16 Oct 2019
The Periodic Table of Factory Records 

The Scream City digital archive presents an excellent opportunity to revisit a printed paper fanzine published during the period 2006-2010.

Scream City 2 is coming soon (#coding) but meanwhile eagle-eyed readers may have wondered "what happened to the centrespread of Scream City 1, you know the Periodic Table of Factory Records?".

Well, this was reworked a few years ago on factoryrecords.org and now, after a bit of css tweaking for mobile devices, is being relaunched again.

I'm not promising that it's perfect but please enjoy.

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15 Oct 2019
A Certain Ratio - 40 Years on the Floor 
Dave Simpson‬⁩ spoke A Certain Ratio about their career and extensive discography for Attack Magazine.

We learn about the ACR Barmy Army, Andy Connell's love of Weather Report and the track that got them kicked off A&M and much more.

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14 Oct 2019
Scream City 2 
Scream City 2 (via the digital archive)

Scream City 2 was published in June 2006 a mere 4 months after the first issue. This production cycle proved to be unsustainable though as it was 2007 before the third one appeared.

There was a loose theme around Fac 151 The Festival of the Tenth Summer plus interviews with Andy McCluskey of OMD, Cath Carroll of Gay Animals and Miaow, Larry Cassidy of Section 25 and Tony & Chris from 4M (whose track 'The PSV' was a covermount CD which is now available to listen to via Soundcloud).

moist wrote an article about the long-lost original 'Haçienda Classics' compilation album that was scuppered due to Factory in-fighting and other shenanigans. Meanwhile the non-original 'Haçienda Classics' was hitting the shelves...

Andrew James contributed the seminal music vs style guide with his 'Giving Alvar Aalto to the Kids' and he charged a very reasonable fee.

The cover evolved from my fondness next of Observer books and the Photoshop/Illustrator mastery of Steven Hankinson. The design evolution will be covered in a future article.

With only a very small amount of editing to protect you from my editor error in the first place and malware on obsolete websites in the second, I present to you - Scream City 2.

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11 Oct 2019
Factory Records' NYC HQ at 325 Spring Street 

325 Spring Street, New York City was the former location of Factory Records’ US operations in the form of Factory US and Of Factory New York.

In 2017 photographer Sean Vegezzi took an amazing series of photographs of the upper floors of the building which were completely empty. Factory was in Room 233 and it's quite possible that some of the pics show the location of the old office. However, with most of the building contents completely stripped out it is not possible to discern exactly where it was.

In September/October 1986 the video / sculpture / installation 'Compact' designed by Peter Saville took place at the White Columns art gallery which was also located in the building. This was commemorated by the Fac 171 poster.

Many thanks to Sean Vegezzi for the photos and for giving factoryrecords.org permission to use them. I have published them as a series of three mini photo galleries on Instagram in order to do justice to the detail that they show. These are also embedded on the main page for 325 Spring Street on this site.

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10 Oct 2019
New Order - Four at the Fillmore, Miami, 2020 
New Order - Four at the Fillmore, Miami, 2020

New Order will take up residence at the Fillmore Miami Beach (at the Jackie Gleason Theater) for a very special four-night run on 14, 15, 17 and 18 January 2020. All shows start at 20:00 with support from DJ Arthur Baker and special guests.

Tickets and hotel/VIP packages are on sale now at newordermiami.com

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Selling the 40th Anniversary 
Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition at Chelsea Space in London runs until 26 October 2019. As well as displaying, to all intents and purposes, the complete rundown of all the Fac numbers from 1 to 50, this exhibition presents the first opportunity to buy official Factory records merchandise (to any real degree) since the heyday of Factory Records itself. The Use Hearing Protection - Factory Records 1978-1979 box set itself is released on 11 October 2019 but the price tag on that rolls in at a hefty 180 GBP. Here we present a quick run-through of the slightly more affordable merchandising options, most of which are only available at the exhibition itself (as of the publication date of this article).

First up we have individual Factory Records postcards priced at £2.00 each. These come in Fac 47 anvil logo (black-on-white and white-on-black variants), Fact 45 'Always Now', Fact 10 'Unknown Pleasures' (white-on-black and black-on-white variants) and Fac 33 'Ceremony' (green sleeve).

Next (all at £5.00) we have the Factory badge set (5 button badges in various designs including worded 'Factory' and anvil), Factory pencil, Factory key ring and the Use Hearing Protection poster (which seems especially good value).

