30 October 2003
Too Crazy Cowboys 
UPDATE - T-SHIRTS NOW SOLD OUT

A new Durutti Column T-Shirt is available featuring the famous Situationist Cowboys on horseback cartoon strip / poster which goes as follows (with thanks for Rob Stanzel's translation):

Cowboy 1: "What's your scene, man?"
Cowboy 2: "Reification*"
Cowboy 1: "Yeah? I guess that means pretty hard work with big books and piles of paper on a big table."
Cowboy 2: "Nope. I drift. Mostly I just drift."

*Synonyms for "Reification" (courtesy of dictionary.com): exemplification, expression, formation, incarnation, inclusion, incorporation, integration, manifestation, organization, personification, realization, structure, systematization.

The shirts come in black and white in sizes M/L/XL/XXL and are available by mail order (no CC) from Kooky Records.

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29 October 2003
A Gentle Sound 
The new acoustic album on Ether Records by The Railway Children called 'Gentle Sound' is now available through their online store. In February 2004 it will be in record stores too.

The album features acoustic versions of classic Factory-era tracks from Reunion Wilderness including A Gentle Sound, Brighter, Big Hands of Freedom together with post-Fac favourites and the tracks from the aborted Skinship single.

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27 October 2003
Miserablists in mourning 
Amusing anecdote alert! Mark Radcliffe revealed in the NME 19 December 1992 that his low spot of the preceding year was "the end of Factory Records which left a generation of floppy fringe, grey raincoat miserablists like myself mourning, especially after In The City. In balance, one would have to say, though, that the prospect of a life without Wendys records doesn't exactly fill me with dread."

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Bango Bango, Quando Quango 
Not it's not cockney rhyming slang but a slight continuation to an earlier thread.

First the Bango: Another great track played by The Unabombers at Fabric was 'Bango Bango' by Todd Terry from the album 'To The Batmobile Let's Go'.

And now the Quango: A 13 January 2003 new release announcement by Piccadilly Records in Manchester stated this about that Love Tempo remix.

"Quando Quango / Night Moves : Love Tempo / Transdance - 12" £7.99 - Benelux Records: 210-002. This US booty 12" from new label 'Benelux' features a couple of beauties for retro-future beat hunters. 1983's "Love Tempo" by Quando Quango was a Factory classic from Mike Pickering and Hillegonda Rietveld, so beloved by Larry Levan that it led to them playing live at the Paradise Garage that same year!

Night Moves "Transdance" was a New Wave piece of disco from the same year that earned much underground play in NYC and the fledgling house scene in Chicago. It's not too difficult to sense the influences these tracks have over Metro Area today."

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26 October 2003
Sort It Out 
One notable track from the excellent DJ set by Unabombers which preceded A Certain Ratio's set at Fabric: Love Tempo (Vocal Mix) by Quando Quango on Transdance, 12" (Benelux Records).

Also, check out the 'Kill 'em all, sort it out!' t-shirt worn by Bernard Sumner in this old pic from the Melody Maker.

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25 October 2003
Kill 'em all 
Set list for last night's gig by A Certain Ratio at Fabric: [Intro tape into] Forced Laugh, Do The Du, Shack Up, Wild Party, Starlight, Turn Me On, Won't Stop Loving You, Wannabe, Good Together. The band were on great form and Denise Johnson was stunning as ever. Only downside was that they weren't allowed an encore - on returning to the stage after a very brief gap, James Lavelle's DJ set had already kicked off and that unfortunately was that.

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24 October 2003
A Certain Ratio live at Fabric, London tonight 
As previously announced tonight, 24 October sees ACR playing Fabric as part of the 'Kill 'em all, let God sort it out' thread. I understand A Certain Ratio are due on stage at midnight until 1am. Full details follow. Fabric Live. Fri 24th Oct 03. 77a Charterhouse Street, London EC1. Telephone +44(0)20 7336 8898. Room One: A Certain Ratio (live), James Lavelle, Queens Of Noize, Howie B, Unabombers, The Guvnors. Price £12 (£10 Nus), Advance tickets (may not still be available) from Ticketweb

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Hello Playmates 
This was a highly entertaining first exhibition by Central Station Design in 1990 featured some fine portraits of firm family favourites such as Arthur Askey (his catchphrase was 'Hello Playmates') and Harry Corbett & Sooty, plus many others.

