12 Dec 2019
The Wake live @ Subterania, London 11 Sep 2020 


2020 is set to be a big year for The Wake with a Factory Benelux slbum and live shows in the offing. The first of these has already been confirmed and is set for 11 September 2020 at the excellent Subterania in West London underneath the Westway.

Tickets are available now priced £22.00 (plus booking fee) via seetickets.com.

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UK Song Map Open Edition by Dorothy 
UK Song Map Open Edition by Dorothy

If you're stuck for Christmas present ideas for the music fan in your house then the UK Song Map is a great choice. This is a map of the United Kingdom made up entirely from the titles of over 1,400 songs. Factory is represented by the 'Madchester Rave On' EP (ok, not a song title) by Happy Mondays and 'Winter Hill' by A Certain Ratio.

More info and buying instructions at: wearedorothy.com [-->]

See also: Factory Records Christmas Cards

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Section 25 IndustrialUnit + Vee VV live in Liverpool 
Section 25 IndustrialUnit + Vee VV live in Liverpool

Section 25 IndustrialUnit, the SXXV spin-off band featuring Vin Cassidy and Steve Stringer, will play 81 Renshaw in Liverpool on Saturday 28 March 2020. Support comes from Vee VV, a Blackpool band formed after the demise of Tunnelvision and other guests to be confirmed.

Tickets are on sale now priced £8.00 plus booking fee via wegottickets.com.

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Facebook Event

81 Renshaw
81 Renshaw Street
Liverpool
L1 2SJ

More info: www.81renshaw.co.uk

See also: The Section 25 IndustrialUnit Cerysmatic Factory Playlist

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9 Dec 2019
Praxis XL - Factory and Haçienda Postcards 
Praxis XL - Factory and Haçienda Postcards

Stuck for ideas for Christmas presents for the Factory obsessive in your family? Why not treat them to a pack of ten postcards featuring reproductions of flyers and posters designed by Trevor Johnson for Factory and the Haçienda. The set is available for the princely sum of five pounds direct from the-modernist.org on the occasion of the Praxis XL exhibition which runs in Manchester until 23 December 2019.

And then there's the Praxis XL badge set.

See also: The Praxis XL Exhibition Review




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6 Dec 2019
Matthew Robertson in conversation at The Modernist Society 
Matthew Robertson in conversation at The Modernist Society

Matthew Robertson, the author of the Fac 461 Factory Records - The Complete Graphic Album will be in conversation with Pete Mitchell at The Modernist Society in Manchester on Wednesday 18 December 2019 from 18:30 to 20:00. This event follows on from the sell-out Trevor and Craig Johnson event set up to coincide with the Praxis XL exhibition which runs until 23 December 2019.

Factory fans will know that Matthew’s book painstakingly researched and beautifully illustrated book covers much of Factory's design output and serves as an essential guide. Many of the images in the Praxis exhibition were courtesy of Matthew and he is sure to have many insights into Factory's catalogue. Copies of the book will available in the shop and Matthew will be available to sign them for you.

Book now via the-modernist.org [-->]

The Modernist Society
58 Port Street
Manchester

See also: The Praxis XL Exhibition Review

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Slow Car Fast Car 


Minny Pops follow up the Outernationale remix EP with a new release 'Slow Car Fast Car' which is out now on most major digital platforms including SoundcloudApple MusicSpotify and Deezer.

A suitably enigmatic message from "Your Leader " has appeared on the Minny Pops website (how'd that happen? Ed.):

"The other day I was thinking what is the point of driving a Porsche if you are always stuck in traffic? Which also made me think, what is the point of taking a Porsche out for a test ride if you can’t afford one?"

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5 Dec 2019
The Biting Tongues 'Live It' Review by Iain Key 
The Biting Tongues 'Live It' Review by Iain Key

Former Factory artist Biting Tongues have just had their 1981 limited cassette-only lost release 'Live It' reissued by Andy Votel's Finders Keepers Records.

Originally released on New Hormones, Biting Tongues' 2nd album was one of a series of three limited edition releases of just 500 cassettes (others by Ludus and CP Lee) that came with a booklet, badge, stickers and a sweatshirt offer. The 6-track release has now been expanded to 10 with the additional 4 tracks coming from rare cassette magazines released at the time.

The idea of releasing it on tape only appears to have been a financial one by the label despite them being in vogue (the Walkman being relatively new and cassette sales actually being equal to, if not greater than vinyl at the time). In his notes, Graham Massey explains, "New Hormones didn't have enough money to press it up on vinyl and so it became a cassette-only release, which felt like a bit of a disappointment. I always felt it buried some of our best work, compounded by the fact that we actually left off some of the best tracks from the session. These tracks lived on a cassette I've carried around for forty years, the tape slowly getting dull and wearing thin. In recent years I've been digitising Colin Seddon's cassette collection of Biting Tongues material and rediscovered a first-generation recording of the sessions on TDK SA tape."

