Below is a sample of an article written by FC United co-owner Jonathan Allsopp for Manchester-based online newspaper The Mill. You can read the full piece here.
“They were dressed head to toe in traditional Mayan garb, played conches and threw themselves around as if possessed,” recalls Simon King of a visit paid by Mexican band Ritual Maya in 2019. He counts his memory of the band, billed as “traditional Mexican ceremonial music with punk and metal influences” as one of his favourites.
FC United’s mantra that it’s “doing things differently” can often feel like a timeworn Mancunian cliché. But sometimes clichés are true: being able to watch talented musicians, writers, comedians, poets and actors perform for free inside a football ground on a Saturday afternoon feels very special indeed.
One memorable early edition in Moston featured a pulsating set by the young Mossley post-punk band Cabbage who were hotly tipped by the music press at the time. A Facebook post by a band member after the gig showed that they clearly enjoyed it as much as the audience: “playing at FC United has galvanised inspiration in me richer than the thousands of records I’ve sat in awe at in my bedroom growing up”.
Eventually Malcolmses found a comfier home in the refurbished space under the St Mary’s Road End terrace and has been well received by locals in Moston with many of the bands coming from north Manchester – the likes of Scuttlers from Middleton, The Battery Farm from Moston and Dirty Laces from Failsworth to name a few. Andy Davies, who books the bands and acts for CYCM, recalled that when Dirty Laces played for the first time in 2019 it was the busiest he’d ever seen CYCM as many locals were keen to watch them. Moston Community Fun Day followed shortly after, a free event at Broadhurst Park which featured football, kids’ entertainment and music from several local bands including Callow Youth who’d played at CYCM earlier in the year.
For now, CYCM continues to play its much cherished part in nourishing FC United both culturally and financially. The Honey Drops became the first ever soul band to play at CYCM in December, and when they paused mid-set to ask the audience if they were looking forward to the match, there were plenty of groans. This reaction wasn’t because things have been that bad on the pitch — for a brief period last autumn FC United topped the Northern Premier League. No, I’d assume it was because CYCM is so enjoyable that it can feel like a chore to leave its warm embrace to go and stand on the terraces on a cold, grey afternoon in Moston. After all, going to the match is about much more than just watching the match. Football’s about more than just football.
Course You Can Malcolm takes place prior to almost every FC United home match on a Saturday afternoon in part of the classroom space under the St Mary’s Road End terrace of its Broadhurst Park ground in Moston (postcode M40 0FJ) that is used for teaching the club’s academy students during the week.