29 November 2010
Reminder 
Kevin Hewick, 12 Bar Club, tonight, GBP6 quid, clothes on.

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27 November 2010
More Angel Galore 
Good to see Fiona Allen - former Haçienda Maître D' and proprietor of Factory merchandising emporium FAC281: The Area - popping up in this evening's episode of BBC medical drama Casualty, playing Fraser Beaumont: a "whip-cracking administrative advisor".

Obviously the interview in Scream City 5 will have provided Fiona's profile a necessary boost.

Four minutes to satellite!

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25 November 2010
Central Station Paint Coronation Street Pt1 
Central Station Design present an official collaboration with ITV for the ongoing 50th Anniversary celebrations of the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. The Central Station team comprising Matt and Pat Carroll and Karen Jackson have produced a series of technicolour portraits of the soap's most famous stars.

The prints will be exhibited in an exhibition entitled Central Station Paint Coronation Street Part 1 at the Richard Goodall Gallery in Manchester from Friday 3 December until Saturday 15 January.

Central Station Design said "We are all massive Corrie fans, the long list of colourful characters that have lived on the street over the past 50 years, not only relate to us as people, but have come along at times that reflect the social and cultural dynamics of the world around us. Inspired by the hand-painted film posters from the golden age of Hollywood and Bollywood, we wanted to create a series of portraits that capture the unique and timeless personalities of such memorable and infamous characters. We wanted to bring this sense of nostalgic, technicolor glamour back, but at the same time update it with a Mancunian Central Station twist. It has been brilliant to put our stamp on the national treasure that is Corrie and be a part of celebrating what Tony Warren started 50 years ago."

Central Station Paint Coronation Street Part 1 is at the Richard Goodall Gallery in Manchester from Thursday 2 December to 15 January 2011.

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Richard Goodall Gallery
103 High Street
Manchester M4 1HQ

Tel: +44 (0) 161 834 3330

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Related content:

Hello Playmates
FAC OFF

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23 November 2010
Northside live @ Tivoli, Buckley Fri 17 Dec 
Northside play The Tivoli in Buckley on Friday 17 December 2010 with support from special guest DJ Mani and Full Fathom Five DJs.

Tickets priced £12.00 (+ booking fee) are on sale now via Seetickets.

Info line: 01244 546201

Doors open at 20:00.

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19 November 2010
Section 25 - The Factory Outing 
A reminder that Section 25 play The Factory, Manchester tomorrow Saturday 20 November.

This is followed on Saturday 11 December with their final gig of the year at The Beat Club in Blackpool.

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18 November 2010
Subterraneans + Kevin Hewick @ 12 Bar Club 
Kevin Hewick is one of Subterraneans' special guests on Monday 29 November 2010 at the legendary 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street, London. Madam complete the line-up and tickets are available priced six quid with an 8pm start.

In other Hewick-related news Kevin is supporting Section 25 at the Beat Club in Blackpool on Saturday 11 December and Kevin's power rock trio Hewick Haynes and James open for Diesel Park West at Leicester Musician on 17 December. HHJ will also contribute a few tracks to the new Hewick album which is being recorded from November through to the early New Year.

Finally, Hewick Haynes and James are the September boys for The Musician 2011 Unzipped nude charity calendar in aid of Rainbows Children's Hospice. It costs £10 from The Musician in Leicester or via their website www.themusicianpub.co.uk. It's a stocking filler. Ooh er, missus!

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17 November 2010
A Polite Joy Division postcards winner 
The winner of the recent Polite Cards Kevin Cummins Joy Division postcards competition as pulled out of the Cerysmatic hat is Rob Brady who correctly answered, along with nearly everyone else, that Steve Morris was the last of the four members of Joy Division to join the band.

Joy Division by Kevin Cummins is available to buy now online from the Polite Cards Shop.

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Postcard Box Set Special Boxed Edition
20 Postcards
148 x 105 mm / A6
Hand Made Box
Printed in England
RRP £25

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+ - ? ? 
Steve Morris, Peter Saville and Jon Savage will take questions from a specially wristbanded audience at the Rough Trade East store, London, on December 8th 2010.

