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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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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