30 Jun 2004
Referential 
Whilst ostensibly taking a Fac-break on holiday in New York City it was impossible to completely detune. On the condensed tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) the painting Ariadne, 1913 [Oil and graphite on canvas] by Giorgio de Chirico [official site in Italian] fell into view. Famously, Peter Saville borrowed one of de Chirico's works [The Evil Genius of a King] for the cover of Fac 103 Thieves Like Us. In his book, 'Designed by Peter Saville' he recalls, "Trevor (Key) and I had long wanted to do a metaphysical piece, and I decided Thieves Like Us would be the last piece of straight historical referentialism. 'It's called "Thieves Like Us", so let's just do it.'.

Another day, another museum: this time Frank Lloyd-Wright's 1950s masterpiece the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. Towards the end of the 'Speaking With Hands' photography exhibition, there was a piece by Barbara Kruger who once designed a poster for The Perfect Kiss for New Order:

[from the Of Factory New York catalogue]
"The Perfect Kiss film poster, 1985
red, white & black
24 1/2" x 24 1/2"
Designed by Barbara Kruger"

Inevitably museums end in the shop and in the Guggenheim's there was a Lawrence Weiner book entitled 'Nach Alles / After All', which documents the exhibition of the same name at the Guggenheim in Berlin.

Thanks to OMNY for hospitality.

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24 Jun 2004
Gabrielle's Wish 
Gabrielle's Wish, who recorded for Rob Gretton's Manchester Records, have reformed after a year out from making music. There are plans for touring and a new album is in the pipeline. The band have been rehearsing at Butterfly Music with former drummer Bo Walsh.

The new official website address is the easily memorable www.gabrielleswish.com.

Thanks to MickANewOrderFan for info.

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Dome-o arigato 
The Durutti Column play the Brighton Dome on Sunday 3 October 2004.

Dome box office details:

Web: www.brighton-dome.org.uk
Tel: +44(0)1273 709709
In person: 29 New Road, Brighton, BN1 1UG

Tickets go on sale to priority 'Dome Founders' booking on 19 July and thereafter on general sale on 29 July. Ticket prices are unconfirmed as of yet - more details as they become available.

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23 Jun 2004
Cool 
Check out an excellent book on 'the greatest singles since punk and disco', called 'This is Uncool' by Gary Mulholland which features singles by many Factory artists:

'Nag Nag Nag' by Cabaret Voltaire
'Transmission', 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and 'Atmosphere'/'She's Lost Control' by Joy Division
'Shack Up' by A Certain Ratio
'Everything's Gone Green', 'Blue Monday', 'Confusion', 'The Perfect Kiss' and 'True Faith' by New Order
'WFL', 'Madchester EP' and 'Kinky Afro' by Happy Mondays

Thanks to Matt for the tip off

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Positive 
Last year The Durutti Column wrote the music for and played live at an exclusive series of performances at Glasgow's The Tramway. The performance was entitled 'The Treatise on the Steppewolf'. There were only two newspaper reviews of the show and unfortunately the only one Cerysmatic Factory has had posted for the last year has been the negative one! At long last then, here is the positive review, from the Herald.

Incidentally, the Steppenwolf show was written and directed by Gerard McInulty aka Caesar from The Wake (and now The Portal).

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22 Jun 2004
The Portal 
The Portal is the brand new music project of Carolyn Allen and Gerard McInulty (alias Caesar), who are formerly main members of Factory band The Wake. Their first recording titled 'Jesus From The Block' is on the French compilation album POPvolume#4. Visit popnews.com (and follow the links to POPvolume#4) for a full tracklisting and details of how to buy. An English language version of information is available. The Portal's sound so far is a meditative and minimalist mix of guitar, keyboards and echoing drums loaded with dual vocals and surreal storytelling: "Jesus from the block / His beard grows long / He is turned away from Starbucks..."

The track was recorded and (un)mixed by Steven Clark at 7A Recording Studio in Glasgow, Scotland. The compilation is only available in French stores and through the POPnews website. Caesar's editorial "About Music" for the POPnews webzine, written in 2002! around the time of the LTM Wake reissues, is presently available here.

