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Turning a Page

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Mia Page may have put away her sunshades but she's loving every moment of a new life in the chilly north of England.

She and her band, Mohawk Radio, moved to Manchester two years ago. Bermudian Miss Page is lead singer for the band. The other members, Sean Frankland on bass, Dave Quinn on drums and James Gregory on lead guitar, are all from Manchester.

They've just released a single, Lifetime Sunshine, which Miss Page describes as “a little bit tongue in cheek”.

Its lyrics refer to her departure from the Island: “I've had a lifetime of sunshine, now I need a little bit of rain. I've had a lifetime of feeling good, now I need a little bit of pain.”

Miss Page started Mohawk Radio in 2008. She named it after a skit about St David's Island in a Not The Um Um Show comedy performance. The band gained local popularity with songs such as Nobody's Fool.

Despite the lyrics, the move to Manchester seems to have gone okay. Lifetime Sunshine has received airplay on Indie radio station XFM, which airs throughout the United Kingdom, and Manchester-based radio stations Pure FM and Real Radio XS. Online, it has received almost 6,800 hits on YouTube.

“I have always listened to a lot of Manchester bands such as Oasis and The Stone Roses,” said Miss Page. “Manchester seemed to be a more natural place to move to than London. Manchester has a very vibrant and competitive music scene.”

Mohawk Radio has played at a number of venues around Manchester including the iconic Band on the Wall.

“Anyone who is anybody has played there,” said Miss Page. “They've been around since the 1930s. Oasis and The Stone Roses played there. It was fantastic to play there.”

Miss Page thought the chilly weather, particularly in the winter, was actually a plus when it came to music.

“So far, this winter hasn't actually been that wet,” she said. “Today it has been quite sunny, but, I think the cooler, wetter weather creates an environment that is awesome for music. Since the weather is not always the best outside, people are more open to being indoors to watch a concert.”

A lot of her friends, family and fans in Bermuda were surprised by the band's decision to move to Manchester.

“Overall, people were supportive and happy for me,” she said. “I get a lot of local support even when I am out here. I get some e-mails from people in Bermuda saying great job.”

“Lifetime Sunshine was sort of a goodbye to Bermuda. It's not forever, but at the moment, the move is indefinite. Mohawk Radio is doing really well out here. We will be featured on BBC Manchester in January. We will be releasing a new single at that time.”

She said she has found people in Manchester to be very friendly.

“They are often shocked that I have moved to Manchester from Bermuda,” she said. “They think I am crazy. They just can't imagine leaving a sunny place to come to Manchester. I'm out here to take my music to the next level. Out here, there is a feeling that we can keep climbing to new heights.”

Mohawk Radio will perform at City Square next to football club Manchester City's Etihad Stadium in the New Year. Bermudian Shaun Goater, a former Manchester City striker, will introduce the band.

“I am so excited about that,” said Miss Page.

Watch the video for Lifetime Sunshine here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GxzJfyTRgI

Mia Chambray of Mohawk Radio performing at The Deaf Institute club in Manchester, England with Sean Frankland on bass.
Mia Chambray of Mohawk Radio performing at the Dance House in Manchester.
<p>Music (and football) part of Manchester’s DNA</p>

The City of Manchester is famous among football fans for its two football clubs — Manchester United and Manchester City — but it is also a great place for trendy music.

If you’re interested in music:

Miss Page recommends The O2 Apollo on Stockport Road, Band on the Wall nightclub on Swan Street and Gullivers Manchester, a popular pub on Oldam Street in the northern quarter.

“Gullivers is more of a dodgy place, but it has great music,” she said.

The Whisky Jar, also in the northern quarter, is known for great bar food and cocktails, as well as music.

“The Whiskey Jar has an excellent rafter of people coming through there,” she added.

Another great place for music is The Manchester Academy at the University of Manchester Student Union. Another Bermudian musician, Collie Buddz is scheduled to play there on March 8.

For more information visit www.manchesteracademy.net.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay:

Miss Page recommends anywhere in the northern quarter.

“It is neat there,” she said, “a bit like the Village in New York. It is kind of a hipster area. There is also the Deansgate area where the Hilton Hotel is located.”

Getting there:

If you fly British Airways to Gatwick Airport you have to transfer to Heathrow Airport to get a direct flight to Manchester. Alternatively, you can fly to New York where there are direct flights to Manchester.

“I prefer to fly to New York,” Miss Page said, “but either way works.”

Attractions in Manchester:

Just outside Manchester, there’s a theme park called Alton Towers (www.altontowers.com). There is also the National Football Museum in Cathedral Gardens. Exhibits there include the history of the World Cup which features trophies and items associated with the world of football.

There are also musical tours of Manchester that take visitors past places such as the old Hacienda Nightclub. It was popular during the 1980s and early 1990s and was Madonna’s first British performance venue in 1984.

“It’s not going anymore, but it’s a place where so many bands launched themselves,” Miss Page said. There’s also a tour of everywhere Oasis used to play (www.manchestermusictours.com).

Miss Page recommends visitors grab a Manchester dictionary, as it isn’t always easy for outsiders to understand the accent.

“Don’t be offended if people think you are from America,” she said.

“A lot of people really don’t know where Bermuda is.”

Her biggest tip was don’t be afraid to talk to people.

“The people in the North are so warm and friendly,” she said.

Visit www.mohawkradio.co.uk or see their Facebook page, Mohawkradio, or follow them on Twitter, OFPLMohawk Radio. Mohawk Radio’s music can be downloaded on iTunes or Spotify.

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Published December 09, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 08, 2014 at 11:38 pm)

Turning a Page

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