1 Nov 2008
History lesson 
Tractor were fortunate enough to have John Peel indulge them to write and record a suite of songs about Manchester's Peterloo Massacre.

Peel helped pay recording studio bills and even bought them equipment to launch several locations of recording studios around Rochdale where they continued to record themselves and other bands which has played a major part in Manchester's musical history.

They recorded a 21-minute suite of songs about Peterloo in 1973 and then, because of the campaign for a decent memorial to the victims of Peterloo, Tractor wrote new songs in the last few years to add to the suite of music which now runs as a whole album at around 41 minutes. The album will be released a few weeks before the 190th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre which is on the 16 August 2009.

This Sunday on the NW regional segment of the Politics Show on BBC 1, Tractor play an extract from one of the songs and members of the band and their producer Chris Hewitt talk about the politics of Peterloo and the parallels with Thatcherism and today and their idea of a Peterloo concert in the open air in Manchester somewhere near St Peter's Fields.

BBC One NW is available on satellite TV.



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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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