The details

Personnel: Carolyn (vocal and keyboards) and Gerard (vocal, acoustic guitar and drums)
Duration: 4:23

Check out The Wake's official website.

Thanks to Caesar for info.

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21 Jun 2004
No selecta 
Full details of the selections of Peter Hook and Bez in the Observer Music Monthly poll of '100 critics, industry figures and pop stars' are unavailable. However, some light is shed on the latter's choices on the OMM website. Each pollster was asked for "a list of the 10 records they consider the best of British, excluding compilations".

It continues: "Not every pop star heeded this last rule and Bez from the Happy Mondays gave us a list in which 6 of the 10 acts involved are not British. For reasons that remain obscure, he felt unable to revise his selection, but in this instance and elsewhere, invalid choices have been excluded from our calculations".

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Definitive? 
The Observer Music Monthly's 100 Greatest British Albums (The Definitive Poll) contains four Factory albums.

No. 18 Joy Division 'Closer' ("Out of tragic isolation comes innovation")
No. 30 Joy Division 'Unknown Pleasures' ("Mancunian miserabilism par excellence")
No. 44 Happy Mondays 'Bummed' ("Magic plus drugs equals brilliance")
No. 65 New Order 'Power, Corruption and Lies' ("Out of darkness comes light")

The Top Ten was:

1. The Stone Roses 'The Stone Roses'
2. The Beatles 'Revolver'
3. The Clash 'London Calling'
4. Van Morrison 'Astral Weeks'
5. The Beatles 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
6. The Beatles 'The Beatles' (The White album)
7. The Rolling Stones 'Sticky Fingers'
8. The Rolling Stones 'Exile on Main Street'
9. Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'
10. P.I.L. 'Metal box'

The OMM asked each of 100 musicians, industry figures, broadcasters and journalists who made up their distinguished panel to supply a list of their 100 greatest British albums of all time. The panel included Bez and Peter Hook. Other notable panellists were Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Paul Morley, Simon Raymonde, Alan McGee, Terry Hall, Pete Tong and Jimi Goodwin. For the full list and more details check out the OMM website.

As with any poll, there are notable omissions: Pulp, Suede, Saint Etienne, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Cure, etc, etc...

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20 Jun 2004
Community 
Designer Mike Nguyen (USA), musician Alejo Parella (Argentina) and webmaster of neworderonline Nicolas LeBlanc (Canada) - all long standing fans of New Order have created a CD as a tribute to their favourite band. Using the vehicle of neworderonline.com they ran a competition for other fans to submit their own cover versions of classic New Order (and Joy Division) tracks and a few from the band's side projects. This kind of compilation CD has been attempted before, yes, but not on the same kind of scale.

Every track on the CD was voted for by subscribers to neworderonline.com, with an elimination round for each batch of tracks, so this CD is truly a representation of the tastes of New Order fans across the world. Accompanying this release is a CD EP, containing further cover versions, both by bands featured on 'Community' and those that didn’t quite fit the mould, but still deserved an airing. That makes twenty four tracks in total – around a third of the total submissions.

The details

Community – A New Order Tribute
Cat no: RETRO-01 (Community Album)
Cat no: RETRO-02 (Community EP)

Release date

1 June 2004

Tracklistings

Community Album [information and samples]

kREMLIN - Sooner Than You Think
Captain Black - Procession
Evaluna - Thieves like Us
Labster - Face Up
Project Wintermute - Transmission
Unfaith - True Faith
Cloudless - Some Distant Memory
Slightlynarrow Soundsystem - Heart And Soul
C Bentley - In A Lonely place
Dance Upon Nothing - Bizarre Love Triangle
International - The Perfect Kiss
Flight - Dreams Never End
Spiral Of Silence - Dead Souls
La Fin De Tout - 586
The Minus One - We All Stand
Almanso - Angel Dust

Community EP [information and samples]

Almanso - Ceremony
The Minus One - Dreams Never End
C Bentley - Temptation
Manumatic - Love Less
Almanso - Angel Dust (Remix)
Known Pleasures - Leave Me Alone
Nemesis - Crystal

Some of the featured artists have been faithful to the original recordings and others have approached their favourite tracks in truly original and innovative ways. Regardless of approach, the quality of each cover version on this CD truly speaks for itself and each one reflects the hours of hard work involved. Any one of the featured tracks on the 'Community' project would quite easily stand up as an excellent piece of work on its own – of high enough quality – both performance and production – to be featured in the playlist of any forward-thinking radio station.

