30 Dec 2003
Love for the city of Manchester 
Drugs, and music (not necessarily in that order): 24 Hour Party People is the Internet Movie Database's Movie of the Day.


29 Dec 2003
Boxing Day 
The Joy Division limited edition three disc 'Box' set has finally hit the streets.

To recap, the set comprises the Preston Warehouse (Feb 1980) and Les Bains Douches, Paris (Dec 1979) live sets and adds the previously-only-available-as-a-bootleg Amsterdam Paradiso (Jan 1980). The release was temporarily halted whilst legal issues were resolved. Presumably these have now been sorted out and it's on sale now.


25 Dec 2003
A Happy Christmas from Cerysmatic Factory
23 Dec 2003
A Fac-related tale for Christmas from the sleevenotes by Kevin Pearce (2001) to 'Smash The System', the Saint Etienne retrospective...

"So, when colleagues cornered you and asked the dreaded question: 'So what music do you like?', the words Saint Etienne were a godsend. Everyone seemed to know or have a soft spot for the Etienne. And when eyebrows were raised at arms aloft, shirt off antics, it was okay to say: 'Oh, I've been at it since K-Klass learnt to spell. You should come up and see my Saint Etienne 12s sometime.' If you then blew it by saying you swore by an old Network techno compilation with John McCready sleevenotes mentioned Life's Tell Me, then that's fine as the most snobbish electronica anorak approved of your Saint Etienne vs Aphex Twin Who Do You Think You Are 12."

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21 Dec 2003
Redesigned by Peter Saville 
The promotional leaflets advertising the forthcoming Peter Saville Show at Urbis have had to be redesigned after the originals did not meet with Mr Saville's approval. Let's hope they get them ready before the exhibition starts...

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Drink Leningrad Dry 
Congratulations to City Life magazine on their 20th Birthday! Their commemorative issue (with Noel Gallagher cover) features various retrospective articles and awards including The Citizen's 'Two Decades of Mischief'. He mused in December 1991 that "the increasingly hirsute Anthony H Wilson is thinking of expanding the Factory empire by getting into Eastern Europe. One of his ideas is to open a Dry Bar in Leningrad, just one of Manchester's seven twin cities."

The same issue also speculates on the best Manchester single from the same 20-year period. Factory entries include Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', New Order's 'Blue Monday' and Happy Mondays' 24 Hour Party People. You can vote for your favourite at www.citylife.co.uk.

Finally, in clubbing, 'Wet' a Hacienda event at a swimming pool in Hathersage Road baths in November 1988 is lovingly remembered.

That's enough City Life / Factory reminiscences.

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19 Dec 2003
On The Edge 
Screen Edge have the rights to release a whole load of ex-Factory and ex-Ikon videos which you may have longer for for some time.

Their 'Indie' catalogue includes Fact 77 'A Factory Outing', Fact 56 'A Factory Video', Fact 137 'Shorts', The Birthday Party 'Pleasure Heads Must Burn', Biting Tongues 'Wall Of Surf', Blurt 'Live At The Subs', The Fall 'Perverted By Language / Live at Leeds', Hunters and Collectors 'The Way To Go Out', plus a whole load of bands recorded live at Fac 51 The Hacienda including Blancmange, The Bridewell Taxis, Cabaret Voltaire, The Chameleons and, er, Divine. Prices are quite reasonable at around GBP 12.99 for a video and 15.99 for a dvd.

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Check out the new UK edition of Esquire magazine for exclusive Nick Knight photography from the 2004 Pirelli Calendar (which features graphic design by Peter Saville).

"It's like a masked ball", says Nick Knight, in a reference to the unattributed quotations from leading ladies from the arts world which illuminate his digitally-manipulated photographs of some of the world's top models.


Portugese Durutti Dates Announced 
The Durutti Column have announced two dates in Portugal in response to the fantastic reception their last album Someone Else's Party has received throughout Europe.

