31 May 2006
Punk at Manchester Central Library, Friday 9 June 2006 
An event at Manchester Central Library in June celebrates the day when the landscape and language of Manchester Rock and Roll changed forever

Thirty years ago, The Sex Pistols, fronted by Johnny Rotten played at the Lesser Free Trade Hall on Peter Street to an audience of about 50. Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto (Buzzcocks), were the promoters. Members of the audience went on eventually to form Joy Division, Buzzcocks, The Fall, Simply Red, The Smiths, Slaughter and the Dogs, The Drones, Ludus and Factory Records.

The Henry Watson Music Library, in Manchester's Central Library has invited writers and commentators to talk about the Manchester music scene and read from their recently published books on Punk.

They include John Robb, Clinton Heylin, Mick Middles

Councillor Mark Hackett, executive member for culture and leisure at Manchester City Council said: "Manchester is known for its pioneering spirit, its creativity, its industrial heritage and, of course, its music. Central Library holds the booking diaries for the Free Trade Hall and they are valuable social documents. I am sure that this event will be enjoyable and transport people back to that pivotal moment in Manchester where popular music changed forever."

This free event will take place on Friday June 9 in the Committee Room at Central Library, starting at 7.30pm and ending about 11pm.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
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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