13 Dec 2006
Blow Up Press Joy Division / New Order limited edition prints 
Blow Up Press, www.blowuppress.com, is a new web-based business selling an initial collection of 30 photographic editions, including some great shots of Ian Curtis and Bernard Sumner. All the images are limited editions and are signed by the photographer. Their roster includes Ian Tilton (famed for his images of The Stone Roses), Stephen Wright (The Smiths) and Philippe Carly (Joy Division, New Order).

Philippe Carly talks about his iconic photograph of Ian Curtis: "This is one of the two "twins" two almost identical Ian Curtis photos, taken a few minutes apart, one framed to the left, the other framed to the right. When Joy Division returned to Plan K for a second gig a few months after this one, I gave a set of photographs of this first gig to Rob Gretton. From then on I lost sight of these photos until a few months later, I saw one pinned on Martin Hannett's kitchen wall and years later on various book covers and in CD booklets and all over the internet. Until I started my website, I had never realised how popular this photo had become and how many times it had been used without my consent or knowledge, often poorly reproduced."

Carly also recalls the intimate connections between Plan K, Joy Division and Manchester: "It's hard to imagine a band and a venue more intricately connected in Belgium than Joy Division and Plan K. The Plan K was the place to be, the place where we were. More than a venue, it was a statement in itself. The gigs were so frequent, the groups so great, it was so NORMAL! Only after did we find out how lucky we'd been to be there. Much like the CBGB, only less publicised. By an amusing twist of fate, the Plan K was located "rue de Manchester" (Manchester street) in Brussels. I don't think you can consider this a coincidence."

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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