23 January 2004: Santiago Alquimista, Lisbon
24 January 2004: Teatro Rivoli, Oporto

Tickets for both gigs are 15 Euros and are available from the venues or www.ticketline.pt


18 Dec 2003
Computer moments 
Today's Talk Time in The Guardian features Peter Saville. It centres on his use or otherwise (mainly otherwise) of computers and mentions Brett Wickens's talents with Photoshop ("he was so proficient it seemed churlish to bother") and lists three of Peter Saville's bookmarks: London Review of Books, Colourwash [bathrooms] and Showstudio.


17 Dec 2003
Definitive Durutti Dates 
This in from Phil Jones Presents Management: "Durutti Column to play the following UK dates in April:

Saturday 3rd April 2004, King Tut's, Glasgow
Tickets available from Ticketmaster (Tel: 0870 169 0100)

Thursday 8th April 2004, Islington Academy, London
Tickets available from Ticketweb (Tel: 0870 771 2000)

Support in London will come from Litmus, a string quartet who perform their own unique versions of songs by Mancunian legends such as Joy Division, The Smiths and The Stone Roses. This support slot has been confirmed after the rapturous reception Litmus inspired at their recent gig with Durutti Column at Manchester University.

Further dates to be announced in the New Year. The Durutti Column are to play a tour of the UK in support of the release of the 32 track "Definitive Durutti Column" to be released on London Records."

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16 Dec 2003
From flanged guitar dance to quasi-heavy metal 
Check out these reviews from the Guardian and the Durutti list of Saturday night's gig by The Durutti Column at Manchester Academy 3. Sadly I could not make this gig so any pointers on the missing tracks in the setlist are welcomed.


14 Dec 2003
Sadly the as-yet-unannounced roster for 'Factory Three' doesn't include The Shaggs, The Reverend in Rhythm or The Swinging Mothers [c.f. Faclist messages ad infinitum].

Rumour has it that Tony Wilson is waiting for the right band with which to launch the label and that his cohorts will be Peter Saville (the designer), Paul Morley (the journalist / writer) and, er, Trevor Horn (the producer).

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11 Dec 2003
Die-hard completists don't want it 
This is John Dowie's verdict (from his official website) on his early Eighties release Fac 19 'It's Hard To Be An Egg' which was produced by Martin Hannett. Not quite sure that's entirely accurate as this 7" single in realistic (?) egg colours, some with feather for added realism is a necessity for any self-respecting Factory collection. Earlier Dowie ensured his immortality by appearing on the legendary Fac 2 A Factory Sample (performing 'Acne', 'Idiot' and 'Hitler's Liver'). Dowie's Factory career ended with the eponymous video cassette release 'Dowie' (Fact 89) which featured cover art by Ralph Steadman. More recently John Dowie has co-written and starred in the BBC comedy musical drama for kids 'Dogman' which has recently been issued on video.

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2004 Pirelli Calendar 
The 2004 Pirelli Calendar designed by Peter Saville with photography by Nick Knight is not available in the shops.

In case you Facsters were thinking of trying to get hold of a copy, bear this in mind: The calendar is distributed solely amongst Pirelli employees and their most valued customers. Of course, this doesn't stop copies appearing on eBay, but be warned, the last one sold for over 125 GBP!

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8 Dec 2003
Litmus guest 
This just in from Fiona at Phil Jones Management:

"It has just been announced that support for The Durutti Column's gig at Manchester University on Saturday 13th December will come from Litmus, a string quartet who perform their own unique versions of songs by Mancunian legends such as Joy Division, The Smiths and The Stone Roses. Songs in the Litmus canon include Love Will Tear Us Apart, Atmosphere, Bizarre Love Triangle, Lazyitis, She's Lost Control and, er, Holding Back The Years. Litmus were formed in Nov 2001 to play live at the launch of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. They have since performed at several major Manchester events, including the International Finance and Enterprise Week gala dinner.

