30 Jul 2006
So, farewell then, Top of the Pops 
Top of the Pops, the BBC's long-running music show, has now gone to the great musical tv graveyard in the sky along with The Tube, Wired and The Word. The last show screened this evening in the UK. Of the many tributes in print and in the media, perhaps the most notable for FAC fans is the Saturday Guardian's magazine which includes anecdotes from Paul Ryder (Happy Mondays) and Steve Morris (New Order) on perhaps their most famous (or infamous) appearances on the show.

New Order refused to mime, played 'Blue Monday' live and in the words of Steve "it sounded awful". But at least they had the balls not to mime.

Happy Mondays went down in legend by appearing on the same show as The Stone Roses. He recalls how a madcap plan to swap the bands' respective drummers nearly came off but was rumbled by the BBC.

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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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