22 Dec 2007
Mersey: The River That Changed The World 
"The Mersey is one of the world’s great rivers. It was fundamental to the industrial revolution, was poisoned by pollution and has recently made a amazing recovery. From the hills of the Peak District, through the urban sprawl of Stockport and Manchester and across rural Cheshire, it flows to the sea from its estuary at Liverpool and Birkenhead."

"Mersey: the river that changed the world is a project that celebrates the River Mersey, and the people whose lives have been entwined with it."

'Westward Ho' by Tony Wilson is one of the specially commissioned essays - probably his last published work - contained therein.

Reviewing the book on Manchester Confidential, Phil Griffen states: "He’s described on the contributors’ page, in the shortest of shorthand, as ‘broadcast journalist and regeneration consultant’. For most of his mouthy career, on and off screen, in and out of Factory Records, Dry bar and the Hacienda, he didn’t know what he was doing. He didn’t know, until the last year or two, that he was a regeneration consultant. Actually, Tony Wilson, like the Mersey in flood, was an entire regenerative force of nature."

Mersey: the river that changed the world was published by, and is available from, Bluecoat Press. An exhibition of photography and audio material will be touring venues in the Northwest from December 2007.

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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

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