6 Sep 2008
They came from Manchester, apparently 
UK resident Cerysmatic visitors may be pleased to hear that last night's BBC4 documentary: They Came From Manchester: The Story Of Mancunian Pop is available for viewing via the BBC iPlayer service until 01.04 am on Monday 15th September 2008.

The hour long documentary, believed to have been produced by the makers of lasts year's Factory: Manchester From Joy Division To Happy Mondays - itself available for viewing on iPlayer until 12:19am on Saturday 13th September 2008 - features "A compilation of some of the great Manchester bands in BBC studio performance from the 1960s till the present, including Freddie and the Dreamers, The Hollies, 10CC, the Buzzcocks, The Fall, Joy Division, James, M-People, Oasis and many more."

True to recent BBC form the compilation is made up of excerpts (rather than full performances), leans toward the sensational (ooh! Michael Clarke's bum!), is clumsily edited and heavily overtyped with subtitles (Curtis' 'dead fly dance' and New Order's 'nazi connotations' anyone?) that manage to miss more intra-Manchester connections than they actually highlight.

So. Keep an eye out for:

Factory artist Marcel King miming the lead vocals of Sweet Sensation's 'Sad Sweet Dreamer'.

Swing Out Sister's Martin Jackson miming the drums alongside composer Barry Adamson in Magazine.

Durutti Columnista Vini Reilly playing guitar and esoteric Factory producer Martin Hannett playing bass in John Cooper-Clarke's backing band The Invisible Girls.

One time Durutti Column collaborator Tim Kellett miming keyboards and trumpet with Simply Red.

Electronic co-founder Johnny Marr miming guitar with The Smiths.

The entire Voodoo Ray video, which was shot almost exclusively in the Haçienda by the - at that time - Haçienda lighting crew Swivel.

Further smug points to note:

Mancunian artists certainly like to keep an eye on the camera!
Shaun Ryder's band were, in fact, PLURAL.
The Bee Gees are neither sufficiently pop nor Mancunian to have been included.
The Charlatans are not actually from Manchester.
Unfortunately Freddie and the Dreamers were.

NB Apologies for the original posting that erroneously directed non-UK residents to the iPlayer service. According to the men in suits: "BBC iPlayer television programmes are only available to users to download or stream (Click to Play) in the UK. However, BBC Worldwide is working on an international version, which we will make available as soon as possible."

Otherwise known as youtube.

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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