28 April 2012
X-O-Dus set for summer live dates 
Manchester reggae band X-O-Dus, best known for the Dennis Bovell produced single FAC 11 English Black Boys and currently with a similarly-titled album out on LTM are set to return to the stage this summer.

A warm-up gig at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton, Wirral, on 6 July 2012 is confirmed and will be the band's first gig for 30 years. More dates will hopefully follow and we will let you know as soon as we have details.

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27 April 2012
FBN 36 Short Stories for Pauline 
The long-lost Factory Benelux album by The Durutti Column, Short Stories For Pauline, is set to be released, complete with original FBN 36 catalogue number, on 18 June 2012 via LTM.

The album was originally recorded by Vini Reilly in Brussels in 1983 but was never released. The 14 tracks include College, Take Some Time Out and Duet. The latter was recorded with Blaine L. Reininger (Tuxedomoon viola player) but at Tony Wilson's insistence was pulled from the album and developed into what became FACT 84 Without Mercy and Short Stories… fell by the wayside.

Of course certain tracks have surfaced on official compilations including Crépuscule's Hommage à Marguerite Duras, this limited edition vinyl release will be the first time the original FBN 36 album has appeared in its entirety. New artwork has been prepared with the help of Crépuscule designer Benoit Hennebert and one of the 1000 copies of the vinyl album will entitle the purchaser to a free digital download version.

Tracklisting

At First Sight
Duet
College
Invitations
Destroy, She Said
Model
Journeys by Vespa
Take Some Time Out
A Silence
Mirror A
Cocktail
Telephone Call
Mirror B
A Room In Southport

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26 April 2012
Martin Moscrop's Manchester 10K 
A Certain Ratio's Martin Moscrop is running the Manchester 10K on 20 May to raise money for Venture Arts, a specialist in the provision of arts and crafts workshops for people with learning disabilities. Running over 1000 varied workshops to over 100 people a year, they provide a high quality arts experience in a friendly, stimulating and inclusive environment, focusing on bringing out the best in every individual, nurturing talent and enhancing overall wellbeing and quality of life.

Martin says: "By sponsoring me for the Manchester run you will be directly helping Manchester people who have a learning disability to take part in meaningful, creative opportunities which otherwise they would be unable to do.

"Many have already donated generously to this very worthy cause. Any amount, no matter how small, will help me reach my target. Please help me raise money for this excellent cause by going to my fundraising page."

www.charitygiving.co.uk/martinmoscrop

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22 April 2012
The Distractions live @ King's Arms Salford 
The Distractions will play their first gig since the mid-Nineties on Friday 31 August 2012 at the King's Arms in Salford with Occultation Recordings label mates Factory Star and The June Brides. Original members of The Distractions Mike Finney and Steve Perrin will be joined by new recruits. A London date for Saturday 1 September is also planned. Ticket details to follow. -- The King's Arms 11 Bloom Street Salford, M3 6AN More info at distractionsnothing

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12 April 2012
New Order/Happy Mondays @ Titanic Lockdown 
Belfast's Titanic Lockdown 2012 Festival on 1-2 June will be headlined by New Order and Happy Mondays writes Paul Pledger on allgigs.co.uk.

More info at titanic-lockdown.com

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FACTVM Factory Records 1978–1992 Exhibition 
Factory music fan Colin Gibbins presents an exhibition of his complete collection of the Factory Records discography at The Ice Plant in Ancoats, Manchester on 5-7 May in aid of local charity Forever Manchester.

A limited edition t-shirt designed by Trevor Johnson will be on sale at the FACTVM exhibition. This reworking of the original exhibition which Colin put on at the Ducie Bridge last year is back again (now with added Piers Adams - the missing item having been donated by no less than Piers himself).

The exhibition features a complete collection of all music releases on the Factory Communications Ltd label, in their original form, as issued at the time, including rarities, promos, test pressings and variations on cassette, CD and more.

Trevor Johnson has created the FACTVM identity for the exhibition, as well as limited edition merchandise to raise additional funds for the charity.

Colin comments: "I love Manchester, and I love Factory. We met massive enthusiasm for the small exhibition we did last year, and now my collection is complete I wanted to share it with others that share my passion, and by doing do raise money for Forever Manchester, a charity that supports the people that live here. It’s been a long journey to get here, with a huge amount of support along the way, and I cant wait to welcome people through the door to see this amazing collection."