To hear streaming audio of the submissions that didn’t make the final release, for whatever reason, please log on to the internet and visit: http://www.neworderonline.com/Community/

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18 Jun 2004
Sweetly acerbic 
Stephin Merritt (The 6ths, The Magnetic Fields) answers another one of those questionnaires (in fact the same one Vini Reilly did a while ago) in Time Out. Here is a selection of his answers:

Have you ever sung karaoke? I haven't. When occasionally my friends ask me to sing karaoke, I have a great excuse, which is that I sing for a living. No money, no singing!

So, do you live on takeaways or eat out? I eat out. Everyone in New York eats out - we don't really have kitchens here.

Who's the most famous person you've ever met? John Lennon. I was at the Syracuse Children's Museum in the early 70's; he and Yoko Ono were having a show there. I walked up to him just as he was taking a chisel to a block of ice and asked him what he was doing. He said, 'I'm carving an iced tea' - and it turns out he was in fact carving a large letter 'T'.

What's your favourite animal? My dog, Irving. He's a five-year-old chihuahua.

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Down to the bone 
Tim Booth's debut solo album 'Bone' is reviewed in the 9-16 June edition of Time Out. This extract suggests that it will be a wise purchase: "The album opens with a flurry of heady rhythmic anthems and then goes on an almost psychedelic journey on 'Falling Down'. Booth even flirts with the kind of lowslung pop drawl that Bono might do if he could ever tear himself away from those three other Irish fellas".

Q magazine also chips in with: "Welcome return of James singer... the Brighton-based culture vulture has rediscovered his musical appetite".

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The Long Good Friday 
Ex-Fac no-wave funksters ESG support the mighty Beta Band at London's Brixton Academy on Friday 2 July 2004. Other support comes from Dead 60's and DJ Mani (Primal Scream).

The details:

9pm - 3am
Tickets: £18.50 adv from 0870 771 2000, CC Hotline 020 7287 0932, Stargreen 020 7734 8932, Way Ahead 020 7403 3331.

All tickets subject to booking fee. Buy online: www.gigsandtours.com.

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17 Jun 2004
Magnetic Fields in Toronto 
The Magnetic Fields show in Toronto, on 2 July 2004 is sold out. A second show, on 3 July, has been added. Tickets are on sale now at www.musictoday.com, and from Monday at Rotate This, Soundscapes, and www.ticketmaster.ca. Thanks to Paul Boyd for info.

[OT: Spotted in Hammersmith this afternoon - none other than The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon taking a stroll in the English sunshine]

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16 Jun 2004
Works 
An excellent new site devoted to 'Peter Saville related works for sleeves, covers and packages' entitled 'Sleeve designed by Peter Saville' has just been launched by Tosq. The site contains an extensive discography with details and imagery of many, many, many recordings for which Peter Saville designed the sleeve.

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14 Jun 2004
Tony 'n' Shaun On One 
Tony Wilson DJ's for the first time with Shaun Ryder at Get Loaded, 1 July 2004 at Turnmills. For more info check out the message board at www.get-loaded.co.uk.

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Get Loaded In The Park 
On Sunday 22 August 2004 Happy Mondays will take to the stage for a very special live performance on a lazy, sun-drenched Sunday afternoon on Clapham Common, London. Tickets have just gone on sale and will sell out almost immediately.

Shaun Ryder, June 2004: "For me this is about putting something back in. I've been working with Get Loaded and Kav for some time now and when the lads came up with the idea and said we'd be pushing loads of new bands as well, it just seem only right to be involved. I'm not dealing with corporate's here, I'm dealing with a group of lads who just wanna make something happen!"

