I’m a musician, DJ, curator and producer. I’m also a co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive – an online crowd-sourced archive established to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history.
I have fronted and played in a number of bands – below are some highlights from over the years.
In my early 20s I was the rhythm guitarist, vocalist and principal songwriter in Monro Stahr. We were influenced by new wave, glam rock and spaghetti western scores.
In Long Lost Son, a band led by singer/songwriter Mark Slawinski, I played rhythm guitar, sang backing vocals and co-produced.
I am currently working (when time allows) on new solo material with Cathy Brooks (Dub Sex) on bass and Simon Delamar on drums. This is an early run-through of an unfinished track called Warning, recorded on iPhone.
I have been DJing professionally since 2008 at clubs, bars and arts venues across the North West. Recent gigs have included The Refuge, Mcr, The Deaf Institute, Mcr, Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Academy.
I opened up for Doves at Warrington Parr Hall in March 2019 – their first gig in a decade.
This is a DJ mix inspired by a trip to Iceland, featuring Icelandic poetry mixed with music by artists from that region.
As an audio producer, my recent work includes:
- Not Going Shopping, an audio documentary commissioned by Manchester Pride marking 30 years since the enactment of Section 28
- The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map, a creative podcast tracking the rave scene in Manchester, commissioned by Manchester Metropolitan University
- An audio piece exploring archives and protest in relation to the Peterloo Masscacre, commissioned by Manchester Histories (work in progress)
Curator | producer
I recently acted as Consultant Curator on New Order’s box set re-release of their debut album, Movement.
I work regularly as a freelance producer for Drake Music – a charity that opens up access to music for Disabled people of all ages.
Other clients include: Boiler Room, NTS Radio, Manchester Metropolitan University, Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry, People’s History Museum, University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moores University, Red Bull Music Academy.
– We Are Dynamite! Northern Carnival Against the Nazis 40th Anniversary exhibition at NIAMOS
– Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music and Club Culture in Manchester at People’s History Museum
– Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Mcr – a major exhibition exploring music & identity at The Lowry
– Unknown Pleasures: a Joy Division exhibition at Macclesfield Museum
– Moss Side Stories: an online exhibition celebrating black music and club life in Moss Side & Hulme
Selected public speaking engagements:
– Dave Haslam & Abigail Ward – In Conversation event, Trafford Word Festival, Manchester
– Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music and Club Culture in Manchester, University of Salford
– It’s Alright: A Celebration of Manchester’s Rave Heritage 1985-1995, Manchester Metropolitan University
– We Make Music Inclusive Music Festival, Amnesty International, London
– Connecting Communities Conference, University of Leeds
– National LGBT History Festival, Central Library, Manchester
– Putting Women Upfront, Women in Music panel, Ladyfest, Islington Mill
– Brix Smith Start & Abigail Ward – In Conversation event, The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
– Jon Savage & Abigail Ward – In Conversation event, Bird’s Nest Cafe, Shrewsbury