19 September 2008
Dark side of the M 
Once upon a time seasoned Manchester watchers could guess when the bigwigs were in town as the screaming TAG vans would suddenly be replaced by pairs of shiny, happy, multiracial policemen and women having fun on the beat, signifying that some royalty or IOC or other were enjoying the local council's largesse.

Nowadays it's a bit more obvious, what with the with cordons, tank-traps, helicopters, security seals, road-closures and snipers hiding behind.....Peter Saville branding!

As a swathe of central Manchester is in lockdown for the annual conference of the right-wing neocon New Labour Party, once again selective parts of the city centre are festooned with full on security trimmings and a new incarnation of that Manchester M logo.

First aired in 2006 as part of Saville's Original, Modern treatment for the branding of the city, the new series consists of a number of lamppost banners and a 'The City of Manchester welcomes the Labour Party Conference 2008' poster, on view, probably, until the apparatchiks and party faithful leave town early next week.

The veneer of democracy.

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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

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