22 Dec 2007
Mersey: The River That Changed The World 
"The Mersey is one of the world’s great rivers. It was fundamental to the industrial revolution, was poisoned by pollution and has recently made a amazing recovery. From the hills of the Peak District, through the urban sprawl of Stockport and Manchester and across rural Cheshire, it flows to the sea from its estuary at Liverpool and Birkenhead."

"Mersey: the river that changed the world is a project that celebrates the River Mersey, and the people whose lives have been entwined with it."

'Westward Ho' by Tony Wilson is one of the specially commissioned essays - probably his last published work - contained therein.

Reviewing the book on Manchester Confidential, Phil Griffen states: "He’s described on the contributors’ page, in the shortest of shorthand, as ‘broadcast journalist and regeneration consultant’. For most of his mouthy career, on and off screen, in and out of Factory Records, Dry bar and the Hacienda, he didn’t know what he was doing. He didn’t know, until the last year or two, that he was a regeneration consultant. Actually, Tony Wilson, like the Mersey in flood, was an entire regenerative force of nature."

Mersey: the river that changed the world was published by, and is available from, Bluecoat Press. An exhibition of photography and audio material will be touring venues in the Northwest from December 2007.

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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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