Check out Arthur and Harry plus Ken Dodd and relive the launch party which attracted Reni from the Stone Roses, Neil Tennant, Andrew Berry (hairdresser to the stars), Bernard Sumner, Johnny Marr, 808 State's Graham Massey and Northside.

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22 October 2003
Lookalike 
Has anyone noticed the resemblance between the promotional campaigns and artwork for the new Texas album 'Careful What You Wish For' and the one for 'Get Ready' by New Order.

Are they by any chance related? I think we should be told?

Both feature black and white photos of a dark-haired, good looking woman and a red stripe/band (or two in the case of Texas). On closer inspection they are indeed related as the photographic duties on both fell to Juergen Teller.

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21 October 2003
Vini in Paris 
Check out the Helter Skelter website for an audio interview with The Durutti Column's Vini Reilly and Bruce Mitchell from 1991 (circa Obey The Time) originally broadcast on Aligre FM (a French radio station).

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20 October 2003
Defekted 
The Jazz Defektors were one of those Factory bands who typified the label's diverse and eclectic signing policy. They were a multi-person jazz dance collective whose eponymous (and only) Factory album was produced by Paul Weller and Mick Talbot from the Style Council and released in 1988. They were featured dancing in the Julien Temple movie 'Absolute Beginners' as they were in the Factory video compilation Fact 137 Shorts on the track 'Hanki Panki'.

Various members of the group are seen on the streets of Manchester, dancing to a busker's music (before stealing his earnings!) and then getting chased down the Rochdale Canal round the back of the Haçienda before having a 'dance off' on the hallowed Haçienda dancefloor itself. A few vidcaps from this video are presented here.

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17 October 2003
Speedway vs The Durutti Column 
It's an unlikely combination but the Durutti Column's 'Otis', for long a stalwart of the Durutti live set, was used as the background music for an item on speedway on Soccer AM's All Sports Show tonight on Sky Sports.

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Competition: Your All-Time Top Ten Of All Time 
Anthony H Wilson had a go, then I did and now it's your turn. Send your Factory Top Ten to Cerysmatic Factory. All contributions will be published and the best one will win a Cerysmatic Factory mousepad. The Top Ten extravaganza ends 30 November so get listing.
16 October 2003
From Cerysmatic Factory With Love 
Inspired by Tony (or Anthony H) Wilson's All Time Factory Top Ten, Cerysmatic Factory presents one of its own.

1. Fact 45 Always Now by Section 25: Quite possibly the all time classic piece produced by Factory. Designed by Peter Saville.

2. Fact 75 'Power Corruption and Lies' by New Order: Along with the die cut Fac 73 'Blue Monday' sleeve, the first New Order covers of pure genius by Peter Saville.

3. James at Riverside Studios 12 May 1985: James had just finished a UK tour supporting The Smiths (who covered one of James's songs) this was great gig.

4. Haçienda 4th birthday poster by 8vo 1986: A stunning design assembled as a collage of many pieces of coloured paper.

5. New Order at Fac 51 the Haçienda Wednesday June 10th 1987.

6. Fact/d 144 'Domo Arigato' by The Durutti Column: A favourite 8vo sleeve for the video and compact disc of Durutti's Japanese concert.

7. Fac 318 'Classics In Motion' at Fac 51 The Haçienda, 16 October 1990: To celebrate the launch on October 29 of their five new releases on the Factory Classical strand 1990 there were five showcases, in Glasgow, Manchester and London. The Manchester involved The Durutti Column and Steve Martland. Classical music on the Haçienda dancefloor.

8. The artwork and advertising for Fact 275 'Technique' by New Order 1989: Factory turns into an advertising behemoth! Inserts in the NME, giant billboard posters, headed notepaper all featuring Peter Saville's dazzling artwork
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9. Fac 211 Wired documentary: Short television documentary centred around the re-release of Joy Division's Atmosphere and the Subtance 1989 compilation. Particularly splendid for featuring Alan Erasmus being interviewed whilst wearing a construction worker's hard hat!

