28 Jan 2010
The Durutti Column on The Review Show 
Vini Reilly and Poppy Morgan will appear on The Review Show, the new BBC2 arts show presented by Kirsty Wark from Glasgow, tomorrow evening at 11pm GMT. They will perform Duet With Piano from new album A Paean To Wilson which was given its full release earlier this week to rave reviews.

Vini and Poppy will rejoin the rest of The Durutti Column in London on Sunday for the gig at the Leicester Square Theatre (check with the venue for any remaining tickets).

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The Last Testament of Ian Curtis 
The new edition of Uncut [#154, March] magazine features an extensive cover story by Stephen Dalton about Joy Division centred around the release of the FACT 25 Closer album.

Replete with lesser-seen photos and new interviews with all remaining key players including Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Michael Johnson, Kevin Hewick, Alan Hempsall and Vini Reilly it tells the story of the months and weeks before and after Ian Curtis's suicide and the eventual release of the album.

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27 Jan 2010
FAC 251 ticket details announced 
Full tickets details for the Opening Weekend of FAC 251 The Factory have been announced.

Friday 5 February 2010 featuring Peter Hook’s The Light

A one-off performance by Peter Hook’s The Light, a Manchester supergroup put together specially for the occasion featuring Mani (Stone Roses), Rowetta (Happy Mondays), Howard Marks and other special guests, performing rare Joy Division and New Order tracks, and a hits retrospective from Hooky's previous bands Monaco, Revenge, New Order, Joy Division and the first ever debut of his new material with Freebass.

22.50 GBP (very limited tickets) for gig 7–11pm
8.50 GBP for Club Afterparty (Entry after 11pm ONLY)

Tickets on sale at FAC 251 The Factory at 12:00 midday on Friday 29 January 2010.

Saturday 6 February 2010 featuring Stonelove / Hacienda Presents Launch Party + special guest live act

Register at FAC 251 The Factory for details and tickets.

More info and details of gigs the weekend after (including White Lies and Twisted Wheel) available at the newly-fully-launched official website.

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26 Jan 2010
It All Looks Good On You 
Cath Carroll's new track is a fine slice of guitar pop available for free listening / download now at Lilypad Records. It All Looks Good On You was recorded and mixed at the Lilypad from November 2009 onwards.

Follow Cath on Twitter and Facebook

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The Magnetic Fields - Realism 
From The House of Tomorrow newsletter:

"Realism [Nonesuch] is out! Thank you to everyone who dropped by New York's Beauty Bar last night to celebrate its release.

The Magnetic Fields will soon be starting their tour in support of the new CD. The band is happy to announce that they have added shows at New York's Town Hall and Chicago's Harris Theater / Millennium Park to round off their 2010 US tour schedule.

Tickets for the new Monday 8 March show at the Harris Theater are now on sale at the theater's box office:

The third Town Hall show is scheduled for Friday 12 March. Ticketmaster pre-sales for American Express cardholders begin Wednesday, January 27, with general sales starting this Friday 29 January.

The March 12 show caps a three-night run in New York, after which the band will head to Europe.

Please visit the House of Tomorrow Calendar for the band's full 2010 tour schedule and further details regarding ticket pricing and availability:

In other news, a new recording of The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel will appear on his upcoming project, Scratch My Back. The combined CD / vinyl / iTunes LP release - a companion to a series of live orchestral performances and videos - will be out on 13 March, Peter's 60th birthday. In addition, a series of special download-only "Double A Side" singles will be released over the course of 2010 on iTunes. The first singles, out on January 30, will feature The Book of Love backed by the Magnetic Fields' version of Not One Of Us from Peter Gabriel's third album. Peter will continue to release a pair of singles on the full moon of each month throughout the year."

Meanwhile, reviews of Realism have been quite good, amongst the highlights this one by Alexis Petridis in The Guardian.

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21 Jan 2010
Music, not bars 
Hooky spoke passionately today at the FAC251 press launch of the reasoning and intentions behind his involvement in the reinvention of the former Factory Records head office as a live music venue and nightclub:

"Rob (Gretton) and Tony (Wilson) always used to say that we had to give back something into music. As a music lover, I couldn't say no. I want to give Manchester musicians a place to play."

Alongside Hooky in (what was once) the top floor boardroom, his partner in the (ad)venture, Aaron Mellor, revealed a bizarre twist of fate wherein a similar dramatic fall in property values that caused the loss of the building originally, has provided both the opportunity for the building to be redeployed - the previous owners having abandoned their plans for redevelopment of the site due to the current recession - and the availability of designer-in-chief Ben Kelly to 're-explore' the original design - Urban Splash having put 'on hold' their Kelly-to-be-designed Stubbs Mill apartment project (ring any bells?).

On running a club second time around Hook said: "I was always amazed that Factory had more accountants than bands. Whenever the Hacienda ran out of money, New Order would record another album. Even Aaron will have a problem making that happen! This time round I have 15 nightclubs to ruin!"

When asked if there were any plans to repurchase Dry Bar, Hook declined. "My interest is in live music, not bars."

Also in attendance, Freebass co-conspirator Mani likened FAC251 to the spirit of the original Factory nights at the Russell/PSV club rather than the Hacienda. "Although there will be a cheeky wink to the past, this will be more about the future. We want to give a chance to the next generation and say 'go take it'".

"Let's get to work."

