28 Sep 2010
The Last Tape 
The Last Tape is a new commission by British artist Haroon Mirza. The work, comprising film and sculptural assemblage, sews together Krapp’s Last Tape (a one-act play written by Samuel Beckett) and Mirza’s exploration of post-punk pioneers Joy Division.

The Last Tape, featuring actor and musician Richard ‘Kid’ Strange, is a reinterpretation of Beckett’s play in which its protagonist, Krapp, looks back at the events of his life as recorded onto tape each birthday. Using previously unrecorded lyrics written by Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, the film depicts Strange enacting the lyrics onto magnetic tape. Strange engages with both the lyrical content and the audible sounds created by the accompanying sculptural works, which includes furniture, turntable, radio, and LCD screen stripped of its backlight and casing, in a performative manner. An awkwardly balanced strobe intermittently illuminates the screen, indirectly referencing Curtis’ epilepsy.

The exhibition is presented in VIVID’s project space in Eastside, Birmingham from Thursday 23 September to Saturday 16 October 2010.

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26 Sep 2010
Phookin Salford 
Friday 12th November will see PMT House of Rock present An Evening with Peter Hook at their Salford music store - just down Regent Road from Joy Division's first rehearsal room.

In addition to the usual no-holes-barred Q&A session and book-signing, Hooky will present other - as yet unannounced - unknown pleasures.

The evening will also showcase a greatly expanded version of the excellent exhibition of Joy Division/New Order/Factory equipment and artefacts first shown for four days in May at FAC251, while out in the car park Ronnie Lane's mobile recording studio - returning from the previous night's recording of The Light's Unknown Pleasures - will be available for viewing.

Only 251 tickets - priced GBP10 - are available from the PMT store itself.

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24 Sep 2010
Good (Together) 
Fifty Happy Birthdays and an All Night Party go to Martin Moscrop from all at Cerysmatic.

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Bad (Lieutenant) 
London charity Centrepoint are releasing an album of sixties cover versions to mark their fortieth anniversary.

1969: Key to Change features contributions by Ian Brown, Johnny Marr, and a version of Elvis Presley's In The Ghetto by Bad Lieutenant.

On 'general download sale' Monday October 4th, but available to pre-order now, all profits will go directly to Centrepoint in their quest to 'give homeless young people a future'.

Full track listing:

The Feeling In the Year 2525
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly Space Oddity
Speech Debelle Give Peace a Chance
Hucknall Chains of Love
Jools Holland and Ruby Turner You are so Beautiful
Frank Turner Build me up Buttercup
Chris Difford What Goes On
Johnny Marr Tendency to be Free
Kevin & Galen Ayers Girl On a Swing
Hard-Fi 1969
Pleasure Mob Gimme Shelter
Bad Lieutenant In The Ghetto
Ian Brown In The Year 2525 Remix

Give.

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Ugly 
Did the (current) custodians of the Factory marque really put on a night 'welcoming' this year's influx of students to Manchester last weekend and call it FAC A Fresher?

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21 Sep 2010
Beating Heart #2 
More from our good friend Chris on that Section 25 gig:

Well, turned out good in the end.

Nice little venue in the arse end of Leicester. Venue surrounded by a pack of circling pipe-wielding hoodies on mountain bikes.

Kevin supported (as usual). Quite a long support slot from him. He played near 50 minutes I guess but then it is his home town venue, so he kept going...nice little start to proceedings.

Section 25 came on, and from the last time I saw them, seemed unrecognisable. This due to the only band member from that line up 2 years ago, being the drummer. Out went the Joy Division covers, no sign of them tonight.

Obviously tracks from Retrofit got an airing, alongside Looking From a Hilltop, Wretch, Girls Don't Count and a few other classics. Beth sure looks like her father too (but not in a bad way).

A fairly short set I thought, in the region of an hour. Really enjoyed it as a gig, and the sound was excellent.

Please have a look at the Youtube shots, and watch in HD - because you're worth it !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67UNBpje5Yk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfY1UZ0LvlM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bk4dGbcz4I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW3-Fp0EJOc

And please check out my Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/polewka123?feature=mhum

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20 Sep 2010
Foruli Editions 
502 sets of The Hacienda - How Not To Run A Club Special Edition are now available to order via the Foruli website.