10. Fac 281 'The Area': An afternoon's shopping in Manchester was not complete without a visit to the Area which was tucked away in a corner of Manchester's Afflecks Palace. Fiona Allen, who doubled as box office person at the Haçienda was always game for a chat over the latest Factory developments and a choice range of goodies was on offer. Prenez Votre Desirs indeed.

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15 October 2003
Labelled with Love 
Tony Wilson's Ten Favourite Factory Experiences as recounted in the NME, 25 July 1992

1. The menstrual egg-timer: "By Linder. We never actually did it, but it was there..."
2. Re-doing the vocals for 'Love Will Tear Us Apart': "We were always going to do this when 'Ian got back from America', but of course he never went. We had to re-do the vocals electronically, using the originals."
3. 'Lazyitis': Because it's a round, you know, like a folk round."
4. The Disorder Party: in the basement of the Haçienda after New Order had played G-Mex, December '88.
5. Danny Kelly's review of the Pale Saints at the Town & Country Club (Aw shucks - Ed): "It said that the Pale Saints were OK but after Top of the Pops that same night, when the Mondays and the Roses had been on together, who gives a fuck. The wheel of history, I believed and the review said, had turned on..."
6. The first Acid warehouse party in Manchester, 1988: "In a metal box warehouse near Piccadilly Station. A very hypnotic moment."
7. A Certain Ratio at Hurrahs in New York.
8. Talking to Peter Saville about art: "A constant throughout the 12 years, still happening now."
9. Paul Ryder ringing after Elland Road and thanking me for shouting at the Mondays: "I shouted at them for fucking up America, for all behaving like dicks. They thanked me because they said that sorted them out for Elland Road and Elland Road saw them go from an arena band to a stadium band."
10. A sunny morning driving to London having just taken delivery from Martin Hannett of the mixes of 'Closer' and ACR's 'Flight': "That was just a great moment."

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14 October 2003
Cool As ****! 
I was amused to see the excellent Cool As Ice - The Be Music Productions compilation cd (available from LTM) in the racks of HMV Oxford Street as if it were by a New Order tribute band!

Incidentally, a) are there any New Order tribute bands? and b) are they any good?

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Amateurs! Amateurs! 
It is of course Pete Carroll and not his brother Pat from Central Station who has teamed up with Shaun Ryder et al for Amateur Night In The Big Top...

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13 October 2003
South Central Reign 
"Matt and Pat Carroll would rather crack open a brew than pick up a pencil, they moan that they can't draw and can't paint, and yet they've provided the visuals for a major musical uprising. Their technicolour graphics, block(ed) capitals and casual images are already splashed across half the scrawny bodies and bedroom walls in the country. Having designed the visually eclectic covers for Happy Mondays, James and Northside, Matt and Pat have kicked art into the '90s, dusted off the cobwebs and made it accessible, relevant and fashionable. Through cutting corners, dribbling paint and clashing colours, their design company Central Station have taken art down from the top shelf and shoved it right back where it belongs, back to reality and into sticky fingers...."

So begins an NME article on Central Station from back in 1990 which deals with their early days in Art College, onto designing the early Happy Mondays and which centres on their exhibition 'Hello Playmates' of gaudy portraits of characters from British cultural folklore which ran in Manchester and then London at the time.

Their recent outings have been for Matt and Pat's brother Pete (who wasn't in Central Station) who teamed up with Shaun Ryder, Shane Norton and Stephen Mallinder to spectacular effect in Amateur Night In The Big Top and for Gorky's Zygotic Mynci whose album Sleep/Holiday was released in August and whose single Mow The Lawn came out last week.

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10 October 2003
Haçienda that 
There is an insightful article from Q Magazine (reproduced here in full) around the time of Factory Records' demise which speculates as to what would happen to the extensive New Order (and indeed other Factory artists) back catalogue and whether Anthony Wilson had something up his sleeve. Rather cleverly (or is that sneakily) Q obtained a copy of New Order's legal agreement with label which stated that the band and not the label owned all the master tapes.

