30 January 2007Haçienda exhibition at Urbis
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
M (Sky Digital 203, NTL Digital 878).
26 January 2007Wire'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.
25 January 2007Happy 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.
21 January 2007The All-New Unoffficial Jon The Postman
And yes, he was once a postman but now he sells second-hand records.
- 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
19 January 2007Northside live at Revolution Bar, Manchester - 22 Jan
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.
With thanks to moist for spotting.
Best wishes Tony and get well soon!
Every edition comes with a Peter Saville "THIS IS NOT A BROTHEL..." sticker and has an interview with the man himself.
18 January 2007James to reform?
16 January 2007John Peel 'Inside Out' on BBC NW this Friday
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.
12 January 2007Peter Saville - "I was a mercenary, a hired killer"
Topics covered include New Order, Factory Records, Manchester and Pentagram.
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".
10 January 2007Original and modern thinking
09 January 2007Hooky to play Manchester Versus Cancer 2
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 2007G-MEX reopens (and then closes) its doors 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.
03 January 2007Section 25 MOJO Mix-up
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.
With thanks to Mathieu.
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.'
'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.'
'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.
02 January 2007MOJO's Bumper New Year Factory Fest
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...
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