Hosted by the NME's Paul Stokes, the event coincides with the release of the +- Joy Division seven inch vinyl boxset on December 6th 2010.

The session starts at 7pm (GMT) and is free to attend, but wristbands must be obtained from the store in advance - intially by purchasing +- thereafter on a first-come-first-served basis 1 hour before the event is due to start.

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14 November 2010
Unknown Pleasures: Celebrate Joy Division 
Peter Hook's The Light end the year with select tour of Italy before going coast to coast across the USA performing Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures. Whilst further international dates are planned for 2011, these are likely to be the only extensive visits to these countries.

Italy - November

Thu 25 - Magazzini, Milan
Fri 26 - New Age, Treviso
Sat 27 - Romaeuropa, Brancaleone, Rome

USA - December

Wed 1 - 9.30 Club, Washington
Thu 2 - Voyeur, Philadelphia
Fri 3 - Webster Hall, New York
Sat 4 - Royale, Boston
Sun 5 - Double Door, Chicago
Tue 7 - Showbox at the Market, Seattle
Thu 9 - Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
Fri 10 - Mezzanine, San Francisco
Sat 11 - The Music Box, Hollywood, Los Angeles

More details at Peter Hook's MySpace.

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11 November 2010
Subtraction 
After adding and taking away all the stories about the Teen-Beat / +/- / Peter Saville plagiarism affair it has finally been confirmed on Pitchfork that it was all a hoax/joke.

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Additional 
In a twist on the Peter Saville / +/- plagiarism allegations the band has made the following statement on their Facebook page:

"As far we know, we are not suing them. We're waiting to hear from Mark Robinson at Teenbeat but it would be a shock to find out this way. We're pretty certain that this is just a hoax."

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10 November 2010
Lawsuit filed against Peter Saville 
Teenbeat Records and the band +/- are suing Peter Saville over the latter's design for the upcoming previously-announced Joy Division 7" vinyl box set according to a report at Pitchfork.com by Tom Breihan.

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Hacienda Christmas Classics @ Sankeys 28 Dec 
The Hacienda returns to Sankeys on Tuesday 28 December 2010 with a very special Classics Christmas party as some of the original Hacienda DJs and guests, Graeme Park, Allister Whitehead, 808 State DJs and K Klass delve deep into their record boxes for a musical reunion of the finest quality.

Tickets are available from sankeys.info | ticketline.co.uk

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08 November 2010
Visualised in bleak monochrome 
Joy Division is the long-awaited and lavishly hardbacked collection of photographs by Kevin Cummins published by Rizzoli. Whereas 2007's Juvenes (To Hell With Publishing) was clearly, by virtue of its two hundred pound plus price tag, an art book, Joy Division, priced at forty-five US Dollars is pitched at a wider audience.

Despite the lower price, no expense has seemingly been spared on the book construction or the design and layout by Farrow Design. The orange-on-white text is mighty stylish if just a tad difficult to read. At a hefty 208 pages with over 100 photos there is a good balance between the stunning portfolio of black and white photographs and the supporting material comprising a foreword by Jay McInerney, preface by Kevin Cummins and an extended conversation between Joy Division's Bernard Sumner and Cummins.

In the Foreword, Jay McInerney, the author of Bright Lights, Big City, recalls how he had Joy Division's Closer on heavy rotation and at high volume during the writing process. He notes that it provided him with "a far richer emotional palate" than the Sex Pistols (the band who famously were the catalyst for the formation of Joy Division). Furthermore, he asks us to consider the track titles: "Failure, Disorder, Isolation, The Eternal, Something Must Break, In a Lonely Place. Joy Division indeed. In those pre-Internet days, I imagined that the name was purely ironic." McInerney's shrewdest observation though is that Kevin Cummins' photos are there for those of us not lucky to have been "there".

