An open letter to Chloe Sevigny: after her slag off of Manchester

Dear Chloe,

 I’m sorry you did not enjoy your well paid six months stay in Manchester. I heard that you found the city ‘grim’ and that all  the girls dressed like ‘chavs’.

I’m sure that things may look different in your expensive hotel suite as you peer down at the peasants running around in the streets, and I am certain that Manchester is quite different from your LA mansion; but with a tiny bit of effort you would have found that the city, like all northern cities, is not ‘unfriendly.’

I am  not here to slag you off, that would be pointless. I am just a bit concerned that an obviuosly intelligent women like you can be so short sighted and confuse the modern Manchester with the industrial city of its past. Of course parts of the city are indeed, ‘grim’ but maybe that is because of the inequalities of modern life where entertainers can get paid a fortune and normal people get nothing. I am sure you know all this and I am sure you are deservedly well paid for your work as I do recognise your name and your work in indie films which would make me thing you would understand a city like Manchester. I mistakingly had you down as an actress who was bit hipper than the rest and that combined with your experiments with drugs in the past should have made Manchester a city that you should have connected with. You rebelled against stuffiness in your youth and spent six months in a city that doesn’t do stuffiness- surely a perfect coupling!

This letter is not an anti Chloe letter, I am sure you are a fine woman and have been, hopefully, misquoted, Its just that I am bit bemused by your comments. This letter not some sort of “live in the north, die in the north’ pride thing but surely a big time actress like you, who spent six months in a big city, would be able to scratch below the surface. Your claim that it was hard to make friends in Manchester  is odd because for a city of its size it is a friendly place, maybe you should have come out of your hotel suite more and hung out with normal people at the 40 plus gig venues in town or all the bars, restuarants and all the other social places where normal people go to, afterall hotel suites can get a bit boring wherever you are in the world.

It’s a long time since Manchester has been cloth caps and whippets, this is a modern city with a lot going on with a great history. It was once the most radical city in the world, the worlds first industrial city, a radical city of Karl Marx, suffraggetes and revolution and an amazing pop culture, surely there must have been something to interest you?

You would then have noticed that,  like most northern cities in the last ten years, Manchester is hardly ‘grim’ and that all the girls don’t dress like ‘chavs’, whatever dressing like a ‘Chav’ is. Is that last statement a touch snobbish? It certainly sounds a bit like Marie Antionette telling the peasants to eat cake, maybe you did not mean it that way.

I see that you complained about the rain as well and, true it does rain a lot, but with the 21st century heading into a massive drought it leaves the city uniquely placed as some sort of water boom town and surely Chloe you would have had a flunkie holding up your umbrella for you. And who is really that bothered by small droplets of water falling out of the sky? Chloe, could you not look on this as one of the wonders of nature?

Please don’t dismiss a city viewed from cliche and penthouse luxury detachment. Next time you are in the city give us a call and we will show you the real Manchester, just like many Americans have kindly showed me the good things in their cities over the years. It would be like me thinking LA is a wet city because it rained for three days when I was there once and no-one got put of their cars, fortunately I made a bit more effort and found a great city a long way away from the plastic surgery cliched image of the town.

Thanks for your time Chloe and we still enjoy your film work despite you missing out on so much in our city.

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  1. was reading an interview with julien temple who directed the great rock n roll swindle and he said they showed old punk footage to school kids a few years back and a lot of them didn’t believe that sid and rotten were real people, thought they were people in fancy dress/actors……

  2. Churning maybe, but anything that recognises the influence of Dury, Brilleaux, Strummer, and others is welcomed. They does it right.

    • Why not celebrate the real music inovators like groundhogd amon duul man neu blue cheer hawkwind etc rather than poser ppunks that nicked all the ideas from the true peoplea bands punk was a pre simon cowell style stitch up of mindless teens who needed another pied piper to follow and before u argue even rotten.admited it and jumped ship early to his credit.

  3. Would be nice if they actually gave the provincial towns like Middlesbrough with the Rock Garden and Liverpool with Erics some recognition for their support in the very early days of punk providing venues for the bands to play even when they were being banned everywhere else. You could probably inlcude Retford Porterhouse and at least a dozen other venues like Jacksdale Grey Topper near Nottingham in that number.

  4. Agree with Steve’s comment about the provinical towns support many bands also played Brum early on too, it wasn’t only about London. Will bands like the Stranglers get a mention they certainly were there at the start.Interestingly the demo for Peaches being recorded in Powys in 1975!! Ahead of a lot of the main players.

  5. Yawn, yawn, blah, blah, blah. More of the same old talking heads dragged out to spout the same old bollox about how they changed the world. Pat on the back for you there son. Like Monty says …. 40th, 50th, etc, etc, till there’s just a few old sad f**kers left, still talking about how wonderful punk rock was. Get over it.

    You only need to attend Rebellion to see what a joke it all is – 5th rate bands from back in the day ‘reforming’ (sometimes with only 1 member) to get their little bit of their piece of the cake, punks on mobility scooters, grannie punks, grandad punks, pissed-up tramp punks lying in the gutter….. All a bit sad really. Oh, and millionaire punks.

  6. so no Vic Godard, no Andy Blade, no Slits, Raincoats, no Pere Ubu ….pretty much the same old talking heads – yawn . At least Mark E Smith will be entertaining.

  7. I guess it would be too much to focus on the TRUE pioneers of punk, like The Fugs, The Shaggs, Johnny Kidd&The Pirates, and Screaming Lord Sutch. Gonna focuson all the worn out crap like The New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, and The Stooges, aren’t they? Heck, they’ll probably lie about how popular The Clash were, and how everybody loved them, and they saved punk rock! Phony as a three pound note. I can’t believe that a lot of us who were alive in 1977 aren’t speaking out to set the record straight about what the punk subculture REALLY was back then! Let the historical revisionism DIE! As Jimmy Sham once said, “Tell us the TRUTH! DON’T LET US DOWN!”


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