19 Sep 2008
Dark side of the M 
Once upon a time seasoned Manchester watchers could guess when the bigwigs were in town as the screaming TAG vans would suddenly be replaced by pairs of shiny, happy, multiracial policemen and women having fun on the beat, signifying that some royalty or IOC or other were enjoying the local council's largesse.

Nowadays it's a bit more obvious, what with the with cordons, tank-traps, helicopters, security seals, road-closures and snipers hiding behind.....Peter Saville branding!

As a swathe of central Manchester is in lockdown for the annual conference of the right-wing neocon New Labour Party, once again selective parts of the city centre are festooned with full on security trimmings and a new incarnation of that Manchester M logo.

First aired in 2006 as part of Saville's Original, Modern treatment for the branding of the city, the new series consists of a number of lamppost banners and a 'The City of Manchester welcomes the Labour Party Conference 2008' poster, on view, probably, until the apparatchiks and party faithful leave town early next week.

The veneer of democracy.



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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