13 Oct 2003
South Central Reign 
"Matt and Pat Carroll would rather crack open a brew than pick up a pencil, they moan that they can't draw and can't paint, and yet they've provided the visuals for a major musical uprising. Their technicolour graphics, block(ed) capitals and casual images are already splashed across half the scrawny bodies and bedroom walls in the country. Having designed the visually eclectic covers for Happy Mondays, James and Northside, Matt and Pat have kicked art into the '90s, dusted off the cobwebs and made it accessible, relevant and fashionable. Through cutting corners, dribbling paint and clashing colours, their design company Central Station have taken art down from the top shelf and shoved it right back where it belongs, back to reality and into sticky fingers...."

So begins an NME article on Central Station from back in 1990 which deals with their early days in Art College, onto designing the early Happy Mondays and which centres on their exhibition 'Hello Playmates' of gaudy portraits of characters from British cultural folklore which ran in Manchester and then London at the time.

Their recent outings have been for Matt and Pat's brother Pete (who wasn't in Central Station) who teamed up with Shaun Ryder, Shane Norton and Stephen Mallinder to spectacular effect in Amateur Night In The Big Top and for Gorky's Zygotic Mynci whose album Sleep/Holiday was released in August and whose single Mow The Lawn came out last week.

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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