Nick Massey from Forever Manchester added: "Forever Manchester is the Charity for people who have a passion for Manchester and Colin's passion for Manchester is obvious, the effort that he and his team of supporters have put into this exhibition to raise money for us is immense and for that we are extremely grateful. Manchester has a history of doing it our way, and Forever Manchester is about doing things the Mancunian way, and the FACTVM exhibition is a prime example of this."

The FACTVM exhibition will run from 11am to 6pm on Sat 5 and Sun 6 May and 11am to 4pm on Monday 7 May

--

The Ice Plant
Blossom Street
Manchester M4 6AJ

More info at factvm.com

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Peter Staessens Photography 
Check out peterstaessens.be for Factoryesque live photography featuring Section 25, The Names, Peter Hook, A Certain Ratio, Biting Tongues, Minny Pops, The Wake and more. The recently-updated site features pics the Plan K Factory nights in 2007 and 2009 plus and other European gigs.

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04 April 2012
All Was Numbered 
Kevin Hewick releases his new, Factory Records-inspired album All Was Numbered, on Monday 9 April 2012 on download from Hacienda Records. This will be followed by a wider release on iTunes, Beatport and Spotify from Monday 23 April 2012. The album, which is Kevin's 'a singing book' to the history and legacy of Factory Records, was recorded at Deadline Studios in Leicester in December/January 2011/12.

Tracklisting

1. Now Is Then
2. FAC 501
3. Overshadowplaying
4. Memory Stone
5. Out Of Order
6. Larry
7. French Jazz Station
8. Then Is Now

Kevin plays a selection of live dates in Spring 2012:

April

6 & 8 - 12 Bar Club, London
13 - The Criterion, Leicester
14 - Arts Centre, Kettering

May

13 - The Red Tent, Leicester
18-19 The Factory, Manchester (supporting Peter Hook and The Light performing 'Still')
31 - The Musician, Leicester, supporting Terry Reid

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Shakespeare: The Sonnets 
Robert Hollingworth, the Gramophone award-winning director of ex-Factory Classical ensemble I Fagiolini, presents a new collection of musical versions of the sonnets of William Shakespeare.

Out on the birthday of the bard himself - 23 April - these musical pieces were written during the time of Elizabeth I and re-imagined for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee year of Elizabeth II. Shakespeare: The Sonnets was recorded in London over the last 6 months.

The album is played on replicas of period instruments by some of the most highly talented and specialised musicians in the world. The harpsichords, virginals, lutes, harps and theorbos (no, me neither) can be yours for £10-20K (hey, it's cheaper than a Damien Hirst plastic skull!).

Watch a short YouTube video about the making of Shakespeare: The Sonnets.

Tracklisting

1. Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore (Sonnet 60)
2. Against that time - If ever that time come (Sonnet 49)
3. Who will believe my verse in time to come (Sonnet 17)
4. How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st (Sonnet 128)
5. O, never say that I was false of heart (Sonnet 109)
6. Love is too young to know what conscience is (Sonnet 151)
7. No longer mourn for me when I am dead (Sonnet 71)
8. Thou blind fool love (Sonnet 137)
9. Those lines that I before have writ do lie (Sonnet 115)
10. When I do count the clock that tells the time (Sonnet 12)
11. Shall I compare thee to summers day? (Sonnet 18)

More info at ifagiolini.com

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01 April 2012
Happy Mondays in MOJO 
There's an apparently exclusive interview with Happy Mondays in, oddly enough, issue 222 (May 2012) of Mojo magazine. All the original line-up plus ex-manager Nathan McGough are involved and on good form. But it seems that the tour billing should be slightly modified because Bez reveals that he won't be dancing on the upcoming tour but rather will be DJing and compering. This is because his "whole pelvic-leg region that's given up the chase".

MOJO is out now priced £4.50.

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Jez Kerr to support New Order in Scotland 
Jez Kerr out of A Certain Ratio and the Family Bizarre have been confirmed as support for New Order on the Scottish leg of their forthcoming UK tour. The play Glasgow O2 Academy on 5 May and Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 6 May.

For all of you going to watch New Order in Scotland, enjoy the support band a little bit more by hearing a few tracks off Jez's current album Numb Mouth Eat Waste at jezkerr.com.

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The Periodic Table of Factory Records 
Our sister site The Factory Records Catalogue has recently launched The Periodic Table of Factory Records, a graphical representation of the classic Factory Records (Factory Communications Ltd) catalogue. Based on the print version which appeared several years ago in Scream City fanzine, the table links to each of the catalogue entries and shows trends in the numbering of releases by the key protagonists in Factory's history.

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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