Prior to listening to this reissue of 'Live It' I'd only previously only heard a handful tracks released on various Factory compilations and only had a very rough idea of the history of the band from their formation to provide a soundtrack to the saxophonist Howard Walmsley's film 'Biting Tongues' through to the initially unreleased 'Recharge' album so it was fascinating listening to this as a something new in 2019 and also trying to imagine how it would have fit in during those heady days of post-punk and New Romantics.

My thoughts on the first couple of listens were that it was very angular and abstract, not very easy listening, and improvised. Through Graham's notes which accompany this release it would appear my final thought especially was wide of the mark, with several mentions of demos being recorded and sent down to London for vocalist Ken Hollings to refine his lyrics before travelling up to Manchester to record them.

So improvised may be the wrong word; with repeated listens there is clearly a depth and structure to the tracks despite it occasionally sounding like band members are going off and playing at tangents with vocals being improvised. As Ken explained in an interview in 2008 there is a difference to how the band would record which gives it a unique sound and one was that odds with how many things would have been produced at the time, "We'd record a whole side of an album in one session with no breaks between the tracks and do a mix afterwards – nothing was ever re-recorded – we'd even leave in any slips of the tongue or mispronounced words I might have struggled with in the session, any stray pieces of sound that the microphone picked up, or we'd simply record straight onto two-channel tape, recording through the studio desk with the producer mixing and adding effects while we were performing in the studio – we wouldn't know what it sounded like until the playback – and because it was two-channel you couldn't correct it: you'd have to do the whole thing again, which we pretty much refused to do'.

I can hear some influences on this release from Talking Heads' 1980 release 'Remain In Light' but, for those listening in 1981, tracks such as 'Libreville' would have easily complemented releases such as 'To Each...' by A Certain Ratio where tracks such as 'Back To The Start' mix a variety of instruments, not always conventional over driving rhythms to create a danceable beat, but very different to the polished chart music at the time which was dominated by the likes of Adam and The Ants, Madness and Soft Cell.

In 2019 each listen brings something new, there is so much going on across the 10 tracks there's a sense of opening Pandora's Box that it begs for repeated listening, and although it maybe a little challenging at, first patience is paid off.

It's not often that something that's nearly 40 years old can sound as contemporary, interesting and challenging as this release does.

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2 Dec 2019
Section 25 IndustrialUnit live in Manchester and Freiburg 


Section 25 IndustrialUnit follow up their recent show in Walthamstow, London with a couple of 2020 dates in Manchester and Freiburg.

On Saturday 29 February 2020 it's Aatma on Faraday Street in Manchester with special guest The Junta. They travel to Freiburg in Germany for a date at The Slow Club on Friday 3 April 2020.

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29 February 2020
Aatma, 1st Floor
14-16 Faraday St
Manchester
M1 1BE

Buy Tickets Now

Friday 3 April 2020
Slow Club Freiburg
Haslacher Straße 25
79115 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany

Facebook Event

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26 Nov 2019
The Praxis XL Factory Records Anniversary badge 
The Praxis XL Factory Records Anniversary badge

Trevor and Trevor and Craig Johnson, who curated and designed the Praxis XL exhibition currently running at The Modernist Society in Manchester, have designed a special limited edition commemorative badge which is available in Plum, Pink and Red colourways.

Each badge comes on its own backing card and has a rubber butterfly fastening.

The badges are available to buy now priced £7.00 via the-modernist.org [->]

See also: Praxis XL - A Factory Anniversary Exhibition Review

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25 Nov 2019
Trevor and Craig Johnson in conversation with Pete Mitchell 
Trevor and Craig Johnson in conversation with Pete Mitchell

Pete Mitchell will host an in conversation event with Trevor and Craig Johnson at the Modernist Society in Manchester on Wednesday 5 December 2019 from 18:30 until 20:00 to tie in with the current Praxis XL exhibition.

Tickets priced from £4.00 are available via the-modernist.org [->].

The Modernist Society
58 Port Street
Manchester

See also: The Praxis XL Review

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22 Nov 2019
Scream City 6 
Scream City 6 [front cover detail]

Scream City 6 is the long-awaited film and video edition originally planned for 2012 but which never happened but is now slated for 2020.

The regular line-up of writers will return - Michael Eastwood, John Cooper, Andrew James, Ian McCartney, David Nolan plus debutants Iain Key, Brian Nicholson and Paul Pledger.

The publication schedule is somewhat tentative at this stage but, with a surprising amount of work already having been completed several years ago, it is not having to be started from scratch. More information when I have it but it should be published in the first half of 2020.

In a break from tradition, but rather aptly considering the subject material, this edition will be online-only.

See also: Scream City

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21 Nov 2019
Scream City 5 - additional material 
Scream City 5 - additional material

Scream City 5 was published in 2010 about 2 years after issue 4 and after just shorter than that in preparation time. The graphic design of the cover spanned just about the entire development period. It was pretty clear from the outset that this would be "The International Edition" and that some form of map would feature.

In the end it featured Buckminter Fuller's Dymaxion projection in a wraparound full-bleed design but not before a brief dalliance with vintage Ordnance Survey.

Let the full, epic story commence!

Scream City 5 - additional material

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