16 Feb 2004
The Shaun Ryder documentary 'The Ecstasy and the Agony' debuted on BBC3 on Sunday night (9pm, repeated at 1:55am). There's also an article in the Guardian on Saturday by the filmmaker Richard Macer entitled 'Straight But Not Great' (a reference to Ryder's current delicate predicament) which includes the classic line about Bez: "Shaun confided in me that most people can't understand a word his friend says and that I might want to consider subtitling him in the film."(!) We should remember that Bez is the man who wrote his autobiography 'Freaky Dancin: Me and the Mondays' in his own phonetic Mancunian patois. But that's why we like him!

Addendum: There's a not-so-complimentary review of The Ecstasy and the Agony in tonight's Evening Standard.



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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)

The Durutti Column