A trip to Manchester Media City – Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake – in photos

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Earlier this week, I headed north to Manchester to record some songs for BBC Radio 6 Music with The Monochrome Set .

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Entering the BBC studios at MediaCity, a 200-acre mixed-use property development on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford and Trafford

The project was developed by Peel Media; its principal tenants are media organisations and the University of Salford. The land occupied by the development was part of the Port of Manchester and Manchester Docks. []

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Before the recording session, I took a quick wander around MediaCity, with The Quays development including The Lowry Arts Centre and the Imperial War Museum North.

Sadly, I didn’t get chance to check out either of those fine institutions.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Er, no thanks.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

MediaCityUK got its own tram stop on 20 September 2010.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

I stumbled across the Blue Peter Garden!

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Security at the BBC was extra tight. Everyone was super friendly apart from the surly bloke on the door who seemed to take umbrage with anyone who needed to go in and out of the building more than once.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Waiting to go in and record the session.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

We were recording three live tracks for BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley show and one pre-recorded one for Gideon Coe.

It was a bit of an odd session as there was about 15 minutes between each take so it was bit hard to get in the mindspace, maaan.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Unlike our session in the immense BBC Maida Vale studios, we were in the same room as Marc Riley.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

The gear was a lot more up to date than the London studio.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

The kit I used for the session, plus my very own cowbell for the essential supplementary donk action.

The three songs we recorded are available on the BBC iPlayer until the first week of March 2018.

Go here to hear them – the tracks start on these times:

20.30 mins I Feel Fine
48.20 mins Maisieworld
58.58 mins Mrs Robot

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Marc Riley was a really nice chap and I loved his enthusiasm for the tunes he was playing.

He was happily playing air guitar/drums/kybds to every record he played and he – along with the staff there – went out of his way to find a cymbal when the one I was promised had gone walkabout from the studio.

Had a nice chat with him after and he asked us to pose for a picture with him. It was a really friendly, professional and welcoming environment all round. Well done the BBC!

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

A quick snap before we headed back to London. We’re not as grumpy as we look.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

A last look at MediaCityUK.

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

In photos: A trip to Manchester Media City - Marc Riley, Monochrome Set, Blue Peter Garden, and a dodgy lake, February 2018

Manchester Piccadilly has had a hideous redevelopment that has stripped it of all character.