29 Apr 2009
Monsters Next Door 
The Names have just released a new album Monsters Next Door on French label Str8line and it's reviewed by Paul Pledger at allgigs.co.uk, where you can also check out an interview and live review.

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27 Apr 2009
Manchester, England 
Dave Haslam looks at how the city centre of Manchester has changed as part of the Changing Cityscapes feature for the BBC News website.

In a sister segment, Ian Simpson, the architect of the Beetham Tower (of which Haslam is an admirer) discusses his creation.

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26 Apr 2009
Making Your Mind Made Up 
Check out a brand new 3:10 edit on YouTube of footage of A Certain Ratio in the studio in 2005 recording Mind Made Up shot by Cerysmatic.

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25 Apr 2009
X-O-Dus 
X-O-Dus will have a CD out on Ozit Morpheus Records later this year featuring seven unreleased songs which were to have been included on a Factory album in 1982. The content will be much more representative of what the band were doing at the time than Fac 11 English Black Boys (which will also be included and which itself was recently reissued on the Factory Records box set).

X-O-Dus are also working on new material which they hope to have out pre-Christmas, also on Ozit.

Thanks to Mart Dunlop for info.

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The Crucial 3-0 
from kevincummins.co.uk:

The Crucial 3-0 - Post Punk Liverpool by Kevin Cummins at The Hard Day's Night Hotel Gallery, Liverpool from 22 May to 22 June 2009

The Beat Goes On at Liverpool SoundCity 09

"The Crucial 3-0 is a brand new exhibition of images captured and curated by the prodigious British photographer Kevin Cummins. The collection documents the hugely influential careers of a selection of Liverpool's finest bands spanning the past thirty years."

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ACR Lyon show cancelled 
A Certain Ratio's gig at Ninkasi, Lyon in France on 28 May 2009 has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, check out Kmeron's Flickr photo gallery of the Brussels AB gig on 10 April.

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18 Apr 2009
ACR EUR 
Updated live plans for A Certain Ratio as their Marseille gig on 28 May has been cancelled. The Lyon gig is shifted a day to fill the gap. Meanwhile a gig at The Deaf Institute in Manchester has been announced along with others in the UK and mainland Europe.

24 May - 19:30 The Deaf Institute, Manchester
28 May - 20:00 Ninkasi, Lyon
29 May - 20:00 Primavera, Barcelona
30 May - 0:00 Fundação de Serralves, Porto
15 Jun - 19:30 The Beat Happening Sessions @ Dingwalls, London
4 Jul - 20:00 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
6 Sep - 20:00 Offset Festival, Chigwell
3 Oct - 20:00 Le Plan - Factory Festival, Paris

For the avoidance of doubt, the Factory Festival in October would not appear to be a festival of Factory Records related artists but rather a festival that has run since 1999 using the Factory title.

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A Lilypad Sampler to celebrate Record Store Day 
From the Lilypad Records blog in honour of Record Store Day:

PADCAST #10: RECORD STORE DAY - A Lilypad Sampler With Cath Carroll Part 1

Lilypad's Atomic Theory of the Record Store

"Join us as we listen to a variety of songs from Lilypad's friends and family, and Cath rambles on about counter terror at old record shops of the North. We establish Lilypad's Atomic Theory of The Record Store (with thanks to Flann O’Brien), in order to justify why an online indie label is gate crashing this bricks & mortar event. We are Record Store. The Padcast intro features 'Dag Juhlin Symphony Extravaganza', a tribute to the Man of a Thousand Bands, performed by the UK's Monty."

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15 Apr 2009
In Spirit 
School of Sound Recording - Spirit Studios launches £12K Tony Wilson scholarship reports Chris Osuh in the Manchester Evening News.

The school which is celebrating its 25th anniversary will honour AHW by launching the scholarship for a range of music-related courses. Wilson encouraged Spirit Studios owner John Breakell to set up the School of Sound Recording back in 1984. The studios became a regular fixture on the Manchester music scene and Factory funksters Happy Mondays were among the many bands to record and rehearse there.

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9 Apr 2009
New Order in New Zealand 
Check out Jonathan Ganley's excellent photos of New Order (and John Cooper Clarke) live at Mainstreet in New Zealand on 3 December 1982 on his Point That Thing photo blog.

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8 Apr 2009
Haçienda 27 Party @ Sankey's 
The winner of the competition to win a pair of tickets to the Haçienda 27th Birthday Party @ Sankey's in Manchester on Sunday 3 May 2009 is Michael Smith.

Congratulations Michael, the Haçienda party people will be in touch with you soon.
5 Apr 2009
Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain 
First details have emerged of the new Kevin Cummins photography book out September 2009:

"In Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain, Kevin Cummins brings us THE definitive photographic history of Manchester music from the 1970s onwards. With accompanying essays from Kevin's former colleagues Paul Morley, Stuart Maconie and John Harris, and Gavin Martin's interviews with Johnny Marr, Peter Hook and Mark E Smith, the book is a remarkable record of a city which changed the course of popular culture.

"From the punk explosion of Buzzcocks and Slaughter and The Dogs, through The Smiths, Joy Division and the birth of Factory Records and the resulting Madchester years of The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays to the Britpop swagger of Oasis, Kevin Cummins was uniquely placed to witness the anarchic energy of the Manchester pop moment and capture the images which would define these bands and shape generations of teenagers and music fans.

"This is a fascinating portrait of a city and its individuals who, through sheer bloodymindedness, put Manchester onto the world stage, providing us with a soundtrack to our lives. Often humorous, at times touching, only Cummins' photographs are able to take us on this incredible journey over four decades. As Morrissey so memorably sang, 'Oh Manchester... so much to answer for.'"

- back cover blurb.

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Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain
Kevin Cummins
Faber & Faber
400pp
Hardback
30.00 GBP
September 2009

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Desiree Won't Come Down 
The new single from Cath Carroll, due out 22 April 2009 (Earth Day).

The song, Desiree Won't Come Down, is a dreamy, atmospheric ballad available exclusively from Lilypad Records.

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Teutonic 
Kurd Maverick's version of New Order's Blue Monday is out via all usual outlets on Data Records. Mr Maverick is a German based house music producer who first rose to fame with his remix of Technotronic's Pump Up The Jam.

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1 Apr 2009
Two Top Class Competitions 
Congratulations to Simon Simpson who is the winner of the 1 Top Class Manager Competition. Simon takes away a copy of the book and lots of other goodies.

A reminder that a pair of tickets to the Hacienda 27th Birthday Party @ Sankey's are currently up for grabs. Simply send an email to john@cerysmaticfactory.info by Monday 6 April to be in with a chance of winning.

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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