It could just be coincidence that in the very week that Queen comes to the posh part of Salford, MediaCityUK, a band called Darktown Jubilee is exploring another side of the city with the release of its debut single, Breakdown, and an album, The World The Flesh and The Devil.
The You Tube video for Breakdown has already had over 1,500 hits in its first 24 hours, and shows Salford actor Steve Evets caught in the midst of rioting youths to the backdrop of a surging indie-rock tune with the poignant chorus… `Breakdown, it's coming … Breakdown, it's coming…'
The riot scenes were shot in the tinned up Cardiff Street in Higher Broughton, previously a film set for Coronation Street (see here) and the ITV Rose West drama (see here). This street and other streets in the area are ironically being demolished this week as the Queen visits the `new Salford' (see here).
"Unfortunately she'll only be given the best route through every town and city, I don't think she'll be led down that street in Higher Broughton" says Darktown Jubilee bassist Stuart Day "There was actually one house where a guy was living, while every other house was boarded up. I felt sorry for him but at the same time I admired him. He was really nice guy and parked his car around the corner and went into his house while we filmed the riot."
The song, Breakdown, also features the lines…
`Are we the only ones to speak of disaffection
We need each other more than ever for protection
Whatever happened to respect, love and affection
She'll take revenge for this abuse and your rejection…'
While it hints at Salford's current predicament, Stuart explains that the song - despite its scenes of hooded youths robbing off and fat coppers running away - isn't making any political statement or glorifying the riots…
"It's about the frustration of life and the daily grind" he says "The song was inspired by the national story of a guy on his own doorstep being kicked to death by some kids on the street. That was the initial inspiration for writing the song but then these riots happened and it tied in nicely so we tweaked it.
"We can see it from both sides" he adds "We're in a deep recession and there's very little opportunity for people coming through; maybe they did just feel completely cheesed off with everything. But I don't think there was any great political motive, they weren't out rioting because of the poll tax, or mining strikes or anything, and I don't think they had any great political motivations as to why they were kicking down the doors of some local business to get their latest trainers."
Make no mistake, Darktown Jubilee aren't the Sex Pistols or anything. They just do a great line in songs, although that punk do-it-yourself ethic is still firing. With band members having been involved with mainstream record labels in the past, this time around they're controlling everything themselves.
"We've set up a label, while we pretty much recorded and produced the album ourselves with a friend" Stuart says "The way things are these days you can do it yourself through social media and everything. We didn't want to do a normal band video so we clubbed our money and used friends and friends of friends, and it looks like a higher budget video than it is."
Video director, Jason Wingard, who recently won the Virgin Media Short Film Award, came on board because he plays football with Stuart, and Steve Evets, of the Cantona film fame, agreed to be in it because he liked the CD.
"We thought he'd fit the bill perfectly and he's from Salford" says Stuart "I texted him last night saying the video was up on You Tube and he texted back saying he loved it. We're not people who usually rub shoulders with famous people but he was just a normal bloke."
Meanwhile, with the very un-normal Queen and Prince Phillip hitting Salford, Darktown Jubilee have the perfect release date, guaranteeing maximum hype.
"We could exploit it couldn't we?" ponders Stuart "The band's name is actually from an old black and white film and if you Google it nothing much comes up apart from us. But with the Queen jumping on our bandwagon she'll be hogging the Jubilee search engines…"
For further details on all things Darktown Jubilee see www.darktownjubilee.com or find them on Facebook
The album The World The Flesh and The Devil, and the single Breakdown are available on iTunes.
* See also the Salford Star story - Higher Broughton: The Assassination of a Community – click here
** See also Salford Star riot coverage – Reading The Riots – click here (and follow links)