13 Feb 2007
The North/South Divide 
First the BBC commissions a survey on whether Manchester or Birmingham is England's second city. (It's Manchester)...

... and then the March 2007 edition of The Word carries a highly entertaining and not-so-scientific assessment by Stuart Maconie of The North v The South in music. The pen pics of Joy Division ("combining Ingmar Bergman-esque fascination with the essential emptiness of life with a Bernard Manning-esque desire to tell dirty jokes and get pissed a lot") and Happy Mondays ("Going to the game, mister? Bad area round here, you know. Nice car. Go on, mind yer car for a quid, mister") are worth the price of admission alone whilst a cartoon of the former fills out some space.

In the same issue, John Simm talks to Andrew Harrison about, amongst other things, playing Bernard Sumner in 24 Hour Party People. Simm recalls that his main memory of the movie is being "wasted all the time". He says "If you weren't wasted on set, someone would come and sort you out. It was very real, shall we say, especially for the lads who were playing Happy Mondays. I don't know why they're not dead. It was just an amazing laugh".

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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

Factory Records

The Durutti Column