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5 Dec 2003
It's coming home 
Full details of the forthcoming Peter Saville Show at Urbis in Manchester follow: "Returning to his home city, Peter Saville brings a three-decade retrospective of his work to Urbis in Manchester - opening 23 January and running through 18 April 2004. Curated by the Design Museum in London and currently touring the world, The Peter Saville Show is a landmark exhibition showcasing one of the most influential graphic designers of our time. The Peter Saville Show showcases over 500 items from conception through to finished pieces, from album artwork to his work with fashion gurus such as Mandarina Duck, Dior, Givenchy, Stella McCartney and Yohji Yamamoto."


4 Dec 2003
Hopper updates 
The Hopper line-up / biography and discography have all been updated and a few glitches corrected for good measure (Ridiculous Day is now not quite so ridiculous). Check out their old touring schedule, setlists and find out what Rachel has been up to since Hopper.

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3 Dec 2003
Ed Templeton 
Ed Templeton is possibly the only ex-Factory designer who is also a professional skateboarder - unless Peter Saville is not telling us something...

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2 Dec 2003
May I have the envelope please... 
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, the result of the Cerysmatic Factory Top Ten Competition. In traditional fashion the runner up is announced first and it is Mike Stein from the USA (who wins a special consolation prize):

My Top 10 (for what its worth...)

1. FAC 183 - New Order "True Faith": New Order's highest chart position at the time and still one of their best pop singles. Peter Saville's artwork for both the standard and remix 12"s remains his best. Enough said.

2. FAC 34/FACT 35 - A Certain Ratio and ESG recording with Hannett in New Jersey: Factory goes to New York for the first time and records two seminal dance punk records across the river at EARS in New Jersey with Martin Hannett [->] at the knobs. One of the resulting ESG recordings would go on to become a Larry Levan favorite ("Moody") and another one of the most sampled records in hip-hop history ("UFO"). The equally groundbreaking ACR LP ("To Each") would forever be shrouded in myth due to the resetting of Hannett's mixing board settings by a studio engineer.

3. FAC 126 - "Alan Goes to Moscow": In true Factory fashion, an absolutely beautiful poster commemorating absolutely nothing. Alan's trip was a failure and it took another five years for Factory Classical to become established. Nevertheless, the poster works quite well in my living room!

4. FACT 275 - New Order "Technique" artwork: Saville goes Warhol to bring us some of his brightest and most memorable sleeves. The LP artwork, along with the "Fine Time," "Round & round," and "Run 2" singles were Saville's hottest streak for New Order.

5. FAC 242 - Happy Mondays "Madchester" EP: Hallelujah indeed! The Madchester frenzy begins leading to two years of NME front covers on the Mondays and Roses, along with countless MTV specials and magazine articles exploiting the scene surrounding the Hacienda. The single not only proved Hannett's continued viability, but launched the still on-going careers of Paul Oakenfold and Andy Weatherall, who produced the remixes for FAC 242R.

6. FACT 14 - The Durutti Column "The Return of...": Factory's way of "killing us softly with his song." The LP was an ahead of its time paradox of punk anarchy and Vini's tranquil guitar all wrapped in sandpaper. John Lydon threatened to destroy your record collection with a sandpaper sleeve but instead opted for a metal canister. In a Wilsonesque act of situationist fandom, Factory actually executed the concept.

7. FACT 75 - New Order "Power Corruption and Lies" artwork: Saville moves a step forward from his Graphica Industria phase to juxtapose Fantin-Latour's "Roses," a nod to 60s flower power, with Saville's self-invented color coded numbering schema for the computer age. The result was the perfect sleeve for New Order's movement (Movement - get it?) to sequencer driven pop. Saville's color coding concept was also brilliantly carried on New Order's associated "Blue Monday" (FAC 73) and "Confusion" (FAC 93) singles as well as Section 25's "From the Hip" LP (FACT 90).

8. FACT 210 - Cath Carroll "England Made Me": An ashamedly underrated LP. An eclectic mix of Cath's soulful voice with dance pop, Brazilian rhythms, and a touch of Steve Albini. Like many Factory productions, it was expensive to make and didn't sell well!

