A few years back, Sheffield chanced its lottery-strengthened arm by building a National Museum for Popular Music. A fabulist building by Nigel Coates and Sheffield's heritage of Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17, Human League, ABC, and Pulp notwithstanding, the project failed miserably. When I visited my old hometown a month or so ago the building lay largely empty, its steel drums brooding within the otherwise vibrant cultural industries quarter, only seemingly used as an overflow from the nearby student union.
Now another former hometown of mine is trying the same thing, although with an arguably greater claim to musical legends Manchester's museum won't try to represent the nation's music, but its own:
"The museum will mark the city's place as a classical music mecca in the 1860s, show off relics from its 250 1960s beat clubs (more than any other city in the world, including Liverpool), its thriving 1940s jazz scene and - perhaps the finest of all - the Madchester days of the Happy Mondays, New Order and Factory Records."