27 Mar 2008
Breaking the Rules - the Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900-1937 
Breaking The Rules, An excellent exhibition about avant garde typography in the early 20th Century at the British Library is coming to close but if you nip along this weekend you'll be able to catch it. This is quite a large show, with artists' books, manifestos, magazines etc, and the European element of the title is a key feature. There are sections on avant garde artistic activity in a very wide range of European cities.

There are a couple of Factory Records references:

- a copy of the FACT 50 Movement sleeve is included in the "legacy" section (along with the Greil Marcus 'Lipstick Traces' LP, a Franz Ferdinand sleeve and a Sex Pistols / Seditionaries T-shirt). There's a nice quote from Peter Saville, and it's placed knowingly next to Tschichold's Die Neue Typographie in the case.

- the Futurist design which inspired the sleeve for FAC 128 Wild Party by ACR (the direct appropriation here might surprise some people)

Breaking the Rules - the Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900-1937 runs until Sunday 30 March 2008. Admission is free.

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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