30 January 2007
Haçienda exhibition at Urbis 
Urbis is planning a major Haçienda exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the club's launch and to coincide with the Manchester International Festival.

They are putting out a call for all things Haç and are interested in the whereabouts of fittings such as the old bar, furniture, girders and even the toilets!

Also, if you have any personal ephemera from the Haçienda such as flyers, posters, tickets, etc, then they would like to hear from you.

You can email Urbis via this special Haç email address: hacienda@urbis.org.uk

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A top video of all things Manchester 
Thanks to Bobby Langley for this link to the video "manchester & bench" on YouTube. It takes us on a journey through everything Mancunian past, present and future including Happy Mondays, Central Station, Tony Wilson and the Haçienda.

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Northside live @ Lucorum, Barnsley, 8 April 
Northside play Lucorum in Barnsley, South Yorkshire on Easter Sunday, 8 April 2007. Support comes from Cuba plus guest DJs and very late bar.

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Pottsy on Channel M tonight 
David Potts aka Pottsy guests on 'City Centre Social' tonight at 22:00 GMT on Channel
M (Sky Digital 203, NTL Digital 878).
26 January 2007
Wire's 60 Concerts That Shook The World 

Happy Mondays' gig at the Limelight, Belfast, in 1989 is listed amongst '60 Concerts that Shook the World' in this month's Wire (February 2007).

This is quite interesting given they are amongst a list of experimental / avant garde / non-commercial acts typical of the magazine e.g. The Aka Pygmies, Autechre, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra etc. etc.

But then, strip away all the baggy hype, tabloid fodder, drug crap and the Mondays were very out there.

With thanks to Matthew Robertson.

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25 January 2007
Happy Mondays for Coachella 

Happy Mondays have been confirmed for last day of this year's Coachella Festival which runs from 27-29 April in California.

The somewhat stellar line-up also includes Arctic Monkeys, Jarvis Cocker, DJ Shadow, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Travis, Kings Of Leon, Rage Against The Machine, Air, CSS and many others.

Thanks to Mike on Faclist for spotting.

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21 January 2007
The All-New Unoffficial Jon The Postman 
The All-New Unofficial Jon The Postman website, www.jonthepostman.org.uk, is lovingly devoted to Jon The Postman.

And yes, he was once a postman but now he sells second-hand records.
Joy Division releases for 2007 
Joy Division Central reports on the extensive programme of releases of Joy Division material for the coming year including:

- remastered audio cds of Unknown Pleasures, Closer and Still;
- a reissue of Substance with a bonus dvd of 'Here Are The Young Men' (and expect the dvd to be released on its own too);
- a major Joy Division documentary by Grant Gee (famed for his films on Radiohead) with contributions from all major players; and
- another documentary (by Tom Atencio / Michael Shamberg) plus Plan K live footage on dvd

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19 January 2007
Northside live at Revolution Bar, Manchester - 22 Jan 
With thanks to Dermo on the Cerysmatic Factory Message Board:

Northside play the Revolution Bar on Deansgate Locks on Monday 22 January. Free entry before 8pm.

The gig will be broadcast live on Revolution Radio 96.2 fm.

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Central College Manchester 
Martin Moscrop, Tom Hingley and Jon Da Silva are all on the teaching staff at Central College Manchester. Head of the Music Department, Mr Moscrop sees only good in this line-up, as he told the MEN on 10 Jan.

With thanks to moist for spotting.
Get well soon Tony 
The Manchester Evening News talks to Tony Wilson as he recuperates in hospital following the removal of one of his kidneys.

Best wishes Tony and get well soon!

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The Durutti Column live at Primavera Sound 07, Barcelona 
The Durutti Column have been confirmed to play the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. The Festival is from 31 May to 2 June but the exact running order doesn't seem to have been confirmed.

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Peter Saville on selling out as Creative Review sells its soul 
magculture.com alerts us to the new edition of the magazine which has been produced by the Mother advertising agency which bought CR's soul for 15 grand.

Every edition comes with a Peter Saville "THIS IS NOT A BROTHEL..." sticker and has an interview with the man himself.
18 January 2007
James to reform? 
oneofthethree.co.uk, the excellent unofficial site, reports strong rumours that James are to reform for live shows and also that new material and a reworking of their Greatest Hits are in the offing.

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16 January 2007
John Peel 'Inside Out' on BBC NW this Friday 
This Friday 19 January at 19:30 a new film to be shown during the Inside Out programme on BBC1 NW examines John Peel's links with Rochdale, where he worked in a mill.

