4 Jan 2007
G-MEX reopens (and then closes) its doors to music 
Manchester's G-MEX reopened its doors to live music after a nine-year hiatus for a special gig by Morrissey to commemorate a further and final closure to music.

Famously, in terms of Factory history, G-MEX played host to seminal gigs by New Order, A Certain Ratio, Happy Mondays, James and the Tenth Event of FAC 151 Festival of the Tenth Summer. This last event clearly remains in Morrissey's mind because according to Chris Long's review of this final historic gig on BBC Manchester he said "I stood on this very spot 20 years ago playing with a music hall act you've probably forgotten."

You can join in the debate about what was the best gig ever (in a venue notoriously unsuited to gigs) on this BBC forum.

G-MEX, which was formerly the Grand Central railway station, will concentrate on being an exhibition centre following a refit.

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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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