28 Oct 2005
Rockin' Rochdale Review 
Though Manchester's contribution to the history of British music is well documented, many of the defining events actually happened in the outlying towns and cities that make up the urban conurbation sprawl that is modern Manchester.

Rockin' Rochdale, an exhibition in the excellent new Touchstones Gallery in Rochdale's centre, highlights the variety of ways the Dale has itself contributed to Manchester's rich musical heritage - from the brass and big band eras through Gracie Fields and Deeply Vale to Tractor and Cargo Studios.

Several hundred guests, including members of Tractor, Wilful Damage and Fast Cars, an appearance by local producer / engineer John Brierley and guitar maker extraordinaire Brian Eastwood, attended the preview last week (20 October 2005) at which the Lord Mayor of Rochdale formally opened the exhibition - assisted by Milnrow resident rocker Clint Boon with a plea that the hallowed ground of nearby Cargo Studios (vacant for several years) be purchased by Rochdale Council as a permenant space. Well, somebody should.

Photo gallery.

The exhibition continues until 23 April 2006

Rochdale bands Tractor, Pie and Wilful Damage play a one-off celebration at the Gracie Fields Theatre on Friday 2 December 2005.


Thanks to OMMCR and Chris Hewitt.


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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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