Of course when Factory folded some bands like Happy Mondays and A Certain Ratio had got wind of the imminent demise and they made sure they had either extricated themselves from their "deals" or (in the case of ACR) removed the master tapes from the Factory offices. 'Cos when the receivers moved in they took possession of everything...

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Designed by Central Station and Johnson / Panas 
A tremendous amount of Factory's output wasn't designed by the in-house designer Peter Saville. Central Station Design did all of Happy Mondays' sleeves plus great work for To Hell With Burgundy and Northside amongst others.

Johnson / Panas, the moniker of Trevor Johnson and Tony Panas, were responsible for some classic A Certain Ratio and Stockholm Monsters covers plus one-offs like Fac 281 The Area and the Madchester Christmas card.

The Johnson / Panas page is newly endowed with goodies and the Central Station one is mildly enhanced.

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09 October 2003
Space Monkeys in Hollywood 
Factory Too, in an attempt to crack the US market, released a "US Remix" of the Space Monkeys' classic Sugar Cane (FACDR 2.53). This features the US Remix itself, courtesy of Patrick McCarthy at Record One, a couple of extra tracks plus the phenomenally-titled Sugar Cane "The Mark 1 (And Only) Reconstruction".

As an aside, I believe I am correct in saying that the Space Monkeys are completely different from Space Monkeyz (sometimes also seen as Space Monkeys) who remixed the Gorillaz [Flash required] album under the title Laika Come Home. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know...

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... and now with the photos 
Glitches crept in last night and the Saville interview from the The Face was posted without the images of OMD and Peter Saville himself. These are now instated in all their black and white glory.
Industrial Manoeuvres In The Art 
Before he became the greatest graphic designer in the world, Peter Saville was a struggling graphic artist, fresh out of college and trying to get work. He designed the Fac 1 poster, became a partner in Factory Records and also the art director for DinDisc. This fascinating interview in The Face published at this time is very revealing (and has some great photos of Saville himself and OMD).

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08 October 2003
Extra-curricular 
New Order's Hooky continues his sojourn with dance outfit Hybrid as they support Kosheen on their current UK tour (currently on break but resumes in Bristol on 15 October). He also produced one of the tracks - True to Form - on their album Morning Sci-Fi.

Another Factory funkster playing outside of the box is A Certain Ratio's Jez Kerr whose 24 Hours project has new recordings available on cd and mp3 (though the 'listen' links on the website don't work) via Urbanite.

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07 October 2003
Tears In Their Eyes 
The Q Review of the Fact 400 Palatine box set was not very favourable... "Whether a four-record compilation covering Factory's history is timely self-celebration or urgent self-preservation against the recession, the label's deserved reputation as innovator and provocateur prepares the way for unqualified hosannas. And yet, 49 tracks on, the inclination is to draw breath through clenched teeth rather than party".

Read the full review.
06 October 2003
Post Pills 'n' Thrills 
Replay episode one of Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches on the BBC Radio Player. Don't forget the new episode this Wednesday at 10pm.
They came from Palatine Road 
I'd like to introduce the start of a new page on the classic Palatine 4CD/4LP/4CASS (what no DAT?) Factory box set retrospective, kicking off with the full page HMV advertisement complete with offer of free video.

Palatine comprised 4 individual albums detailing different aspects of the Factory catalogue. It is named after the long time home of Factory Records, 86 Palatine Road which is in West Didsbury, Manchester.

Fact 314 Tears In Their Eyes chronicles the early days with Joy Division and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

Fact 344 Selling Out, the commercial singles days.

And inbetween, 'Fact 324 Life's A Beach' the influential dance acts like Quando Quango and 'Fact 334 The Beat Groups' the pop combos like Stockholm Monsters, Miaow, James.

This page will expand and forms part of the ongoing Factory History.

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Durutti Column live in Bracknell 
Many thanks to Dan Hall for providing Cerysmatic Factory with a full review of the recent Durutti Column gig at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell together with a scan of the setlist (signed by Vini Reilly) and of his ticket.

Now I'm really looking forward to the Manchester show on 13 December.

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Cath Carroll - the complete picture 
Whilst rummaging through the archives over the weekend I found the original scan of the article from Q Magazine.

