29 Sep 2003
Prolific 
Alongside Space Monkeys, Hopper and The Durutti Column, The Sixths were in the first (only?) roster of Factory Too bands.

Essentially a one-man-band - Stephin Merritt - they are certainly intriguing. Their first album Wasps' Nests (1995) which was released on Factory Too is still available in the USA on Polygram. The second album, Hyacinths and Thistles (2000), is also still in print and, like the first one, is highly rated.

Merritt has brought in a plethora of guest singers to sing his material including artists as diverse as Gary Numan, Anna Domino, Bob Mould, Clare Grogan and Marc Almond to mention but a few. As well as The Sixths, the prolific Merritt also founded and has recorded with Future Bible Heroes and Magnetic Fields.

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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