22 Apr 2004
Glorious 
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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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column