13 Aug 2004
Damp squib 
Last night's Manchester Evening News trailed the UK leg of Madonna's World Tour with a piece recalling her appearance at Fac 104 The Tube live from Fac 51 The Hacienda.

Moist, the unnamed punter in the article, reveals a tad more about the event and would like to make the point that it was most definitely not a gig: "I'm afraid Madonna never actually 'played' at the Hacienda. She, and two lycra-clad muscle men, were filmed for 'The Tube' miming and dancing their way through a backing tape of 'Holiday'. This is known in the music business as a PA, not a concert, and involved no backing band and certainly no singing.

"She was reputed to have 'played' again when the filming of 'The Tube' finished and the club re-opened for the usual Friday club night but, apparently, she did nothing other than sit in the dressing room being chatted up by various dodgy Mancunians.

"It has always been a mystery to me as to who invented the myth of a Madonna concert and why it has lasted so long. I'd be interested to hear how many people tell you otherwise - they are mistaken or fibbing."

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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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