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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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

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