9. FACT 250 / FAC 213 - Joy Division "Substance" and "Atmosphere" artwork: It is extremely difficult to limit the number of Joy Division / New Order sleeves from this list, but Saville's work for the "Substance" retrospective and its accompanying single "Atmosphere" was again timeless. The posters for the album and single incorporating the Jan Van Munster sculptures are particularly stunning. As always, Saville's artwork would not be as special were it not backed with some of the best pop gems of the last century.

10. FAC 331 - Ben Kelly board room table: Quite simply an ultra modern and expensive table that the Mondays broke! One of Factory's greatest examples of hedonism and corporate waste - well before the dot com boom. It also made for a great scene in "24 Hour Party People" with Paddy Considine (playing Rob Gretton) trying to strangle Steve Coogan (playing Tony Wilson).

Thanks very much to Mike. But now, the winner – Andrew James from Blighty:

My 10 — Not a top 10, 'cos no way is 'Can't Afford To' better than 'Flight', but 10 good reasons to like the label.

New Order Play At Home. Long before Big Brother and Wife Swap, Channel 4 was known for innovative programming, and once a week in late 1983 (?) let various groups loose with cameras and total editorial control. Siouxsie and the Banshees created a surreal homage to Alice In Wonderland, Level 42 waxed lyrical about the Isle of Wight, and New Order chatted to their mates about Factory in this one hour documentary. Includes priceless footage of a naked AHW explaining "praxis" to a fully clothed Gillian Gilbert — in the bath — and Bruce Mitchell in the Hacienda bar, regaling sundry Fac artists with tales of Wilson’s parsimony.

Fact 204 The Guitar and Other Machines Durutti Column Martin Hannett and Vini produced some sublime moments to be sure, but for me, DC’s greatest producer was Stephen Street, and this was the best of their collaborations. Their "White Rabbit" from around this period is equally good, but you have to get the original 12" version on The City Of Our Lady single, and not the watered-down mix tacked on to the Domo Arigato reissue.

Fac 92 Reach For Love Marcel King Why wasn’t Marcel King a huge star?

Fact 210 England Made Me Cath Carrol They spent zillions making it, then only had 47p left to promote it. An overlooked masterpiece.

Fac 104 Tube special Madonna, Martin Fry, plus the Factory All-Stars. And Leslie Ash, post-Quadrophenia, pre-collagen injections, if I remember correctly.

Fac 201 Dry All the style bars of the 90s owe Ben Kelly.

Fac 52 Waterline ACR ACR: always the bridesmaids, never the bride. This was 20 years ahead of its time. And quite a few months before Blue Monday.

Fac 118 Can’t Afford To 52nd Street. Though often accused of being raincoat-wearing miserablists, Factory were always diverse, and never more so than with 52nd Street, who were closer to Five Star than Fad Gadget. Diane Charlemagne later enjoyed success with The Key and sang backing vocals for Goldie. If your friends tell you the label was po-faced, show 'em the video for this.

Fact 219 Flyaway Kalima, like 52nd Street, are rarely mentioned on the Faclist. Am I allowed to say "overlooked" again? For me, though, groups like Kalima and the Jazz Defektors (and John Dowie and Steve Martland) are what make Factory more interesting than, say, Sarah and InTape. This compilation is a good place to start.

Factus 17 Young, Popular and Sexy Various Artists Michael Shamberg's finest moment (and pretty much the Factus swansong). Includes Shark Vegas' fantastic "Pretenders of Love". And "No New Order".

Nice one Andrew. Your Cerysmatic Factory mousemat is on its way.

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Live, Remastered & Re-released At The Venue 
This just in from Phil Kooky:

The seminal (I love that word) live album by The Durutti Column 'Live at the Venue' will be re-mastered and re-released in time for the show in Manchester on Saturday 13 December 2003.

This is hopefully the first in a series of re-releases to be put out on 'thedurutticolumn.com' label which will be run by the band directly presumably through the official website. There is also the possibility of a subscription-type release system and expect more news on this soon.

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