At the beginning of the conversation with Bernard Sumner, Kevin Cummins confesses that he kinda knows the history of Joy Division but that he would like to hear it from Bernard. So even the most basic band interview question "How did the band come about?" is lent a new angle. Who would have thought that Bernard was a Santana fan but it turns out that an early performance of theirs was "one the most amazing performances I've ever seen"!? We also learn that Bernard gives the Campaign for the Ian Curtis Bridge the thumbs-up. But perhaps the most appropriate exchange goes: Cummins - "I didn't want to do rock 'n' roll pictures"; Bernard - "I don't think we did, interestingly."

Kevin Cummins most certainly was "there". He notes in his Preface that he didn't always take his camera along with him because he didn't always want to be working when he saw the band and he wanted to "enjoy his youth". Another important detail was that taking his camera and shooting photos necessitated remaining sober but being one of the audience didn't. Fair enough! We can also perhaps deduce from the memorabilia photos which act as a preface to the book proper (and which also include other images of access passes, artwork, badges, lyrics, NME, notebooks, a postcard, setlists and tickets) that the gigs Cummins attended but didn't photograph included February 1980 at the New Osbourne, Manchester, November 1978 at the Check Inn, Altrincham, December 1979 at Les Bains-Douche, Paris, and September 1978 at The Band on the Wall, Manchester.
As a novice photographer in his first year out of art school, Kevin Cummins had no money and had to pay for his own film and processing. This set of circumstances could have proved to be a hindrance for most photographers but Cummins believes that the constraints forced upon him were a blessing in disguise: "Without the restrictions posed by film, I doubt that the photos would achieved such iconic status."

The iconic photos of Joy Division by Kevin Cummins can roughly be broken down into three main categories: the NME-commissioned shoot in Hulme/Manchester on 6 January 1979, the ones in T.J. Davidson's rehearsal rooms and, lastly, the gigs.
There are 17 photos from the famous snowbound session on that freezing cold Saturday in January 1979 which only took place because Manchester City's match was postponed. Everyone remembers these photos for the group shot on the footbridge in Hulme and the one of Ian Curtis smoking a cigarette and looking directly into the lens. Those are included here but so are fifteen others shot before and after. The band wanted to pose in front of a curved building near Victoria Station (it looks eerily prescient of rounded corner of the building which would later house the Hacienda) whereas Kevin suggested the bridge shots as it was on the "road out of Manchester". The other shots of the group, such as the band waiting for a bus or hanging around outside Manchester Cathedral have not quite attained such iconic status but they are fascinating historical documents. When viewed with the assistance of Cummins's note that the band kept on playing around trying to make Ian laugh (woe betide the editor who would ever include a photo of Ian smiling though!) it makes you wonder how, with such limited resources, Cummins got the moody shots he and the band were after.

Cummins visited Joy Division at their T.J. Davidson's rehearsal rooms on numerous occasions but his shots of them there all come from one day in August 1979. The darkness and shadows (the black compared to the snowbound Hulme's white, notes Cummins) are the perfect setting in which to have captured the band in a key moment of their development. Ian is pictured alone in the foreground of the room which is empty apart from isolated pieces of equipment and debris strewn everywhere. Ian is in suitably contemplative mood. There are further shots, both informal and posed, of Ian plus others of Steve, Hooky and Bernard and the famous group shot which adorns the sleeve of the UK version of the Joy Division film. There are 21 shots in all and not a smile to be seen!

The gigs section comprises 13 July 1979 @ The Factory but also De Montford Hall, Liverpool University, 2 October 1979, Futurama, Queen's Hall, Leeds, 8 September 1979 and the fabulously-named Stuff The Superstars Special, The Mayflower Club, 28 July 1979, the Last Night at the Electric Circus, 2 October 1977 and the Leigh Open Air Pop Festival (aka the Leigh Rock Festival), 27 August 1979. My favourite of these shows Ian Curtis flanked by Bernard and Hooky wielding their guitars and it's just a great shot of a rock group.

There's just one colour shot. According to Kevin Cummins he only ever took six such shots and those were sneaked in on the end of a roll of film featuring Buzzcocks. It was just "pointless" (and also a waste of money) to do Joy Division in colour. As Hooky would later point out to Cummins: "I only visualise them in bleak monochrome".