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20 Jan 2010
FAC 251 The Factory opening 
Redeveloped, recrafted and entirely redesigned by original architect Ben Kelly, Factory Records' "One Charles Street" central Manchester offices reopen as FAC 251 The Factory, on 5 February 2010. FAC 251 will mix live bands, indie and dance influences across three different floors for Manchester's and the UK's gig and club goers.

The new venue is a joint venture between Peter Hook and established club operators Tokyo Industries (14 venues across the UK including the award-winning Digital in Newcastle and Brighton and the Tokyo Mansion Party venues). Tokyo Industries Managing Director Aaron Mellor is a long time Factory Records afficionado, having began his club career on the Hacienda dance floor and later DJing at Stonelove at the Hacienda in the mid-Nineties.

Original Factory architect has completely recast the building to suit its new purpose as a venue which draws on the legacy of the past but updates the original Factory ethos for contemporary bands, promoters, DJs and of course the people.

The Opening Weekend – Friday 5th / Saturday 6th February

Friday 5 February 2010 – Peter Hook’s The Light

"A one-off performance by Peter Hook’s The Light, a Manchester supergroup put together specially for the occasion featuring Mani (Stone Roses), Rowetta (Happy Mondays), Howard Marks and other special guests, performing rare Joy Division and New Order tracks, and a hits retrospective featuring songs by Hooky's previous bands Monaco, Revenge, New Order, Joy Division plus and the debut of his new material with Freebass."

Saturday 6 February 2010 – Stonelove / Hacienda Presents

"A club event allowing Manchester’s clubbing cognoscenti an opportunity to check out the three separate arenas. Original Haçienda indie club Stonelove returns to Manchester to begin its weekly residency downstairs, whilst Room 2 hosts a soundtrack of 70s New York City Funk & 80s Electro Pop. The Boardroom is handed back to the original Rockstars as FAC 51 The Hacienda begins its Saturday night residency Hacienda Presents at The Factory with a selection of Mancunian rock legends supervised by Hooky and pals alongside a roster of new DJ talents."

A full roster for future events at The Factory will be announced over the coming weeks.

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18 Jan 2010
FAC 501. The last catalogue number. So it goes. 
A tribute to Tony Wilson is emerging in the form of a new website at fac501.com complete with text from Cerysmatic's coverage of AHW's funeral in August 2007, the first part of which was written by the late Colin Sharp.

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"Tony Wilson was buried in Southern Cemetery - to the left as Rob is to the right (correct in religio-football terms). The coffin was numbered. FAC 501. The last catalogue number. So it goes." - Moist, Cerysmatic Factory

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Kevin Hewick's 7 songs at the 12 Bar 
Kevin Hewick's latest London appearance was at the charmingly intimate (or pokey) 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street on Monday 11 January. After a warm-up in the Dog and Duck, Kevin was second on at the 12 Bar's Blang! night. After settling in quickly, Kevin's performance was one of his best (ignoring those Leicester 3-hr marathons) and he entertained us as much with his stories about Florence and Rage Against The Machine as with his Tommy-esque rock operas.

Setlist

Rock 'n' Roll Tantrum
Answers on a Postcard
Everybody Quits The Band
Brother T
Ophelia's Drinking Song
Haystack
Billion Pebble Beach

Cheers Kevin and the 12 Bar for a great night and hi to Jude out of Subterraneans (who played the Billy Mackenzie Tribute gig in 2007), Lee and David Q.

Appendix

Kevin Hewick's "Rambling Schoolboy Blog"
Facebook photo gallery [available to non-FB members]

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14 Jan 2010
FAC 251 The Factory opening now Fri 5 Feb 
The opening of FAC 251 Factory Manchester, the new indie and rock 'n' roll club and live venue at the old Factory Records HQ building has been pushed back to Friday 5 February 2010. More news to follow.

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13 Jan 2010
FAC 251 Factory Manchester opens 29 Jan 
FAC 251 Factory Manchester, the new indie and rock 'n' roll club and live venue brought to you by Peter Hook and original designer Ben Kelly, opens its doors for business on Friday 29 January 2010.

Selected news coverage

NME
BBC News
UNCUT
Spinner

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6 Jan 2010
Kevin Hewick @ 12 Bar Club, London 11 Jan 
Leicester's finest, Kevin Hewick, will be playing his first show of 2010, solo acoustic at Blang! @ The 12 Bar Club, Denmark Street, London on Monday 11 January 2010.

Kevin is the 2nd act on at 9.15pm after Jeeps and will be followed by Sergeant Buzfuz and Tim Berry.

The rate at the gate is six of your British Pounds.

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Shurely Drums mishtake? 
ClashMusic

"We knew we wanted to start a band together and we really had the idea of completely ripping The Wake off, which proved to be impossible and in turn we ended up falling short of that, but kinda finding our own sound," explained the singer.

SupMag.com

"People are just saying the outcome is sort of like Factory Records around 30 years before us. That's just how it turned out, this accident. We had these ideas and the way it all fell together was very organic. I know that Jacob and I are, or were, big synthesizer groupies. Jacob built modular systems and stuff like that, so we try to geek out on that. There’s a song called "Make You Mine" and a song "Down By the Water" where we literally set out to write a straight up 1950s song, but I think because we were such synth geeks and we couldn’t pull away. That's where it magically turned into this Factory Records thing because it still had that sort of new wave thing to it that we are fighting so hard against that we can't get away from. The Factory Records thing isn't intentional, but the '50s thing is intentional."

Oh, and Happy New Year!

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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