31 May 2004Visionary
In fewer words, but no less heartfelt, New Order on Rob Gretton: "He was a part of us, without him we would be like a piece of banoffee pie with a slice missing."
29 May 2004Reverie
28 May 2004Hewickology
Don't forget to check out the live session by Doves including an acoustic version of Bizarre Love Triangle featuring Bernard Sumner on vocals on Marc Riley's Rocket Science as these will be disappearing from the 6 Music website tomorrow.
Thanks to Paul for spotting.
26 May 2004Video Vote
Obviously we can expect to see Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Michael Jackson's Thriller in the running but what would you vote for from Factory's video back catalogue? New Order's 'True Faith'? or 'Blue Monday 88'? or even 52nd Street's 'Can't Afford To Let You Go'!!?
Have your say in The Cerysmatic Factory Video Vote
Of course Tony Wilson had a concept (which was given the Factory catalogue number Fac 101) for lofts way back in the Eighties. According to Wilson "We were visionary in that sense, that lofts would come one day. But we ran out of money - we were too busy with clubs and bars. We tried to explain lofts to people in Manchester and nobody understood it. We actually walked the Manchester Development corporation around a building in Sackville Street, which became lofts ten years later, and said 'These would make great lofts' and they went 'What are lofts?'"
With thanks to Conor and OMNY for suggestion and inspiration respectively.
25 May 2004Rob's review
24 May 2004Celebration
He writes: "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.
A site for the museum has not yet been chosen but the company established to create it, 100% Cotton, is aiming for one of Manchester or Salford's iconic red-brick hotel buildings. The Heritage Lottery Fund is understood to be positive about contributing towards the venue's creation."
Read the full article here.
Full report to come but for now check out the photo gallery.
23 May 2004Acoustic
The replay will be available on the 6 Music website soon and will remain for the next week.
22 May 2004FAC 511 Running order
7.30pm Doors open / Jon Dasilva
8.40pm Dave Rofe
9.00pm Tony Wilson
9.05pm Doves (acoustic set)
9.35pm Mr Scruff
11.30pm Pickering and Park
21 May 200422
Of course, the Haç is no more, demolished to make way for luxury apartments. A lot has been said about the way in which the new apartments have been sold. The advertising, at least in the initial stages, has leant very heavily on the hazard stripe motif used for the club by designer Ben Kelly, who is not best impressed. Since the block was completed, the developer, Crosby Homes, has toned it down somewhat.
For better or for worse, in an attempt to acknowledge the history of the site, the back wall of the Hacienda apartments, running alongside the Rochdale Canal, has a timeline carved out of the metal panels running along at towpath level. However, it's woefully inaccurate and even gets the year in which the Haç was demolished incorrect. Because you're all just gonna wonder what the highlights included are, here it is, inaccuracies 'n' all...
the hacienda opens may 21 1982 bernard manning
1982 - new order, boy george, simple minds
1982 - grandmaster flash, thompson twins, tears for fears
1983 - the smiths
1984 - the tube, madonna, dj mike pickering nude night
1985 - einsturzende neubauten banned after attacking cast iron columns with a pneumatic drill, the stone roses, the pogues, the associates
1986 - erasure, bad, the jesus and mary chain, dj dave haslam temperance club nights
1987 - five figure loss, zumbar
1988 - dj graeme park and mike pickering friday nude night
1989 - madchester rules, clare leighton
1990 - greater manchester police, george carman qc
1991 - the hacienda closes and reopens
1992 - take that, factory records collapses
1993 - new order republic london records, ten years old, ten years in front, dj boys own, dj andy weatherall
1995 - ben kelly
1996 - flesh ends
1997 - the 15th birthday party dj mike pickering, dj graeme park, sasha, laurent garnier the hacienda closes saturday 28 june 1997
1998 - the hacienda demolished
"Now that's finished. You won't see the hacienda. It doesn't exist. The hacienda must be built." Ivan Chtcheglov 1953
Huge thanks to Moist!
There will probably be some other Fac-related radio fare over the weekend in the build-up to the event itself and Marc Riley's excellent Rocket Science on BBC 6 Music is worth a listen given its recent track record with The Durutti Column. And it's a damn good show anyway...
20 May 2004... a kind of rock 'n' roll 'Shine
In the article, Weisman says: "Ian Curtis was a tragic romantic in the classic sense of the word," Weisman said. "He always thought he would be famous as some kind of poet and die by his mid-20s, and that's what happened. I see this film as a kind of rock 'n' roll 'Shine.'"
The BBC news site is also carrying a similar article on the project. And you don't need to register to read this one in full as you do with Variety.
The film is expected to start shooting next year.