Get Loaded In The Park is "as much about supporting new bands, ideas and concepts as it is about putting on The Mondays". Get Loaded promoter Kav explains this philosophy: "It's about giving new talent the chance to shine through - bands that possibly haven't had the opportunities, the money or the backing in the past to showcase their talents to a wider audience. Get Loaded in the Park is the opportunity of a lifetime and we fully intend to make everybody aware of our beliefs and what we stand for. We receive anything up to 100 CDs a day from unsigned bands, so the festival idea was the logical next step."

Special guests including Mike Pickering & Graeme Park (Haçienda), Shaun Ryder & Bez, Arthur Baker (Return to New York), Peter Hook (New Order), Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets), Mike Joyce & Andy Rourke (The Smiths), Pat Long (NME), Shaun Keaveny (X-FM), Kav, Poss ↦ Aron (Get Loaded), Jonny and Sarah (Ten Benson), Jonny DJ and the All Star DJ Jam will be taking you back to where it all began with exclusive DJs sets, spread over three stages.

The event also features "some of the UK's hottest up-and-coming new bands and unsigned talent" including The Cribs, THE Ludes, THE Stabilisers, Lysakoski, The Violets, Dwarf Orgy, Devil and Miss Jones, Jism, Headland, The Dukes, The Crowd, Intraverse, Art Brut (Acoustic Set), The Broken Dolls, Lender, The Seen, The Faculty, Imperial Leisure, plus surprise acoustic sets on the day!!

Also on stage will be Domino Bones - Bez's new band, who'll be making an exclusive UK debut performance.

More DJs and Special Live Acts are still to be confirmed. For more information check out: www.getloadedinthepark.com. The full site will follow next week, with news, travel details, photos and biogs of all the acts playing.

Ticket news

Tickets are on sale now exclusively through Ticketmaster, priced £20/££25. The first 1500 tickets are priced at only £15. Please go online at or call the "Get Loaded in the Park" 24 Hour Ticketmaster number on 08700 601 801.

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13 Jun 2004
Archived 
Due to popular request here is a link to the old Durutti Column page on the Fac 2.07 Factory website courtesy of our friends at the Wayback Machine. The page includes info on the (aborted) launched of the Kiss of Def single, the Sex and Death CD-ROM and "some small files to spruce up your desktop" including short .wav sound samples of Vini's guitar.

You may say "hey, what about Space Monkeys and Hopper and the Sixths!?", in which case here's a link to the generic Wayback page containing all the archived versions of the whole site. This contains (at the moment) the various updated versions from Dec 96 to July 97.

Thanks to Bruce (not THE Bruce) for inspiration.

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Rattle and Roll 
The summer release schedule receives a big kick in the pants with this news in from Pete Carroll in Australia: "A new single by Bez and Shaun Ryder with Domino Bones will be released in Australia in July. It's called "Rattle my Head" and is Bez's debut as a vocalist. Shaun sings with him. It's a cross between the Rolling Stones, Black Grape and Bez on a box in Hyde park speakers corner delivering a revolutionary message..."

There is no better time for a man from a council estate to rise up and bring this country to a halt". The record was recorded in Manchester and Perth Western Australia. Bez put his parts down in the UK, while Shaun recorded his vocals in Pete's studio in Australia. The loads of slide guitar and a big Mick and Keef chorus. Bez and Shaun leading the charge for the revolution. It's real, it's honest, it's fresh and it isn't a piece of corporate bullshit put together in a marketing department of some major record company. Shaun and Bez retain their independence - how many people in music can you say that about. They've always done it on their terms. In an age dominated by pop idol and marketing people and accounts we need their spirit more than ever!!"

Thanks to Pete.

