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
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