19 May 2004Ian Curtis biopic
Moby has previously played Joy Division tracks in his live sets, most notably New Dawn Fades. There's no word on casting yet but time will tell whether Sean Harris, who played Ian in 24 Hour Party People to great acclaim will get the nod. As for a release date, May 2005 would be the 25th anniversary of Ian's death.
Thanks to AJ for spotting. (How I don't miss getting the Metro now I cycle to work...)
So begins an excellent biographical website page on Rob which goes a long way to filling the very gap it mentions. It is required reading for those who did and didn't know Rob Gretton.
Thanks to Conor for the link.
18 May 2004And you forgotten
15 May 2004Lone Ryder
"The original idea for Clowns & Pet Sounds (or Amateur Night In The Big Top if you will) came from Shaun saying that he hated his future being in the hands of clowns in suits", Matt Carroll of Central Station says. "I came across an article saying that in 1936 The Daily Herald dismissed Hitler as nothing more than a clown. I loved the idea of the most evil man on the planet being mistaken for a clown." And lo, another unforgettable cover was born."
Scorpio Rising ("warped and funny as hell") - Kenneth Anger
Mad Max saga ("another manifesto of style")
Bugs & Daffy ("one of America's contributions to world mythology")
Daredevil Drivers (Japanese action film - "this orgy of deranged car stunts actually delivers again and again")
25 Years in Space (Television footage - "gravity free splendour")
Shogun Assassin ("poetic ultra-violence for that very special moment. Guaranteed to hypnotize random audience elements. In Japan this portable holocaust was released as a childrens' movie." As recently featured in Kill Bill Volume 2)
Chinese Gods ("Bruce Lee meets Rocket Robin Hood")
Nick The Stripper - Birthday Party ("tastier than 99% of what's around")
Haysi Fantayzee ("honest-to-god music company souped up promo slice of video")
Psychic T.V. ("this 23 minute VHS tape was a one-off for the Final Academy evening. Whatever ones makes of the contents this particular video has single handedly attracted more attention and reactions than all the other music cassettes put together.")
During the band's own introductions Keir Stewart said that he played with The Durutti Column rather than being a member of the band, Bruce said "when the beat goes wrong, it's me going wrong" and Vini said "Thanks very much" but strongly object to Marc Riley's "You're Manchester's answer to Robert Fripp aren't you?". Vini's answer was "That's awful!"
Before the second number ('Requiem For My Mother' "It's a rock out tune"), discussion turned to the coffee and herbal tea ("excellent"), The Fall (Keir was a member for 4 gigs, Marc Riley for a bit longer), Factory Records ("the musicians owned their own music") and Morrissey (Vini - "We're still friends").
The live stream of the show is set to disappear from the Rocket Science page on 6 Music website so this is your last opportunity to listen.
13 May 2004Get on one
"I saw Shaun DJing at Turnmills on Thursday with Peter Hook, he was doing a karaoke version of Wrote For Luck, but forgot the words whilst the crowd sang to him ... hilarious! He resembled a Kosovan binman on crack, but made some choice selections of northern soul and funk, top night!"
12 May 2004... shooting
The Trouble With Amelia contains a great picture of Tony Wilson standing in the ruins of Fac 51 The Hacienda, New Order, Shaun Ryder and Bez 'Bez' Bez. About the only thing it doesn't have is anything from 24 Hour Party People on which Amelia was the official photographer.
The details: hardcover 192 pp (April 2004) :: Publisher: Booth-Clibborn Editions :: ISBN: 1861542674
Thanks to Adelle at Vibe Bar.
It goes on to explain the apparent influence of Saville's work on Weiner: "The 100% yellow horizontal stripes of Weiner's 1985 poster for Section 25 fitted the aesthetic which Peter Saville had already developed in the first Factory posters from the late 70s, when he was still studying in Manchester. His career trajectory has taken him in the opposite direction, with the recent attempts from various sides to appropriate his design for an art context; his collaboration with John Currin for Pulp's This is Hardcore sleeve, and the introduction of apparently non-commissioned computer-generated abstract 'paintings' in the latter parts of the recent survey of his work at the Design Museum. But the early album covers for Joy Division and New Order, with their willingness to delve into the past for material to reanimate, now seem closer to recent design-based art, than Saville's later work."
Read the full article here.
10 May 2004Interaction
Incidentally, it turns out that Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields and The 6ths, used to be the copy editor at Spin magazine.
"Biting Tongues (well, Ken Hollings, Graham Massey and Howard Walmsley) will be performing at The Royal Insitution Of Great Britain on Saturday 22nd May 2004 - more info here.