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05 November 2010
The Whole of the Past 
Wim Mertens played a stunning 90 minute set plus encores at a very nearly packed out Kings Place in London tonight. Accompanied for nearly all of the evening by Eric Robberecht on violin, Mertens played piano and sang pieces from his extensive back catalogue (even the most avid Mertens obsessives were left wondering what some of the tunes were - fortunately the programme was printed out).

This was Wim Mertens's first proper UK appearance and the fans turned out in force with Hall One very nearly full for this concert as part of the London International Festival of Exploratory Music. Mertens's trademark high-pitched vocals and intricate piano playing sounded crisp in this acoustically perfect setting. Robberecht's violin playing was precise and the two seemed to have a very good rapport on stage, Mertens repeatedly thanking him and the audience in between numbers.

The main set lasted just over 90 minutes and was followed by four slightly more familiar pieces including one from The Belly of an Architect (the Crépuscule album which received a vinyl release as FACT 195 on Factory).

Main setlist (as printed in programme)

Apatride
Zing'up
Finding a People
Unless The Hand Obeys
The Whole of the Past
According to the Real
Its Maschinewesen
And Bring You Back
Without Example
Not at Home
Tactility
At Home
No Testament

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Factory clearance 
Mark Holt (ex-8vo) is selling a few items from his Factory collection including FAC 2 A Factory Sample, FAC 6 Electricity by OMD, FAC 86 Hacienda model kit, FAC 235 Blue Monday flicker book, FAC 245 Madchester postcard set and FAC 251 Factory HQ opening invitation plus cd.

He is also selling a copy of the mega-rare Sordide Sentimental SS 45005 Enigma / Danny by The Durutti Column.

Mark's eBay ID is yellow_mark and you can find a complete listing of all his items here.

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04 November 2010
A presence you can feel 
Scream City 5 is back on sale eBay with Paypal (only) for GBP 3.00 plus worldwide shipping and handling.

This issue, which was first published in June 2010, features new interviews with Fiona Allen, Mark Reeder, Andrew Penhallow, Michael H Shamberg, Ike Yard plus The Distractions and much more.

Issues 1 to 4 are sold out.

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03 November 2010
Vini Reilly personal items for sale 
Vini Reilly is reluctantly selling a few items, some of which are quite unique with provenance, to finance his new audio-visual autobiographical album which will come out in spring/summer 2011, reports Phil Cleaver on kookydisc.co.uk.

The items for sale are as follows:-

1. ROLEX - OYSTER PERPETUAL 3/4-SIZE STAINLESS STEEL WATCH

This has been owned from new by Vini and is in fine working order. Also it has recently been serviced by a Rolex dealer.

He bought it over fifteen years ago having being inspired to do so after meeting Tim Page who is an English photojournalist who made his name during the Vietnam War. Having being blown up several times the first thing he bought with his royalties was a Rolex Perpetual. Vini followed suit.

It originally cost over £2000.00 and serious offers only will be considered.

PLEASE NOTE IT IS A 3/4 SIZE.


2. BOSS BR8 DIGITAL RECORDING STUDIO

Vini has used this on several albums since he purchased it in 1999. At the time it was one of the best home recording portastudios on the market. It has been used to produce not only several demos but also finished album tracks.

More technical specifications are readily available on the internet but I shall try and answer specific questions too.

Vini has a couple of unreleased tracks on the recorder and he is happy to record a couple more unique pieces for those who are interested.


3. GRADO STATEMENT SERIES GS1000 – AUDIOPHILE HEADPHONES

"The 'Rolls Royce' of headphones."

John Grado makes the most sublime headphones and these are rated 5/5 everywhere.

'beautiful, comfortable, crystal clear, wider soundstage with tight bass'

'These cans offer uncompromising fidelity. It's surprising how much more there is on most recordings'

Such quality commands them to be just under £1000.00 new. They are less than three months old, in 'like new' condition. All packaging etc is present.

There are also a couple of microphones which will be sold with the BR8 – an SM57 and a Sony ECM99 Digital Mic.

