Christopher Goodwin’s probably best known from early 90’s Manchester band The High but that’s just half his story as he played with some of Manchester’s most well known groups and musicians establishing him self as one of the cities favorite drummers.

From an early member in The Stone Roses and chart success with his band The High to Playing in Electronic with Marr and Sumner as well as making up that early group of suss kids who frequented The Hacienda in the late 80’s, his back catalog and story are quite amazing, LTW got the chance to put a few questions to Chris about those early days as well as The High/ The Roses, The Hacienda and football.

LTW: It was great to see you at the Factory Records exhibition Chris, I suppose you remember when most of those records came out yeah?

Yes Carl, loved the Factory stuff as a kid, I was a big New Order fan and loved ACR too, Donald Johnson was an inspiration for me drumming wise. I got into Joy Division through my older sister who was a regular at the Factory and used to hang out with the bands of that time, I can remember the ‘Something Else’ TV appearance of Joy Division with The Jam on the same episode, my sisters myself and my dad settled down to watch it and my lasting memory was of my dad who was a music fan, saying he thought (Ian Curtis) was Iggy Pop , “bloody high as a kite him”………that sold it for me.

LTW: Whats happening now with you, do you still play the drums, see the lads from the band still, would we ever see The High back playing again?

I do still play a bit, there is a studio near us called Dead Frog studios, where incidentally the steel girder from the Hacienda dance floor now resides, were myself and Gary Sargent who worked with K Klass have been recording. I haven’t seen any of The High for about 18 years, I think we all went out and got a proper jobs haha, as far as reforming ?…..I’ll reform The High when City get relegated.

LTW: You never signed to Factory though did you, like early Inspiral’s who you played with among other bands that looked else where for a record deal…

We had Martin Hannett coming down to Chorlton to see us rehearse, we had Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus coming down to rehearsals with huge bags of ‘ows yer father’ to see us, we were all Factory fans so everything was in place, but the whole Madchester thing was taking off and we didn’t want to be lumped in with the whole movement so,….we signed with London records …….but even then we still got labelled baggy even though our guitarist wore shit-stopper jeans and had a quiff, it must have been me and John haha…

LTW: But apart from the bands and drumming you were right there when the Hacienda blew up and part of that movement, so even though you weren’t a Factory band you were down there every week hanging in that corner with your mates…

It was an unbelievable time for bands and for the Hacienda, we were in the right place at the right time. But for me I loved the boardwalk on a rainy Sunday night, you would get the hardcore music fans from town, there was a great scene before the Hacienda corner, there would be Cressa, Matt and Pat Caroll from Central Station Design , Shaun and Bez and PD were there and Fitzy and Gibbo from M9, all cool lads from town into fashion football and music. When the Roses played their famous warehouse parties these lads were first on the list, we probably went to every Stone Roses gig in them days and they were chaotic, I mean proper fisticuffs ha ha…

LTW: I bet you have so many great memories from that time, you making music with Clint and Mani early 80’s, the early Roses forming and that whole Manchester scene coming alive

Yeah, me and Mani go way back, probably met in the United Road paddock but we spent a lot of time together before bands, also with Greg Mounfield who is still a great friend. We spent a lot of time in Failsworth meeting up with Kaiser who was to be the original singer in an early version of Stone Roses, we recorded a demo under the name ‘The Waterfront’ called ‘a Beach in Normandy’ , Mani once was asked which of The Stone Roses songs did he like best and he replied ‘a Beach in Normandy’, which was nice.

LTW: How much did the House-scene and the Hacienda influence the music of The High?

In a word……….none, the guitarist was into 50s rockabilly 60s garage 70s punk and reggae, he’d never had a ‘Gary Ablett’, you wouldn’t of seen him on the Hacienda dance floor, that was left to me and John ha ha. But seriously we thought we sounded like early REM and a bit of Pink Floyd , the songs had no affiliation with house-music whatsoever, in fact we loved Dave Haslam’s Thursday nights at the Hacienda just as much as Mike Pickering’s weekenders.

LTW: What was being in Electronic like?

Electronic was mad, I think it was John “the duck” who recommended me to Johnny, but I already new Bernard from New Order as I’d had my teeth rearranged in his house once which is another story. So I was not in work at the time and I get a call from johnny Marr asking if I fancied playing on Top of the Pops with Electronic, I fuckin couldn’t believe it, so he said he’d pop round in a day or two with the song, OK I said ,30mins later hes in my flat, now things were getting weird, I’d grown up listening to Buzzcocks and I played with Steve Diggle in FOC, I’d been a big New Order fan and a big Smiths Fan, now hes in my flat asking if I wanna be on Top of the Pops with em, and my best mate is now in the Stone Roses !!!

Another funny thing was when I’d done the video for Electronics’s “For You” in London we ended up going to Browns nightclub in the West End where there was Jack Nicholson, Kate Moss, Bananarama and Noel Gallagher all sat with us in the VIP area, I’m sat there looking around thinking fuckin hell I’ve got to be back in Didsbury at half nine to sign on ha ha…

LTW: It was the Factory exhibition that I saw you and then you were off to The Happy Mondays MEN show,…what’s your thoughts on the reunions this year, especially the Roses?

I can’t wait for the Roses shows because there is unfinished business if you pardon the pun, I met Ian and john last year and it was lovely to see em both getting on again ,I think they will be buzzin off each other and the creative juices will flow, water under the bridge and all that. Enjoyed the Mondays the other night thought the Inspiral’s were fantastic and loving seeing Steve Holt singing again as he was singing when I was keeping the drum stool warm for Gilly, still big mates with Clint Boon, he’s had an horrendous few weeks but hes a big character and has a lovely family, especially his mum Marie !!

LTW: And what’s on your radar these days, do you still go to gigs, new music,…whats your take on Manchester music these days?

Yeah, I still get to as many gigs as I can, saw Noels band , Liam’s band, New Order of course , of the new bands around I like Folks, The Narrows and The Deadbeat Echoes, some good stuff coming around, DJ wise the Una Bombers kill me ……

LTW: Lastly your a red aren’t you…but either way Manchester as a city won, maybe its easy for me to say that but with the new bands and music around and football at an all time high its looking good for the City as a whole wouldn’t you say Chris?

I was hoping you wouldn’t have mentioned that Carl, ha ah , nah I’m not one of those “I hate City” fans though I can remember when UTD beat Bayern in the champions league final in Fergie time, every time I see that replayed I get goosebumps and the best rush, but when I hear the commentary of Agueros goal in “cough” Fergie time I feel sick to the stomach !!!, so what goes around.
All looks good and healthy for the City, I miss living here but have a lovely family over on the west coast and have some wonderful memories, peace bro xx

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  1. The High were/are one of my fav bands from 89/90 although I was never fortunate enough to see them live, but I bought all the records. I was mildly hoping there’d be a reunion, but alas it would appear not sadly. Really nice to hear Chris, would be nice to hear from John Matthews too, I don’t think I’ve heard anything from him since 95!

    Many thanks Louder Than War!!!!

  2. Never saw the high, love the tunes, really love the tunes, would love the opportunity to see em, come on lads, lifes to short not to.

    gonnie West ham for life


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