The hand-bound volumes come in three distinct sets - Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate - complete with newly recorded exclusive tunes on 10" vinyl and various pieces of the Hacienda itself.

Hooky explained the book, the bits and the tunes to Cerysmatic at the recent press launch:

"When the idea for the book was mooted to me - the rights belong to the publisher - I thought that it was just shameless cashing in and that they're gonna go mad about this, like you always do. And what happened was that Matt came to me and asked me if I wanted to get involved. So I said "In what way?" and he said "Well, if there is anything you want to put in it we can do that". I'd found the bar top and then, because the dancefloor has always been so popular with people buying pieces of it, the idea for putting those in came about. I used to have all the bar tops and I gave half of it to my mate and he fitted it in a bathroom in South Manchester. So some bathroom in South Manchester - and they don't even know - has actually got the Hacienda's bar top as the floor! I don't know where it is and he can't remember where he did it."

"The thing was, when I saw the book I thought "Oh my god!" because what happened with the (original) book was, you know, the Hacienda and Factory have got such a rich graphic image and there's so much you could use and there's so much you could do with it and the same with New Order and Joy Division, when I did the book I thought "Oh, it's actually quite plain, it's just a book". It doesn't use any of the images. And what he did was do the pages like this and it just looked fantastic and I thought, oh my god that is how I wanted it to look. Now, I can't make people buy it can I!? If people don't wanna buy it then it doesn't matter. They will languish..."

"The idea for the record came about simply because the whole thing is so musical that it should have music in it. He didn't wanna license existing tracks so thought fuck it I'll do some tracks for it. I'd been playing on the Unknown Pleasures tour with Howard and playing the instrumental tracks which I was really enjoying so I thought I'd put them on. And he said "You should do four". So, I'd always wanted to use the Vikings theme for a long time. When New Order split up it was an incredibly isolating experience, like a divorce, all of a sudden you're on your own. And as soon as I was on my own, The Vikings, the New Order fans, came to see me straight away. And I was really touched that I had quite a bit of support even though it was quite apparently broken and the mothership was still limping along. I always wanted to do a track for them. I thought we've got one track left: I Am A Viking!"

With thanks to Angie Klein.

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18 Sep 2010
Beating Heart 
Thank you Chris for sending this clip of Section 25 playing at The Musician in Leicester the other night.

Gig review (hopefully) to follow.

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Closer 
Well that didn't last long.

Ithaca, the yuppie playground on John Dalton Street that was once Rare Records (ex-employee Ian Curtis), appears to have lost it's shine, closed it's doors and is now up for grabs - offers in the region of GBP900k.

Bargain, considering the original fit-out costs originally reported here.

Thankfully, the nearby John Dalton Cafe - now rebranded as Essy's - is still a going concern.

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15 Sep 2010
Hooky on Manigate 
A few days after Mani's Twitter outburst and subsequent apology, Cerysmatic Factory caught up with Peter Hook in the heart of that London's Soho to get the latest.

On Mani

He's paying for it now and he was very upset about it. He apologised immediately and like I said to him, it's forgotten, it's over. As far as I'm concerned, me and him are fine. Unfortunately with the power of the internet it fucking lasts forever! Anyway, I am happy and he's happy. And we're back to normal and that's it.

On The Light and Freebass

You know what happened, which was really weird, was that The Light and Freebass both came to fruition at the same time. The Joy Division thing started because Macclesfield were gonna do that celebration thing in May. We were gonna do a gig at Macclesfield Town Football Club and they wanted me to help organise it with Steve (Morris) and to get people to sing Joy Division songs with a backing band to celebrate Ian's life. And I thought it really was well overdue because Macclesfield had studiously ignored Ian.

We went for a few meetings, not together, but we went for a few meetings and it was coming along quite well. And then they didn't get the money they wanted, and I thought it was an exorbitant amount of money, and it fell off. I thought the saddest thing in the world was that as New Order we never celebrated anything to do with New Order, 30 years, 25, 20, 10, 1, 6 months, nothing, we never celebrated it and I thought it was well overdue.

