1 Aug 2010
Today's Joy Division Plan K screening was abandoned after 30 minutes due to a power cable being cut by workers digging up the road outside the Heritage Centre in Macclesfield. With all power gone to the Cinemac cinema (which had played host yesterday to the triple bill of Factory Records-related films) the organisers had no choice except to cancel with full refunds being promised to the forty-odd people who had attended. The abandonment was taken in good spirit by most of those there, including Jon Savage who introduced the film, with the whole unlikely sequence of events being considered to be "very Factory".

It was a shame because the rarely-seen Plan K footage was highly gripping in all its fuzzy, raw, primitive glory. With both nights at the Manchester Apollo also on the programme it was just getting going when after about 35 minutes everything drew suddenly to a stop.

We decamped to the cafe downstairs and then to the Joy Division exhibition upstairs. Mark Reeder's stark black and white portrait of Ian Curtis was blown up to gigantic proportions on the far wall, various posters adorned the walls and display cases contained all manner of artefacts including contracts, setlists, invoices, press cuttings, photos, records, tapes, books, artwork and miscellaneous personal items (the best of which was a postcard from Steve Morris to Gillian sent whilst on a European tour which said how bad it was but how he thought it would only get worse!).

The one item which has probably generated the most interest is a handwritten letter from Ian Curtis to Rob Gretton about the release of Closer which reads:

"Judged purely on my own terms, and not to be interpreted as an opinion or reflection of mass media or public taste but a criticism of my own esoteric and elitist mind of which the mysteries of life are very few and beside which the grace of God has deemed to indicate in a vision the true nature of all things, plus the fact that everyone else are a sneaky, japing load of tossers, decree that this LP is a disaster. IK Curtis."

Every item tells a story and a lot of detail is crammed into a relatively small exhibition space and it's all well worth the two pounds entry fee. The exhibition continues at the Heritage Centre in Macclesfield until Sunday 8 August 2010.

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Anonymous martin63 said...

Yes indeed, a fascinating exhibition John. Good to see you and Amy.

02/08/2010, 13:00


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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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