With a sound as majestic as the Treble-winning season from which their name comes, Saddleworth’s The 99s blend glorious, Beatleesque rock and Oasis-like swagger.
It’s a potent mix that has resulted in the band’s star rising swiftly. They beat stiff competition to triumph in MUT V’s Good Morning Manchester Battle of the Bands at the end of last season, and have also received a thumbs-up from The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess and Mark Collins.
For long-time friends, lead singer and guitarist Johnny West, bassist and vocalist James Loughlin, and drummer Adam Quigley, a fervent love of United was bound to influence their choice of name.
“We’re big Reds,” James explains. “We did think about calling the band The Whitesides. I thought that would have been a great name. But we decided to name ourselves after the Treble season.” The lads were soon asked to appear on the popular Bands from the Stands feature on Good Morning Manchester at the start of last season.
Johnny adds: “We’d only been going for about three months, so we thought this was great. We recorded a song for the The 99s, like United, have rivals licked show then a few months later the viewers were asked to vote for the best band that had appeared throughout the season and we won. We then did a session for The Clint Boon Show on XFM Manchester and MUTV came along to film us.”
The prize for Battle of the Bands was tickets for the epic Champions League semi-final win against Barcelona. “The atmosphere was unreal,” Johnny enthuses. “We all loved that night.”