15 May 2004
Lone Ryder 
More details on the May 2004 edition of Grafik (the "Journal of the best in international design") which centres on design in The North. There's a small feature on Central Station Design, talking about Amateur Night In The Big Top / Clowns & Pet Sounds: "Things have been tough for Shaun Ryder since record company legal battles plunged him into penury. Not one to let the bastards get him down, however, Ryder is back with a solo project, Clowns & Pet Sounds, with cover art by Central Station Design (also responsible for Happy Mondays and Black Grape covers).

"The original idea for Clowns & Pet Sounds (or Amateur Night In The Big Top if you will) came from Shaun saying that he hated his future being in the hands of clowns in suits", Matt Carroll of Central Station says. "I came across an article saying that in 1936 The Daily Herald dismissed Hitler as nothing more than a clown. I loved the idea of the most evil man on the planet being mistaken for a clown." And lo, another unforgettable cover was born."

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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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