At £10.00 we have the Unknown Pleasures and Always Now tea towels. My mind starts slightly thinking of Joy Division Oven Gloves at this point but these do seem to be a constant in the photos of hauls made by people who I know who have visited the exhibition so someone in the marketing department deserves a big pat on the back for having the guts to see this one through to manufacturing and selling! Also at £10.00 there's Factory A6 paper pad and the Factory tape (eschewing the original silver-on-green of Fac 136 for on-message yellow-on-black). If A6 isn't big enough for you then there's an A5 paper pad at £15.00. Both pads seem a tad pricey but the grey design is attractive.

Finally there's a series of t-shirts in various designs starting at £15.00 for the kids' yellow Use Hearing Protection one (which looks great but, even though I've lost a lot of weight, won't fit me) and £25.00 for the adult t-shirts - Use Hearing Protection white, the amusing 'Printed on poor quality vinyl' stamp white t-shirt and the rather snazzy 'Unknown Pleasures' with text in the correct size in white-on-black.

Bonus items also on sale include Matt Robertson's Fac 461 'Factory Records - The Complete Graphic Album' book and the 40th anniversary vinyl edition of Fact 10 'Unknown Pleasures'.

Happy shopping!

Let's hope that after the exhibition finishes the range of items available to buy online is extended.

Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise

Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise

The full price list is as follows:

Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise


Hearing Protection White T-shirt*£25.00
Hearing Protection Yellow kids T-shirt*£15.00
Unknown Pleasures Text Black T-shirt*£25.00
Stamp White T-shirt*£25.00
Factory Postcard£2.00
Factory A5 Pad£15.00
Factory A6 Pad£10.00
UP Tea Towel£10.00
Section 25 Tea Towel£10.00
Badge Set£5.00
Factory Tape£10.00
Factory Pencil£5.00
Factory Pin Badge£5.00
Factory Key Ring£5.00
Factory Records Book£25.00
Unknown Pleasures Vinyl£20.00
UHP Poster£5.00

* - available to buy online

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Bigmouth podcast with OMD on Factory 

The latest Bigmouth podcast (#171) is an OMD special which includes Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys recalling their memories of being on Factory Records, supporting Joy Division and the Fac 15 Zoo Meets Factory Half Way gig in Leigh.

Thanks to JG for spotting.

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9 Oct 2019
In conversation with Peter Saville & Jon Savage @ Tate Britain 
Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40

To coincide with the Use Hearing Protection: FAC 1 – 50 / 40 exhibition on at Chelsea Space until 26 October 2019, co-founder and art director of Factory Records, Peter Saville, will be in conversation with exhibition co-curator Jon Savage at the Clore Gallery in Tate Britain on 22 October 2019 from 19:00 until 21:00.

Following the talk, there will be a very special screening of rare footage of Joy Division playing live at the Apollo Theatre, Manchester filmed by Richard Boon during the Buzzcocks' 1979 tour. Some of the footage can be seen on the Fact 27 'Here Are The Young Men' video which, of course, is on display in the exhibition.

The event is free but tickets must be booked - see the Tate website [->] for more info.

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Fac 27 Sex Machine alternative sleeve - full story and pics 
Fac 27 Sex Machine alternative sleeve - full story and pics

My favourite item in the Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition is the Fac 27 'Sex Machine alternative sleeve' artwork. It has always intrigued me as to what this actually was (and, indeed, whether or not it actually existed as opposed to just being a concept). During the 'Back in the Cellar' archive project (2009-2019) I uncovered a sketched out drawing which to my mind could have been the "alternative sleeve" - see above.

However, it always seemed a bit too jovial or jocular for a Crawling Chaos sleeve. Now that the true source has been identified (Chapter 13, page 59 of 'La Baronne Steel' by Jim) it seems reasonable to assume that the sketch (probably by AHW) was done as a rather loose interpretation before the final, less-pornographic, sleeve for Fac 17 'Sex Machine' was decided upon (see last image).

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review - detail of Fac 27 Sex Machine alternative sleeve

Exhibition caption

La Baronne Steel
By Jim

The alternate cover concept for Crawling Chaos's Sex Machine was a Peter Saville design using an image from the book La Baronne Steel (The Baroness Steel) by illustrator Jim. First published by les humanoides asscolés in Belgium in 1976 the book features numerous illustrations by Jim throughout. The image Saville had marked as the potential cover image was on page 59 highlighting Chapter 13.

Note: there is no mention of Rob Gretton who is generally credited on this Fac number in this caption - more information needed.

Fac 17 'Sex Machine' final sleeve

detail of Fac 17 Sex Machine

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8 Oct 2019
Use Hearing Protection Poster Design Event 
Use Hearing Protection Poster Design Event

To coincide with the Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition which runs until 26 October 2019, hosts Chelsea Space are running a poster design competition. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to submit poster designs inspired by the First 50 Fac numbers.