It's from issue number 58 and the pic of Cath (aka Myrna Minkoff and other aliases) is now included.

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05 October 2003
Hardcore Is More Than Music 
Back in May, Crispy Ambulance and Biting Tongues put on a double-header at the ICA in London in association with Hardcore Is More Than Music the cult fanzine.

Photographs of the event can be found on the Crispy Ambulance official website.

The flyers can be found here.

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03 October 2003
England Made Cath Carroll 
The Cerysmatic Factory archives have unearthed an interview in Q Magazine with Cath Carroll from around the time of the release of England Made Me (Facd 210).

The album was recently re-released on LTM so now is the perfect time to revisit the World of Cath.

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Kill 'em all, let God sort it out 
So, no ACR at Hung Drawn and Quartered but we can look forward to their full live show at Fabric later this month. Full details follow. Fabric Live. Fri 24th Oct 03. 77a Charterhouse Street, London EC1. Telephone +44(0)20 7336 8898.

Room One: A Certain Ratio (live), James Lavelle, Queens Of Noize, Howie B, Unabombers, The Guvnors. Price £12 (£10 Nus)

Advance tickets available from TICKETWEB

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Hung up 
Went to the first Hung Drawn and Quartered event last night in Shoreditch.

Unfortunately the A Certain Ratio / Martin Moscrop set at Aquarium had been removed from the bill at late notice. Despite the disappointment it was still a good night there and at Cocomo, 333, Herbal and Catch 22.

The wristband entry scheme allowed free access to all the clubs even though the little-advertised on-the-night price hike from 12 to 15 pounds was a little rich! Looking forward to this event coming to West London in the future...

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02 October 2003
Pills and (some) thrills 
The first part of Stuart Maconie's new documentary 'Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches' was broadcast last night on BBC Radio 2.

Presented in Maconie's inimitable style it was very entertaining even if it didn't make any earth-shatterring revelations and featured contributions from Mani (Primal Scream, ex-Stone Roses), Martin Coogan (Mock Turtles and Steve Coogan's brother), Miranda Sawyer (natch), Jon Savage, Bez, Shaun Ryder, Anthony Wilson, New Order's publicist, Graham Massey (Biting Tongues, 808 State, Tool Shed), Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets, Clint Boon Experience) plus Hooky and Bernard Sumner from New Order.

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01 October 2003
Façtory 
Just received word (thanks v-rc music) of a new online (and possibly also high street) record store being launched under the name Façtory. Not clear at the moment whether this is anything to do with the original Factory label or anyone from the old days.

However, there is a flyer and an official website. Stay tuned.
Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches 
Check out BBC Radio 2 tonight for a new documentary series by Stuart Maconie which is a "tribute to the sound of Manchester during the late Eighties when the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays got the scene going".

Maconie goes back to the mid-Seventies and the Sex Pistols too. Fac afficionados will fondly remember Maconie's contribution to the seminal Madchester: The Sound of the North documentary by Granada Television in which he, James Brown (then both with the NME) and Pete Walsh took a tour round Dry 201 in Oldham Street, Manchester.

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Hung, Drawn and Quartered 
It has been confirmed (thanks Andrew James) that the A Certain Ratio appearance at this event which takes place tomorrow evening 2 October in Shoreditch, London, is a DJ set which is presumably by Martin Moscrop. www.hungdrawnandquartered.co.uk for more information

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FAC 51 The Hacienda
The Names

Post punk cult band The Names emerged in the winter of 1977-1978 as The Passengers, gathering immediate attention on the local Brussels scene. In 1979, after a series of successful gigs and a crucial step forward opening for Magazine, they recorded their first E.P. ("Spectators Of Life") and attracted the interest of prominent label Factory Records in Manchester.

Their first British studio session (at Stockport's Strawberry Studio) produced the single "Nightshift" / "I Wish I Could Speak Your Language (Fac 29). Receiving enthusiastic reviews in the UK and abroad, it marked the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with producer Martin Hannett. The album "Swimming" followed as well as more singles, including "Calcutta" and "The Astronaut".

- extract from the official website biography

Factory Records Catalogue

The Durutti Column