24 Jul 2004
Last night a record changed my life 
Vini Reilly explains in this extract from the July 2004 issue of Mojo magazine how Tchaikovsky's heart-rending Symphony Pathétique sustains him: "I used to have to go to bed really early when I was a child, and I would put my ear to the bedroom floor so I could hear the music my dad was playing downstairs. My dad would never play rock and pop, always jazz or classical, and when I did first hear the Beatles at a friend's house I didn't get it for a long time".

"The Symphony Pathétique was one of the pieces that would drift up through the floor. I never realised what it was until after his death when I went to see the film, The Music Lovers [Ken Russell's 1971 life of Tchaikovsky] with my sister and uses it. For me it's the last movement that I specifically love. What's interesting is that it is not particularly clever. The counterpoint isn't fantastic, it's not technically brilliant by his standards, in fact it's kind of clumsy. Mut the more I listen to it the more heartbreaking it seems, the more impact it has. It is the most tragic piece, literally and uncontrollable outpour of absolute despair".

Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'
Recorded in Berlin
Premiered 28 October 1893

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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

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