Also, from 20 May to 18 July 2004, there will be a video presentation by Elliot Eastwick at the Urbis Centre, Manchester:
"the sound of two cities"
20 May to 18 July
"A video project by Elliot Eastwick.
The cities of Manchester and Detroit have many musical similarities, from the Northern Soul movement of 70s which adopted the Soul sounds of Urban Detroit, to the DIY nature of the early Detroit garage rock bands who influenced Manchester's punk era, the techno influences of the city on Manchester's club scene, which is still evident today. Both cities are renowned for emotive raw music that echoes the cityscape.
Eastwick's video explores the influence this huge catalogue of Detroit performers and music producers has had on artists from Manchester.
Featured are interviews with Manchester legends including The Hollies, Graham Nash, Carl Craig, Johnny Marr, 808 State's Graham Massey, Anthony Wilson, Doves and many more. Look through the 'hall of fame' to see musicians from both cities, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, George Clinton, New Order, Stevie Wonder, Morrissey.... the list goes on, the beat goes on.... and on.
The Sounds of Two Cities is an Urbis commission"
Many thanks to Nick. Sounds well worth checking out.
#90 Joy Division at The Factory, Manchester on 11 April 1980. "It was the night they... played Manchester for the last time. The atmosphere before the band took the stage was bad and there had been some aggro in the crowd, but Joy Division matched them in aggression and intensity. At the end of their set manager Rob Gretton announced there was to be no encore and pelted with bottles. The band then reappeared to perform Atrocity Exhibition."
#75 New Order at Manchester Apollo, 4 October 2001. "It was the night they... revisited greatness. Always patchy live, this might have been a nervous return to their native city (they hadn't played there for three years). Instead, the Apollo's fans were treated to a virtual greatest hits set, including some seldom-aired Joy Division material."
08 May 2004New signing
"Tony Wilson, the 52-year-old ex-boss of Factory Records, has signed his first band in over a decade – the first signing to his new label, Red Cellars.
The group are RAW T (Recognise And Witness Talent), four teenagers and a beats producer from Moss Side with an average age of 16. "They're post-Dizzee Rascal grime,” he told Teletext's 'Planet Sound', "Or so I'm told by my son, who knows about these things." He said it’s taken so long to sign another band because "it takes something special to excite me." Their debut single is due in August. He originally spotted them playing last year at his In The City music convention."
Tickets are selling well so hurry up to get yours.
07 May 2004Pop/Art
Are there any design magazines whose latest editions don't feature anything connected to Factory records...?
Grafik magazine is available from branches of Borders and WHSmith.
A number of posters for the event are now available from Colin at Vinyl Revival - contact him directly for more info. The posters (52" x 32" and  A3 size) are designed by Peter Saville and Trevor Johnson and are £15 each for the large ones and a fiver for the small ones with proceeds going to the charity of the choice of Rob's wife Lesley.
06 May 2004Pieces of Stephin Merritt
The new album by The Magnetic Fields, succinctly titled 'i' [Nonesuch] was released on Tuesday 4 May 2004 and to coincide The House of Tomorrow, the official website for all things Stephin Merritt has very recently announced that The Magnetic Fields are playing live in London on 10-12 June 2004 at the Lyric Hammersmith, King Street, London, W6. The shows will begin at 8pm. Tickets are priced 20 Euros [10 Euros for a limited number of concessions tickets].
Mr Merritt is certainly not one to rest on his laurels...
Full details follow:
47 Frith Street
Info: 020 7439 0747
Ticketweb: 0870 600 100
You should also be able to buy tickets at face value if you got to the venue and pay in cash
04 May 2004That was my idea
01 May 2004Shaun and Hooky (and Vini) on one
If that's not your scene and maybe you're in the Midlands then why not get down to the Shrewsbury Buttermarket for the latest gig by new rock gods (shurely shome mishtake, Ed) The Durutti Column.
Spotlight - Wim Mertens
Wim Mertens (born 14 May 1953) is a Belgian minimalist and contemporary-classical composer and instrumentalist.
His earlier work on Les Disques du Crepuscule was recorded under the name Soft Verdict, with key material that includes For Amusement Only (composed using pinball and arcade machines), Vergessen and Struggle For Pleasure, both of which contain several tracks used on the Belly Of An Architect soundtrack
Mertens's later material has typically been a mixture of solo-piano, vocal/piano and string/woodwind-ensemble recordings, some of which have included works comprised of multiple CDs and intricate repetitive cycles.
His key works, most of it initially released on Crepuscule then later licensed to EMI Benelux, include A Man Of No Fortune And With A Name To Come, Educes Me and Jeremiades.
Biography by Paul Pledger - with thanks.
Wim Mertens - Selected Discography