11 Oct 2004
The Concept 
John Metcalfe, in the sleevenotes to his album Scorching Bay, explains the background to its recording:

"Technically the composition involved limiting the amount of thematic material and using it in each track with as little incidental music as possible. Each theme could be transposed and used in part or in its entirety but had to maintain its exact rhythm and pitch intervals without variation. What had been melody in one track could form a bassline or motor rhythm in the next. So the first track contains all new themes; by the last track there is only material that has been used several times over."

On the album, John plays violin, guitar and piano in addition to the usual viola that he plays when he guests for The Durutti Column (whose Best Of album is out today - where are the reviews?).

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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

Factory Records

The Durutti Column