30 May 2017
Alan Goes To Moscow 
Here's a transcript of a full and frank letter from Alan Erasmus to his contact "Yuri" ahead of his trip to the USSR which was famously commemorated by the FAC 126 poster 'Alan Goes To Moscow'. It it is quite unusual in that its stated aim is to "... explain more fully Factory's philosophy, and methods to present our art and ideas into a morally corrupt market place."

"Sunday 9th September 1984

Greetings Yuri

My apologies for the slight delay, but here is the letter you asked me to send you, outlining (briefly) the areas for discussion on my visit to Moscow (23rd to 26th October).

1. To discuss the feasibility of the importing, and/or license, of Soviet cultural achievements in the areas of:-

a) Contemporary Music
b) Film
c) Classical Music
d) Video Recording

2/ To hold talks with regard to, (though not necessarily on a reciprocal basis) the licensing, and/or import, of Factory (F.C.L) productions to the U.S.S.R. in the areas of:

a) Contemporary Music
b) Film
c) Video Recording

During these discussions I will explain more fully Factory's philosophy, and methods to present our art and ideas into a morally corrupt market place. In the west we are treated with a grudging respect, (the Americans admire our honesty and commitment, but find it difficult to relate to, or deal with, what they call "A Marxist Communications Company") but they cannot understand how we continue to remain successful, (2 to 3 million pounds per annum, rising, and yet, do not advertise (no hard sell, or promotion), divide equally the profits (Factory's share is used to finance the making of more films and music, or to fund socialistically aware projects, and has no written agreement, or contracts with the workers it represents (for years we have trusted the people we work for and they have trusted us).

I sincerely hope it is possible to arrange the appropriate meetings during my visit to your country, and look forward with enthusiasm, to my stay in Moscow, and your reply.

Contra Mundi

Alan Erasmus"

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28 May 2017
MancsGiving @ The Carlton Club 4 June 
MancsGiving @ The Carlton Club 4 June

MancsGiving is a charity event in aid of the victims of the events of 22 May 2017 from 4pm to 11pm and is being held at the Carlton Club in Manchester on Sunday 4 June. The Factory connection comes from The Distractions who have just been added to the line-up and possibly with Dr John Cooper Clarke who is on the awaiting confirmation list.

"After the tragic few days, the Carlton Club wishes to do something to return some love into the people of Manchester. We open our doors and our hearts to our community with MancsGiving. We urge you to come down and celebrate the Mancunian spirit. Artists and helpers near and far have donated their time to this cause and we humbly thank them."


Stella - Intastella
Dust Junky Collective feat Mc Tunes and Vince Vega
Ruff Trade
The Brakes
Rubber Duck Orchestra
Vieka Plays
The Exceptional Remarkables
Extra Love
Tim Wright
Thin Men
Ash Mouintain
The Distractions
Artful Artur and Will from NOD
Kit B
Open Community Voice Choir

Awaiting confirmation

Ken from the Step
Peter G
Fiddle Steve
John Cooper Clarke
Wyatt and the Amigos
Tuesday Tony
Melanie Williams - Sub Sub
Paul Gleave

+ Special Guests

"Acoustic or lightly amplified music outside and inside amplified music to your heart's content. The Buckateers will be at the club so please give to our lovely Buckateers."


The Carlton Club
Rowan Lodge
113 Carlton Road
Manchester M16 8BE

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The History Lesson - Stepping Out 
Stepping Out

The full catalogue of Factory Records FAC numbers is loved by everyone for its patterns and idiosyncrasies. In 1979, the nascent label was planning the first real wave of releases following on from the FAC 2 sampler and various events at The Factory. This flyer, entitled "Stepping Out" provides more detail and whilst some is familiar there's a few curveballs indicating what might've been.

Notably it seems that "instrumental album" by The Durutti Column was once scheduled to be FAC 12 and The Distractions' first single was slated as FAC 14. These would eventually swap and get different titles ("Pillow Talk" was actually "Pillow Fight", the eventual FAC 12 b-side).

FAC 13 was also going to be a badge before turning into "Transmission", the first single by Joy Division. I assume that this was the same badge that came out as FAC 21.

Finally, FAC 15 was originally going to be a single by Elti-Fits but turned into the Leigh Festival/Zoo Meet Factory Halfway event held in Leigh.


FAC 5 A CERTAIN RATIO "All Night Party" 7" 45rpm Out now
FAC 6 ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES "Electricity" 7" 45rpm Out now
FAC 9 FACTORY FLICK "No City Fun" 8' 16mm July
FAC 10 JOY DIVISION "Unknown Pleasures" 12" 33 1/3 rpm July
FAC 11 X-O-DUS "English Black Boys" 7" 45rpm To be mixed
FAC 12 THE DURUTTI COLUMN Instrumental album 12" 33 1/3 rpm August
FAC 13 BADGE Fac thirteen with pin July
FAC 14 THE DISTRACTIONS "Pillow Talk" 7" 45rpm August
FAC 15 ELTI-FITS "Thirty Miles" 7" 45rpm August


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27 May 2017
A City United 
A City United

Sunday 4 June
3pm - 11pm
@ The Deaf Institute, Manchester

Raising money for families affected by events on 22 May 2017.

Peter Hook + The Light
A Certain Ratio
Marshall Jefferson
Mr Scruff
Badly Drawn Boy
The G-O-D
Mary Ann Hobbs
Graeme Park
Dave Haslam
Jimi Goodwin
Steve Cobby
Denise Johnson
Alfie Sky
Andrea Trout
Blood & Fire Soundsystem
Emotional Pop

[update: 30 May - this event is now sold out]

Tickets priced 20.00 GBP each are now available to buy now.

T-shirts kindly donated by buytshirtsonline.co.uk will be for sale at the gig.

More info at the People Over Borders official website and Facebook page.

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26 May 2017
A flavour of the label 
FACT 220 Bummed label

Factory was highly noted for the quality of its graphic design which featured on everything from badges to posters to the records themselves. Once you got past the outer sleeve of a record it didn't stop there though as these 12" and LP labels prove. Central Station's loud and brash design for Happy Mondays is in complete contrast with the Factory Classical branding developed by Peter Saville, Brett Wickens and others.

FACT 256 Rolf Hind label

Central Station showed another side to their talents with the bright and bold FAC 228 for Karl Denver.

FAC 228 Wimoweh label

Meanwhile, the FAC 257 Getting Away With It label by Peter Saville Associates for Electronic retains only the typography from the sleeve artwork in a minimalist approach.

FAC 257 Getting Away With It label

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column