In 1959 John Peel bought recording equipment for Tractor in 1970 which would lead members of the band and their crew to set up various recording studios in Rochdale and Heywood, bought Tractor the PA system they used at Deeply Vale festivals, and played everything recorded at Cargo Studios, Rochdale on his radio show.

If you want to see a bit more about Peel's links to a town and how his money would help to create a music industry in the town of Rochdale where from the late 70's onwards, The Fall, Joy Division, The Teardrop Explodes, OMD, Gang of Four, The Chameleons, Inspiral Carpets, The Durutti Column, Dead or Alive and many more would come to record their singles and album tracks.

Taking part in the film are John Peel's wife Sheila Ravenscroft, and, from Tractor, Chris Hewitt their manager (and at one time owner of both the music shop and co-owner of the recording studio with Peter Hook from New Order at Kenion St, Rochdale), guitarist Jim Milne and drummer Steve Clayton.

Previously unseen archive film as well as a recent visit to a couple of the band's old recording haunts are seen in this BBC Inside Out production

If you live out of BBC North West region you can view the programme on Sky under the other regions choice for BBC1.

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12 January 2007
Peter Saville - "I was a mercenary, a hired killer" 
Patrick on the Creative Review blog (by the people who bring you the magazine) has documented the choicest quotes from a pre-Christmas talk by Peter Saville at the Architectural Association in London.

Topics covered include New Order, Factory Records, Manchester and Pentagram.

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Yo! Mat Cook @ Intro 
Whilst casually perusing the Yo! Sushi takeaway menu, Cerysmatic noticed that it was done by none other than Mat Cook @ Intro whose notable Factory connection is the sleeve for FAC 2.02 A Factory Sample Too.

Turns out that Intro has done all of Yo! Sushi's design (menus, posters, etc) for the last 3 years but they didn't do do the "scary logo".

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Peter Saville to design sleeve for new Brett Anderson album 
According to this thread on Brett Anderson's website forum, Peter Saville will design the sleeve for the ex-Suede and Tears man's forthcoming solo album.
10 January 2007
Original and modern thinking 
Last November Peter Saville spoke to mad.co.uk about the origins of "original modern" and what it means for the City of Manchester.
09 January 2007
Hooky to play Manchester Versus Cancer 2 
The Manchester Evening News yesterday reported that Hooky is the first confirmed artist for Versus Cancer on 30 March 2007. Echo and the Bunnymen and Ian Brown are also confirmed to play. Tickets go on sale this Friday 12 January 2007. Versus Cancer is Manchester's biggest fundraising event, raising money for cancer research and awareness.
Peter Saville's "wodcast" for the world of design 

World-of-design-cast - www.wodcast.org - is the new online home for podcasts featuring design discussion and debate.

They launch with Peter Saville and a discussion from the end of November 2006, at The Lighthouse, Glasgow.

04 January 2007
G-MEX reopens (and then closes) its doors to music 
Manchester's G-MEX reopened its doors to live music after a nine-year hiatus for a special gig by Morrissey to commemorate a further and final closure to music.

Famously, in terms of Factory history, G-MEX played host to seminal gigs by New Order, A Certain Ratio, Happy Mondays, James and the Tenth Event of FAC 151 Festival of the Tenth Summer. This last event clearly remains in Morrissey's mind because according to Chris Long's review of this final historic gig on BBC Manchester he said "I stood on this very spot 20 years ago playing with a music hall act you've probably forgotten."

You can join in the debate about what was the best gig ever (in a venue notoriously unsuited to gigs) on this BBC forum.

G-MEX, which was formerly the Grand Central railway station, will concentrate on being an exhibition centre following a refit.

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03 January 2007
Section 25 MOJO Mix-up 
MOJO sought out Section 25's drummer Vin Cassidy for his recollections of Ian Curtis and Joy Division in the Feb issue highlighted here yesterday. However, the caption to the photo they used said "Vin Cassidy, Secion 25 vocalist" and the picture itself was an old one of Lee Shallcross!

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Dazzle Ships in the A.V. Club's Hall Of Fame 
Sean O'Neal's retrospective review of OMD's Dazzle Ships, which has been placed in the Permanent Records: Albums From The A.V. Club's Hall Of Fame, is justified praise for a much-maligned album.
D-Side's Factory feature in French 

There are six pages on Factory Records in the October 2006 edition of D-Side which is a relatively new French music newspaper. No further details at present.

www.d-side.org

With thanks to Mathieu.

