31 March 2004Our friends electric
The following extract from an interview which appeared in The Face back in the very early Eighties explains more about how OMD and Saville came to work together, their artistic direction and contains the now infamous story of how Factory were banned from using a certain printworks:
"In another direction, Saville began another a close association with another early Factory coup, Orchestral Manoeuvres, the first of the label's signings he'd enjoyed musically, meeting in a Rochdale pub, they exchanged ideas. Saville told them about a book of avante-garde musical scores which he'd come across in Llandudno public library. Andy McCluskey said that he sometimes wrote down the tunes he composed in a similar shorthand.
"I also knew from college," Saville explains, "that shiny black ink on black paper worked, so I decided to suggest that. Tony didn't believe it, the band didn't believe it and the printer said it couldn't be done." The Manchester printer who Saville persuaded otherwise regretted his acquiescence; the printing - by a special heat process called thermography - was a success, but the place set on fire three times. The printer's insistence - "Don't come back!" - meant that the edition of 5000 was strictly limited."
Bringing everything OMD slightly more up to date there's an exclusive Q&A with Paul Humphreys. He is currently working with Claudia Brücken (ex-Propaganda) on new material.
29 March 2004Haçienda Top Ten...
1. B52's - Rock Lobster (Video Version)
2. Kid Creole - Stool Pidgeon (12")
3. Culture Club - I'm Afraid Of Me (12")
4. Shalamar - A Night To Remember (12")
5. Felix + Jarvis - Flame Thrower Rap (12")
6. A Certain Ratio - Knife Slits Water (12" Promo)
7. Kid Creole - Anny I Ain't Your Daddy (12")
8. Haysi Fantaisi - John Wayne Is A Bit Leggy (12")
9. Trio - Da Da Da (Video Version)
10. Transdance - Night Moves (12" Promo)
[all spellings are transcribed verbatim, so it should be 'Stool Pigeon' and Haysi Fantayzee - 'John Wayne Is Big Leggy']
Your perceptions of the music that was played at the Hacienda may be somewhat twisted by the realisation that Kid Creole has two entries in the chart and that Trio's plink-plonk Kraut-pop has a place too! Having said that, Shalamar, ACR and Transdance are in there too. The latter has a Factory connection as it was reissued in October 2003 on a double A-side 12" with a Quando Quango remix:
[from Cerysmatic Factory 27 Oct 2003] 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.
28 March 2004Rudimentary
Fac 5 is eloquently described as "Paper and vinyl construction in an edition of 5000" on the sleeve. Slightly surprising that it didn't initially sell out.
The 'early' reference is the famous Peter York quote which he came out with when Tony Wilson asked him what he thought of the band. It was used as the title for their compilation of, erm, early material on Soul Jazz Records.
Many thanks to John K for a (legible) copy of the newsletter.
27 March 2004Three from the one
Thanks to Dave at OneOfTheThree.co.uk for info.
26 March 2004The Belly of an Architect
The soundtrack [TWI 813 / Fact 195] to the Peter Greenaway film of the same name essentially combines three musical sources. First and foremost is original material from Mertens and noted American avant-gardist Glenn Branca, both of which appearing on both record and film alongside past works by Mertens especially chosen by the director. Though taken separately the music of Mertens and Branca might seem impossibly at odds, here the circular melody of the former works in perfect counterpart to the latter's harsher textures and musique concrete.
More details including an audio clip are available on www.wimmertens.be the official site. Wim Mertens would have perhaps been a suitable candidate for a release on Factory Classical but in the end his only other Factory release is Fact 190(c) Educes Me.
Slightly off-topic but this year also sees the sixtieth birthday of Michael Nyman, the noted composer (of amongst other things excellent soundtracks to Peter Greenaway films such as Drowning by Numbers and The Draughtsman's Contract).
24 March 2004Rumours
In this interview with Rick Poynor published in Eye 17/95, Peter Saville expands on the influences for Fac 3 including the 'Systems of Romance' reference:
[Rick Poynor] At what stage did you become aware of post-modernism as a cultural idea?
[Peter Saville] In 1978, while working on the second Factory poster. On a trip to London I picked up a book of Philip Johnson's proposals for the AT&T building in New York. On the cover was the broken pediment. It made me think that maybe I wasn't wrong in wanting to use Tschichoid's later work - that and a John Foxx album cover for Ultravox [Systems of Romance] with serif type on a black background. Within 12 months, neo-classicism and the influence of architectural post-modernism were everywhere. People in New York were buying columns to put in their apartments. My contribution was the graphic equivalent. It was always an emotive feeling and after a year or so I began to trust in my senses. I didn't need to wait for supportive signals and became brave enough to take a step myself, but nearly always informed by some historical reference.
23 March 2004Nothingness
"It was the Sex Pistols tonguing out of the mouths of Stooges that harassed the group that became Joy Division into galactic north-west technological rock and roll action, and they adapted to and pretty quickly transcended this frenzied coincidence of The Sex Pistols, Kraftwerk, The Doors, Brian Eno and Television (and you never know Peter Hammill and Black Sabbath, or J. G. Ballard and Albert Camus, or Franz Kafka and Chic, or Neu and Isaac Asimov, or Mott the Hoople and Dostoevsky ...).