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11 Jun 2004
Pop pays better 
The Magnetic Fields kicked off their sold out 3-night sojourn at The Lyric in Hammersmith on Thursday and continue on through to Saturday. The HouseOfTomorrow.com has news of forthcoming dates in the USA. The newly-revised schedule is:

June

24: Minneapolis, MN: Pantages Theatre
25-27: Chicago, IL: Old Town School of Folk Music (Two shows Sat and Sun)
29: St. Louis, MO: The Pageant
30: Columbus, OH: Wexner Center for the Arts

July

1: Detroit, MI: Theater at Second City
2: Toronto, Ontario: Trinity Saint Paul's United Church
17: Los Angeles, CA: Wilshire Ebell Theatre
19/20: San Francisco, CA: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

The site also contains a profile of the The 6ths ("every lisper's nightmare"!) which features a revealing connection with Momus, whose 'The History of Sexual Jealousy Parts 17-24' from the Creation Records compilation Doing It For The Kids is a personal favourite.

Finally, there's an interview with the multi-talented, multi-group (Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, The Gothic Archies) and, apparently, slightly reticent, Stephin Merritt in The Independent online edition from back in May.

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6 Jun 2004
Rivals fight 
Rivals fight for Joy Division singer's biopic. Apparently there is another. Biopic that is. Vanessa Thorpe writes in the Sunday 6 June 2004 of The Observer: "Ian Curtis, the troubled frontman of Joy Division who committed suicide at the age of 23, is still mourned by his fans as the lost musical voice of an era. Now his legacy is to be re-examined not once, but twice, in rival films which are being developed around Curtis's life story."

Read the full story here.

Thanks to Ash.

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5 Jun 2004
Unification 
"Peter Saville is Britain's best-known graphic designer and the first Creative Director of Manchester. Saville will talk about his plans to unify the city's image, as well as about his album covers for New Order, Roxy Music and Factory Records, and his collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto and Stella McCartney."

Venue: Nash Room, ICA, Fri 25 Jun 2004, 19:00 (BST).

Admission prices:
Full price : £8.
Concessions : £7.
ICA members : £6.

Thanks to Conor.

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4 Jun 2004
Boiling point 
Back in May, The Durutti Column played a sensational gig at The Buttermarket in Shrewsbury, England. Check out the photos courtesy of promoter extraordinaire John Kertland (including the extraordinary Bruce Mitchell's red boiler suit!).

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3 Jun 2004
Tim Booth 
Tim Booth the ex-James lead singer, is appearing on Janice Long's Radio 2 show on Wednesday 9 June at midnight (BST) to talk about his new solo album.

Also, whilst not explicitly Fac-related (give him time), it is worth noting that Mark Radcliffe starts his own new Radio 2 show on Monday 7 June at 10.30pm (BST).

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2 Jun 2004
The Blackpool Connection 
The Blackpool Connection has this to say: "Tunnelvision have now completed their two-song demo.. Pompeii and Psychopath.... Now gigs are being planned... Stay tuned."

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1 Jun 2004
Confusion 
The New Order single Confusion was the result of an extraordinary collaboration bringing together the opposing temperaments represented by New Order's methodical pursuit of excellence and Baker's poltergeist spirit. Though it began as an uneasy experiment, New Order rose to the challenge of working at speeds and in conditions unknown to them.

In this classic NME interview with New Order from 1983 the band explain how Confusion came about.

"It's the only time we ever sat down to write," recalls bassist Peter Hook with a shudder. "And God, was it hard! Arthur Baker just stood there staring at us, sort of going, 'go on, write something', and we were walking around in circles thinking, 'fucking hell, isn't it time to go home yet?' We don't normally work well under pressure."

"He'd start a drum machine off and send one of us in saying, 'have a go on that synthesiser'," expands guitarist Bernard Albrecht (née Dicken, now Sumner). "See what you can come up with. So you're standing there thinking 'what the fucking hell am I doing?' You'd do something and he'd go, 'that's alright', turn off the drum machine, start the tape rolling and say, 'right play it again'. And even though there'd be a minute's worth of mistakes in it, he'd just say, 'Fuck it. It's alright'.

"The one thing he doesn't like about English records, he told us, is they're too neat and clean. And I agree."

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Peter Saville colour wheel
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