23 May 2017
The 101 on lofts from Tony Wilson 
FAC 101 loft schematic

FAC 101 Tony Wilson's Lofts is a memorable undone Factory Records concept from the pioneering early days of the Eighties. He drew on his experience of New York City to try to convince the authorities in Manchester that they would be a viable proposition but they didn't buy it.

AHW explained thus: "We were visionary in that sense, that lofts would come one day. But we ran out of money - we were too busy with clubs and bars. We tried to explain lofts to people in Manchester and nobody understood it. We actually walked the Manchester Development corporation around a building in Sackville Street, which became lofts ten years later, and said 'These would make great lofts' and they went 'What are lofts?'"

It was thought that was nothing in writing in the public domain to document this FAC number. Well that was true until the discovery in amongst AHW's personal archive papers in the collection of the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) of a briefing paper from a chap called 'Ken' (more info needed on who this is) where he sets out "a few initial notes for FAC 101" and includes a generic schematic of a typical loft.

FAC 101 - a few notes on lofts by Ken

Ken sets out the basic principle of what lofts are and concludes: "The development of the loft conversion is obviously in its initial stages in this country and will require a good deal of commitment on the part of local government and developers if it is to become a reality."

Eventually the commitment would come to light and now loft-type apartments are everywhere and not just in Manchester.

The full transcript of the 101 notes is on our sister site factoryrecords.org.

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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."

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