And here... Factory Records: "What about their record company, Factory? Not so much a record company as a state of mind, an organisation in constant graceful disarray, and a company of free-thinking sub-maniacs who were responsible for pushing and pulling Joy Division through their short, frantic career".
21 March 2004Tickets
18 March 2004Silent and free
17 March 2004Landmark
The same site now features a video introduction to the Peter Saville Show (which continues at Urbis until 18 April) plus full details of all the ancillary events.
"ACR and Soul Jazz Records invite you and your friends to celebrate 25 years of A Certain Ratio
Saturday April 3
Band On The Wall
Swan Street Manchester
Tel: 0161 834 1786
A Certain Ratio will perform at 11pm
with special guests
Stuart Baker - Soul Jazz Records
£10 advance / £12 on the door
16 March 2004Where are they now?
Tim Booth (vocals) recorded a solo album with Angelo Badalamenti (as Booth and The Bad Angel) in 1999, left James in 2001 and is pursuing a solo career with an album slated for summer 2004 release.
Larry Gott (guitar) left the band in 1996 after choosing to spend more time with his family. Has worked on solo material and played in bars/clubs in Manchester.
Jim Glennie (bass) is the last-surviving member of the original line-up. A devout Manchester City fan. No current information on what he's up to.
[edit ] Gavan Whelan (drums), who was the second to leave the original line-up, is producing an upcoming band called Alive after a sabbatical from the music industry. According to the James fan site oneofthethree.co.uk he sometimes joins the band onstage for their storming rendition of Sit Down.
Paul Gilbertson (Guitar) went to school with Jim and was a founding member of the but was replaced by Larry Gott on guitar. He is now a taxi driver in Manchester.
There have been plenty of other band members: Saul Davies (violin, guitar) and Mark Hunter (keyboards) have both been working on Ainslie Henderson's solo debut album. David Baynton-Power (drums) is touring with The Alarm(!). Adrian Oxaal (guitar, replaced Larry) went to school with Saul which stood him in good stead when James needed to replace Larry. Recently played a few gigs in Brighton according to the Jamestheband.com message board. Andy Diagram (trumpet) has played with numerous bands including The Pale Fountains, Dislocation Dance and David Thomas & Two Pale Boys. Currently playing with Hat.
Blurt's official website is also reporting that Volume 2 in the series "Let There be Blurt" entitled "The Body That They Built To Fit The Car" is due for release May 2004. The CD will also feature two video clips. And finally, the same site says that two tracks ('Burial Mound' and 'Click' from the Magic Moments album) will appear on the 'Abstract Constructivism' compilation CD brought to you by the Dossier label (Germany).
15 March 2004Sly Stone jamming with Joy Division
11 March 2004A unique aural/noise/rhythm background
The Martin Hannett Biography Project by William and Anna is a great resource for all things Hannett-related.
09 March 2004Double Plastered
Meanwhile, 'Hacienda that! Official', is another NME article which records Tony Wilson's announcement of the temporary closure of the Haçienda in February 1991.
08 March 2004Intricate
The new Durutti album has been confirmed as being called Tempus Fugit. It will feature 14 acoustic tracks and will be available at the band's shows in April and May through the Kooky label.
No further news on 'The Definitive Durutti Column' despite it being listed in February's Observer Music Monthly under Compilations and provisionally being slated for February / March release. As an aside, the same OMM's Record Doctor item on the fashion designer Paul Smith shows him to have The Durutti Column in his collection.
07 March 2004Disorder
Read the full Peter Saville interview from the same issue of City Life. Thanks again to Conor for help.
Q213's Best Videos Ever lists New Order's True Faith at number 18.
05 March 2004The Powder Blind Dream
A new sleeve design has been selected and the album is now in the manufacturing process. Our thanks to Dave Garson of Logoprint, Manchester, who has provided new images and a fresh design concept." The album is listed on amazon.co.uk for sale at the bargain price of 8.99 GBP with a 29 March release date.
04 March 2004The Definitive Durutti Column Tour
King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Saturday 3 April
Islington Academy, London, Thursday 8 April
Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, Thursday 6 May
Liverpool Academy 2, Saturday 8 May
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, Sunday 16 May
The last one, in Nottingham, is newly-announced today - thanks to Mike and Phil. The dates are in support of the release of the forthcoming 32-track 'Definitive Durutti Column' retrospective set.
03 March 2004Tour alert
02 March 2004I Could Be So Good For You
01 March 2004Back In Black
17th, London, UK - Twelve Bar Club
19th, Austin, Texas, USA - Elysium (SXSW 2004 Music Festival
21st, Koper, Slovenia - MKC
22nd, Zagreb, Croatia - Mochvara
23rd, Llubliana, Slovenia - Metelkova Mesto
24th, Mestre, Italy - Magic Bus
The bookshop stocked an interesting and in some cases expensive range of memorabilia associated with the show. The hardback edition of 'Designed by Peter Saville' can be yours for GBP 49.95 (photo soon) or those with really deep pockets can opt for the signed limited edition print of Fac 1 at GBP 165. Those on more of a budget can opt for the free flyers or postcards available in sets of six or individually.
Most interestingly there is a limited edition print of the studio wall tracklisting from the recording of New Order's 'Republic' with tentative titles such as 'Gillian 12 string' together with the one they'd already named, 'Regret' at the top of the pile.
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