14 Feb 2007
Giving Alvar Aalto To The UK 
From 22 February, the Barbican in London presents the very first retrospective of Finnish designer Alvar Aalto.

Aalto's contribution to the world of everything Factory Records was small but notable. Cerysmatic can do no better than to point you to what Andrew James wrote about the Aalto connection in an excellent article for Scream City 2 last year:

"In Scandinavia, Alvar Aalto worked in native woods rather than the chrome, glass and steel of Germany, but displayed a similar design sensibility to his Bauhaus counterparts. This aesthetic caught the eye of Haçienda designer Ben Kelly some 50 years later, when he opted to employ Aalto's signature three-legged stools in the basement bar of the club.

"Factory boss Tony Wilson claimed that the Haç was an altrusistic act of enlightenment for Manchester's benighted youth, as much as it was a post-modern gin palace. "We're giving Alvar Aalto to the kids," he proclaimed, magnanimously. Whether the kids actually wanted Alvar Aalto is open to debate; the stools were variously trashed, stolen and used as ashtrays."

Alvar Aalto: Through the Eyes of Shigeru Ban
22 February 2007 - 13 May 2007
Barbican Art Gallery

Tickets: Tickets online 6.00 GBP
8.00 GBP on the door
Open daily 11am - 8pm, excluding Tue & Thu 11am - 6pm.

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Thanks to (the other) JC for spotting.

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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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