23 Dec 2003
A Fac-related tale for Christmas from the sleevenotes by Kevin Pearce (2001) to 'Smash The System', the Saint Etienne retrospective...

"So, when colleagues cornered you and asked the dreaded question: 'So what music do you like?', the words Saint Etienne were a godsend. Everyone seemed to know or have a soft spot for the Etienne. And when eyebrows were raised at arms aloft, shirt off antics, it was okay to say: 'Oh, I've been at it since K-Klass learnt to spell. You should come up and see my Saint Etienne 12s sometime.' If you then blew it by saying you swore by an old Network techno compilation with John McCready sleevenotes mentioned Life's Tell Me, then that's fine as the most snobbish electronica anorak approved of your Saint Etienne vs Aphex Twin Who Do You Think You Are 12."

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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)

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