4 Apr 2006
Keith Allen to host Manchester Passion 
Manchester Passion, a modern retelling of the Easter story set to Manchester music from Joy Division via The Smiths to Oasis, is to be hosted by Keith Allen according to the BBC. Manchester connections run deep with the actor (The Comic Strip Presents 'Gino: Full Story and Pics', Manchester gangster movie 'Shooting Stars', rag trade drama 'Making Out', 24 Hour Party People) and occasional songwriter (World In Motion) who is a long-time friend of New Order.

The Factory connections don't end there because Tim Booth (ex-James) is to play the role of Judas.

Other stars' names, such as Bez, were mooted when the Passion idea was first conceived but it seems most were never going to participate or have since withdrawn.

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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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