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Pet Shop Boys Versus Factory 
The excellent book 'Pet Shop Boys - Catalogue' (Thames and Hudson, ISBN 978-0-500-51307-1) by Philip Hoare and Chris Heath contains a number of insights relevant to ardent Factory fans and is a darn good read and beautifully put together to boot.

Main PSB designer Mark Farrow served his apprenticeship at Factory and brought with him many of Factory's design ethics as the following extracts show (with occasional annotations):

West End Girls

'the 12" sleeve was partly designed by Chris. It has a marked relationship to the design of New Order's Blue Monday 12" by Peter Saville (which emulated an early computer disc and was die-cut and ruinously expensive to produce) - the release of which was said to have brought Neil close to tears when it arrived at Smash Hits, so liberally did it seem to borrow from the. style of their favourite producer, Bobby 'O'.'

(Bobby 'O' would later, in turn, in a supreme irony, rip off Blue Monday. In a further twist, New Order would also do a live cover of Divine's Love Reaction which was a Bobby 'O' production!)

West End girls (remix)

Mark Farrow - 'I hated the original sleeve - the fact that there were two different typefaces, one of the typefaces had three different sizes in it, just everything about it I loathed and detested. I had the whole Factory ethic in my head. So the first thing I did was strip all the type off it, and we just had the coloured blocks and the background.'

(The myriad unofficial remixes like 'West End Sunglasses', put out by Bobby 'O' feature badly designed sleeves that have nothing to do with the Farrow designs, except for some "borrowed" typeface theft.)

Please (album, 1986)

'The design of Please, released in March 1986, was as minimal as its title. Virtually every detail was stripped away, leaving only an image barely bigger than a postage stamp, with the group's name and album title below. The effect was to draw the viewer in, towards what is ostensibly an innocent image, but is in fact one of seductive desire. Mark Farrow had designed a sleeve at Factory Records for the group Section 25 with a tiny photo on it, and had liked the way it looked. 'It's almost the starting point, when I design a cover, that it shouldn't look like a cover', says Farrow.'

Opportunities (single, May 1986)

'It's a kind of a Factory sleeve, really', says Mark Farrow. 'It was gold and silver because that's what money is. I don't remember there being any big decision about there not being a photo on it.'

Domino Dancing

'Again, that's like a Factory sleeve, but rather than finding something really obscure, it was a Polaroid of Neil and Chris. It was presenting everything to do with the record in a very matter-of-fact way.'

Behaviour

'In Japan the album was released also in a white velvet box, a fantastically impractical and almost fetishistic object to rival Factory Records' celebrated The Return of the Durutti Column, which came clad in sandpaper.'

(It might be added that the "velvet" box really has nowhere near the "fetish" aspects of FACT 14. But it does have an almost magnetic attraction to dirt and dust and it doesn't ruin the rest of your record collection.)

--

Furthermore, photographers like Robert Mapplethorpe, The Douglas Brothers, Wolfgang Tillmans, Trevor Key all did PSB and FAC work.

And then there's Electronic...

--

With thanks to OMNY.

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02 January 2007
MOJO's Bumper New Year Factory Fest 
The new issue of Mojo (February 2007) features cover star Ian Curtis and three articles on him and Joy Division to coincide with the imminent March release of Control and reissues of their music. Contributions come from Jon Savage, John Robb, Pat Gilbert, Peter Hook, Mick Middles, Lindsay Reade, Tony Wilson, Vin Cassidy, Kevin Cummins, Martin O'Neill, Richard Boon, Pete Shelley, Terry Mason (ex-JD manager) and Genesis P. Orridge.

Plus, the rest of the magazine contains a veritable deluge of FAC-releated material:

- a cover compilation cd entitled 'Love Will Tear You Apart' and containing Susanna and The Magical Orchestra's interpretation of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and 14 other "hand-picked tracks of hurt, pain & despair"

- John Cale on producing Happy Mondays' Squirrel and G-Man... (how he had to face taunts from Shaun Ryder that the strongest substances he took during the recording sessions were tangerines)

- reviews of David Potts's 'Coming Up For Air' (3*) and the recent Manicured Noise compilation on Caroline True Records (4*),

- a full-page advert trails Manchester Weekend on MOJO's own digital radio station (Sky Digital 0182, Freeview 721, www.mojo4music.com)

- sadly, a feature entitled 'Freaky Dancers" does not include Bez...

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FAC 461 at Foyles 
Foyles on Charing Cross Road has discounted FAC 461 Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album to 12.50 GBP in its New Year Sale. This excellent offer doesn't appear to extend to the Foyles website where copies are still on at 29.95 GBP. Thanks to Iain for spotting.

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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