summer c’mon you know LFUKING x” He later added: ” Sunshiiiiiiine” in an apparent nod to both the delightful weather in Manchester, and the iconic way he sang the word in classic Oasis tune Cigarettes and Alcohol.

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Naturally for a music legend like Liam, the location for his latest shoot is suitably iconic. And, Liam being a huge fan of The Beatles, will no doubt have noticed the similarity of The Midland’s roof with its tall chimneys to the iconic rooftop where The Beatles performed an unannounced gig back in 1969 at the Apple Corps HQ on Savile Row in London .

Liam was also joined by an old friend and fellow Manc rocker for the video shoot on Thursday afternoon. For fellow Oasis founding member Bonehead, aka Paul Arthurs, was spotted with guitar in hand on the roof alongside Liam.

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Liam Gallagher (centre) films his new video with Bonehead on the right playing guitar

The video shoot comes amid exciting times for Liam as a solo artist, with his third solo album C’Mon You Know due for release in May. The 49-year-old from Burnage is also preparing for his biggest ever solo gigs of him, at Knebworth and also at his beloved Manchester City ground, the Etihad Stadium, in June.

The Midland’s rooftop has not been open to the public for over 100 years. But when the hotel first opened in the early 1900s the roof terrace was the place to see – and be seen – for the city’s high society.

Back then, the historic hotel served afternoon tea up on the roof terrace, where men dressed in their finest straw boaters and elegant ladies supped their Earl Gray in full ballgowns and fancy bonnets. at that time happily took seven flights of stairs up to the very top of the hotel to take in the stunning views of Manchester, where a full band Guests would play at musical soirees for revelers.

Liam films in the left hand corner of the Midland Hotel (on the Peter Street side) – on the roof terrace where eleven afternoon teas were served

It was a vista enjoyed for some seven years, until in 1910 bosses decided to close off the roof as the soot from all those chimneys was making it a rather grimy affair for the fashionable elite.

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It has remained closed to the public ever since, while afternoon teas are now served in the venue’s dedicated Tearooms at the front of the hotel on the ground floor. The hotel recently unveiled its £14m upgrade with a huge new bar in the main reception area, which sits next to the hotel’s award-winning fine dining restaurant The French by Adam Reid.

Over the years, hotel bosses have toyed with plans to reopen the roof in some way – but modern health and safety rules (and the original railings can’t be changed as part of the Grade II listing of the building) mean it may never be enjoyed in quite the same open air way as those Edwardian dandies once did.

Liam is seen behind the listed railings on top of the Midland Hotel roof terrace

Guests back in the early 1900s would have had very wide-ranging views to as far away as the Pennines across the rooftops, but noawadays it’s the city’s modern development clear to see from every side.

The Hilton Tower dominates the landscape to the south of the hotel, while to the sides there are developments of recent years including the Premier Inn on Lower Mosley Street, Number One and Number Two St Peter’s Square and the new office building at the crossroads of Peter Street and Mount Street.

While those turn-of-the-century revellers had splendid views of the old Town Hall spire, currently that is not only covered in scaffolding, but obscured by the later Town Hall Extension (built in 1938), but in the foreground you get splendid views of the grand domed building of the Central Library, which was opened in 1934.

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Liam Gallagher filming on the rooftop of The Midland

There was just one society wedding held on the rooftop in its formative years, back in 1910. Which, given it was the wedding of Rebecca Marks, the daughter of the original owner of retail giant Marks and Spencer, we can safely assume was a lavish affair.

The Midland Hotel was opened in 1903 by the Midland Railway company to accommodate all those traveling up from London to trade in the cotton industry in the city, as they didn’t feel there was a suitable hotel in the city so built their own.

The opening of the hotel was so impressive that the Manchester Evening News wrote at the time: “So delightful is the whole establishment that we are quite sure not a few people will pay a visit to our city for the sole purpose of examining it and seeing for themselves that there is no exaggeration in a poling up of adjectives in the effort to do justice to its special features.”

Since then the hotel has gone on to welcome millions of guests from across the globe, as well as the rich, the famous and world leaders over the past 114 years.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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