5 designs will be selected to be exhibited on the exterior wall of Chelsea Space. Winning designs to be announced and exhibited on Thursday 24 October.

The original exhibition poster was designed by Howard Wakefield. Entrants are invited to design a poster that is 16 cm high by 12 cm wide.

Submissions must be received by Chelsea Space by Monday 20 October 2019.

All submissions must include name and email address.

By submitting an entry to this competition you agree for your name and the image of your design to be used by Chelsea Space for marketing purposes.

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The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review 
The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition (aka "we are bored in the city") is on at Chelsea Space and the Chelsea College of Art and Design until 26 October 2019. Curators Mat Bancroft and Jon Savage have assembled historical artefacts in the form of records, posters, archive papers, documents and much more in the first exhibition of its kind that I can remember as part of celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Factory Records (41st shurely? Ed.).

The exhibition deals with the first fifty Fac numbers in approximately numerical order starting with Fac 1 at the end of the corridor as you enter the main space and after some scene-setting posters and publications such as the Joy Division 'Walthamstow' ("Shimmy") and Situationist texts like 'Leaving the 20th Century'. Explanatory texts and captions are kept to minimum but there is a foldout A4 black-and-white information sheet or, for a modest £5, the "we are bored in the city" A5 black-and-white information booklet (by Jon Savage) which contains small reproductions of some of the artefacts on display.

The FAC 1-50 collection is impressive when seen together as a body of work and is all the more so when you consider the very short span of time it took for it to be developed (1978-1981). Given the rarity and value of some of the individual items it's pleasing to see virtually everything that could be displayed is present and correct. The only exceptions are the mega-rare black-on-silver variant of the Fact 10+4 poster and the Fac 46 'Video Circus' poster. The latter number is represented only by the silver A Certain Ratio sticker for the NYC leg of the Video Circus. Interestingly the copy on display featured blue ink on a silver sticker whereas my personal copy (kindly given to me by Donald Johnson of ACR) has red ink. The former is very rare indeed and it was not possible to locate a copy (where are you Steven?).

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review
The exhibition in final stages of preparation

The supporting material is mainly presented in flatbed display cases with clear vitrine protective lids. This comes from a variety of sources but most notably the AHW Collection at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. This aspect was especially pleasing for me on a personal level since I have been involved with the documenting and catalogue of that collection since 2009 when I was invited to help the Museum by Oli Wilson. All along it's been at the back of my mind that wouldn't it be great to see this material in an exhibition. That dream has finally come to life and there is the tantalising prospect of even more material being exhibited when the Use Hearing Protection exhibition transfers to the Science and Industry Museum next year. The theme will still be FAC 1-50, but, due to increased capacity when the new exhibition space at the Museum is completed, there will be scope to include more material. I understand that there are also proposals to include a video screening room and perhaps even hold more associated events.

In fact, if there was one criticism of the current exhibition it is just that the limited exhibition space just isn't big enough to allow justice to be done to everything. With the exceptions of Fact 10 which has a whole panel devoted to it, Fac 18 which has 7"/12" variants and Fac 41 Fairy Tales (green and purple colourways), pretty much only one side of one version of one format is viewable. It would be nice to see both sides of the sleeves of all releases in the way that materials were exhibited at The Peter Saville Show in 2003. There are numerous opportunities to include additional material, such as all the variants of the Fac 18 'Girls Don't Count' with all the three different girlfriends, the Fact 14 'The Return of the Durutti Column' variants with and without stencilling, Fac 19 'It's Hard To Be an Egg' with the feather, Fac 39 'Watching the Hydroplanes' on clear and transparent vinyl, different formats of various albums and the occasional promotional poster.

Here's looking forward to next year.


More info at usehearingprotection.com/exhibition [->]

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7 Oct 2019
A Certain Ratio live at the Warehouse Project, Manchester, 2019 
A Certain Ratio live at the Warehouse Project 2019

A Certain Ratio play The Warehouse Project @ Mayfield Depot in Manchester on Saturday 12 October 2019 alongside Hacienda Classical, Soul II Soul and a huge line-up of ex-Haçienda DJs including Greg Wilson, Pickering & Park and many more.

Full stage times have now been released and tickets are still available. Full details below:



Haçienda Classical
Soul II Soul
A Certain Ratio


Louie Vega
David Morales
Marshall Jefferson
Mike Pickering
Graeme Park
Greg Wilson
Arthur Baker
Justin Robertson
K Klass
Tom Wainwright

Plus very special guests, the return of Sub Sub (DJ set)

18:00 – 03:00 | DEPOT (MAYFIELD)

GBP 35.00 + Booking fee [Buy Tickets]

A Certain Ratio live at the Warehouse Project 2019

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