22 Apr 2004
On 24 July 1981, The Durutti Column, A Certain Ratio and Kevin Hewick played a Factory mini-festival at Kaivopuisto Park, Helsinki, Finland. As previously reported here, this event was documented on Fact 56 A Factory Video on the track 'The Missing Boy' by The Durutti Column. Here is an extract from Kevin Hewick's reminiscences of the event, taken from full version which also features photos and video stills:

"The Finns were lovely people, great fans of the UK music scene and very pleased to have us playing there. The Kaviopuisto Park concerts were held every Sunday - Paul Jones and The Blues Band had done the one before.

Ratio, now with American Tilly on vocals with Simon Topping, were at their height of that era, extraordinarily good live - Donald Johnson just shone and seemed to steer it, really he was the most talented of any of the bands. I honestly think Tony missed out on a developing a talent who could have been a major artist in his own right - I'm sure Donald himself would laugh at that notion! Vini was a frail little bird, a mournful fellow who I loved dearly. On the 'plane back I sat next to him and he was about fading away.

On the plane to there I'd sat with Tony. Tony: "I'm having a Cointreau do you want one?" Me (betraying my council estate roots) "Whats a Cointreau?". Ah, if only I'd have said "What's a fookin' Cointreau" Tony would have hailed me as the greatest poet since Keats and there'd have been no Shaun Ryder!

There were also 2 shows at a grand 18th century building called The Old Student House and New Order had done there too. Someone said New Order actually weren't very good at their Old Student House show - see, already paying the price of not getting me in on vocals after all!

We stayed at a big hotel, 'The American Hotel', with a great bar in the round - astonishing buffet breakfast served there too. I shared a room with Donald Johnson and John Hollingsworth who later became 2nd in command at Warners UK A&R and, with Margaret Thatcher was to blame for the Eighties, (he gave us Howard Jones and the like) slept on our floor. He'd hitch-hiked there using me as a way to get to Wilson. Of course when John did get to the top from Cherry Red records (he failed to worm his way in at Factory) to Warners friends like me and Eyeless in Gaza were dropped like hot spuds.

15,000 people! I never faced so many before, never again. A glorious summer day - though the nights were also filled with sunshine, 2AM on the park like 2PM in England and it all felt so safe, no hassle with anyone, nothing like that".

Many thanks to Kevin Hewick.

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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