On playing Unknown Pleasures

Because I've got The Factory and because I did the opening night and then I read an article by Bobby Gillespie talking about Screamadelica, and I thought "Ding!" I'll do Unknown Pleasures and I'll get the vocalist who stood in for Ian at Bury to sing it. I'll play bass, purely selfishly and we'll have a great time. Alan Hempsall didn't wanna do it. I think he was a bit wary of the internet criticism and Simon Topping was too nervous. He was really nervous. He said "I'll do Transmission but I'm not doing any more". I never thought Simon would be nervous.

So anyway, then I thought, fuck it, "I'll sing it". Don't ask me why I decided that. I needed a bass player then cos I had a great guitarist in Nat, Kehoe's a great drummer, Andy's a great keyboard player (he worked with all of Monaco and Freebass) and then I thought "Jack". Getting your son to play bass and he's exactly the same age as I was when I started Joy Division. So I thought how could you miss an opportunity like that. I looked round and I saw meself thirty years ago. Which is fucking freaky!

Anyway, it was like trying on your wedding suit and it fitted and not only did it fit but it looked fucking great and everybody said "You look fucking great!". And that was what it was like playing the Joy Division stuff. All of a sudden going back to that overshadowed Freebass. Starting a new band is really fucking difficult and even though Bernard and I both seem addicted to it every time New Order got somewhere we always fucking nixed it and started again. It's hard starting a new band and I was just enjoying the Joy Division stuff too much.

And I think that Mani reacted against that. Which is understandable but you can't help it can you!? It's just the way it is. I mean he's going off to do Screamadelica so I said why don't we just leave Freebass, get the record out, you go and do Screamadelica and I'll do Joy Division and we'll see how we feel when get back. It was as simple as that. I think it must've took the hump. But it doesn't matter now, we're fine. I must admit that whilst I was shocked when I saw it, it didn't sound like him to me. I mean, I'm fine now, it's over. It's cool.

--

The full interview with Hooky will be published on Cerysmatic Factory at a later date.

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13 Sep 2010
From the 21st Amendment to Phoenix, Arizona 
It's that time of year again. Kick out the old and welcome the new.

Yes, I'll be on holiday for a few weeks and moist will be minding the shop. Remember to stop by and say hi.

Please note that Scream City will not be on sale again until late October.

Ever been to Utah?

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Ever fallen out of love 
Mani today apologised to Peter Hook regarding his recent comments on Twitter:

"I wish to apologise unreservedly to Peter Hook and his family regarding comments made on a social networking site which was totally out of character for me. It was a venomous, spiteful reaction to a lot of things that are going on in my life right now and I chose to vent my frustrations and anger at one of my true friends in this filthy business, and ventured into territory which was none of my concern. The Freebass thing has tipped me over the edge and became the focus of my bilious rants. Twenty two years of being tripped up, face down in the mud and being kicked in the face with an iron boot will do that to the most stable of men. I hope I haven't blown a great friendship forever. Sorry Pete."

"In a funny way my outburst might make want people want to check the record out. I'm proud of what we achieved really. It's not often bass players get to step out of the shadows and create something from scratch, and between us we've managed it. A bumpy ride but we got there..... give it a listen."

"I hope I'm not turning into a bitter and twisted old rocker, that's not what I'm about as anybody who knows the real me will be happy to confirm."

Gary "Mani" Mounfield, September 2010

"Mani is a great friend of mine and he always will be. I have the utmost respect for him as a person and musician. Have none of you ever fallen out with somebody you love. Hooky."

Peter Hook, September 2010

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9 Sep 2010
End of the Mancunian Union of Bassists 
An official Freebass statement reads:

"It is with great sadness that just prior to the long awaited album release of It's A Beautiful Life we have to announce that the much anticipated Mancunian union of bassists, Freebass, is no longer a functioning group.

"Recent events have made Freebass entirely unviable as a band, and with this in mind, it has been decided that the project should be shelved, rather than placed on hiatus while members pursue their other interests.

"The band would like to take the opportunity to thanks friends and fans for their support and interest, especially on the UK tour in June 2010. We also hope that people will enjoy the album, which concludes five years of work and treat it on its own merits.

"No third parties were involved or harmed in the break up."

The announcement follows Andy Rourke leaving the group earlier in August and Mani's recent comments on Twitter.

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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