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If you are genuinely interested in any of the above items please contact Phil Cleaver at:

kookydiscs@btinternet.com [please put the words 'Vini Items' in the email subject]

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A Factory Records Trip to the Lake District 
Michael Winterbottom's The Trip started on BBC2 this week and is, as expected, an entertainment delight featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as loosely fictionalised versions of themselves.

Not surprisingly perhaps seeing as Steve Coogan starred as Tony Wilson in Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People (and Rob Brydon also had a bit part), there was a Factory reference in Episode 1 The Inn at Whitewell.

As our two protagonists drive into the Lake District in Steve's Range Rover, Steve explains why Atmosphere by Joy Division is playing on the stereo:

Rob Brydon: "Why are you listening to this!?"

Steve Coogan: "That's what I've chosen for the soundtrack for this landscape. It's not expected. You think of that as industrial. I associate that normally with an urban landscape."

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Episode 1 of The Trip, The Inn at Whitewell is available on BBC iPlayer (UK users only). The Trip continues on BBC2 next Monday.

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The Return of Anna Domino 
Cult Crépuscule/Factory Records artist Anna Domino returns with not one but two CD and download releases via LTM Recordings.

First up, the compilation After Twilight (LTMCD 2562) features brand new tracks and reworks by Crépuscule artists, including Anna Domino, Paul Haig, Antena, The Names, Blaine L. Reininger and Cathy Claret. Anna contributes two new tracks, Wonderkey and The Light Downtown, as well as a remake of her slinky 1984 classic Rythm. All that plus extensive sleevenotes by Paul Pledger.

And then there's a reissue of the acclaimed 1999 album Songs From My Funeral (LTMCD 2539), recorded by Anna with partner Michel Delory and released as Snakefarm. The album covers the musical bases from downtempo to trip-hop via folky electronica.

Both albums are out now and LTM has a special offer at the moment - purchase both the above albums and receive a third CD free of charge, chosen from any of the single-disc various artists compilations released on LTM. More details at ltmrecordings.com.

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02 November 2010
10 + - 7" = Joy Division vinyl box set 
Rhino has confirmed details of a Joy Division 10x 7" vinyl box set entitled + - to be released on 6 December in Standard and Deluxe formats and is intended as a tribute to Ian Curtis. Free downloadable high quality mp3s are also part of the deal for purchasers of the physical box set.

This new collection consists of ten vinyl 7" singles (some of which replicate tracks originally released in this format over thirty years ago) in a special presentation box. The music has been remastered from the original tapes by Stephen Morris and Frank Arkwright (Metropolis Studios). The tracklisting is compiled by Jon Savage (England's Dreaming, Joy Division) and everything is brought together under the creative direction of who else but Peter Saville.

+- is a numbered limited edition of 5000 copies. The Deluxe version, numbers 1-500, will contain a limited edition Peter Saville art piece as well as two exclusive promotional CDs + and -.

Tracklisting

1. Warsaw b/w Leaders Of Men
2. No Love Lost b/w Failures
3. Digital b/w Glass
4. Autosuggestion b/w From Safety To Where
5. Transmission b/w Novelty
6. Atmosphere b/w Dead Souls
7. Komakino b/w Incubation & As You Said
8. Love Will Tear Us Apart b/w These Days
9. She's Lost Control (12-inch Version) b/w Love Will Tear Us Apart 2 (Pennine Version)
10. Isolation b/w Heart And Soul

Thanks to Tim for spotting.

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01 November 2010
The typographic story of Octavo 
Idea (#343), a Japanese language typographical / design magazine features the full story (with pics) of Octavo the 8vo-designed journal of typography, first published in 1986.

The mag is a tad pricey at 2,829 JP YEN (about 21.50 GBP) and is available via Amazon.co.jp and other outlets.

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Maximizing The Audience 
A reminder that Wim Mertens, the Belgian composer, pianist and classical guitarist (and former Factory Records artist) plays at Kings Place in London on Thursday 4 November 2010 as part of the London International Festival of Exploratory Music.

Tickets are still available from the venue priced GBP 9.50 and upwards.

Thursday 4 November 2010
Hall One
Kings Place
19:30

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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