10 Mar 2014
Martin Hannett dvd documentary review 
Martin Hannett: He Wasn't Just The Fifth Member of Joy Division

We have been privy to a sneak preview of the previously-announced Martin Hannett featuring contributions from Tony Wilson, Vini Reilly, Bruce Mitchell, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, Tosh Ryan, Steve Hopkins (Invisible Girls), Mark Radcliffe, Dave Formula, Reni and Andy Couzens (Stone Roses) plus many others.

This is no flash expensive BBC documentary, it's a gritty warts 'n' all tale of experimentation, laid bare with the minimum of trickery and a host of wide-eyed observers, interviewed from the '90s onwards - it's rather like witnessing a chat down the pub in some cases (this is no bad thing). There is a soundtrack of sorts, mainly confined to studio tape offcuts and a few videos of Hannett rubbing Wilson up the wrong way or, rather upsettingly, being wheeled around in a shopping trolley for a music video like an overfed turkey. Death was slowly coming by the time that infamous New FADS video hit the channels.

When all is said and done, Martin Hannett really wasn't just the fifth member of Joy Division, or the fourth in The Names or the third in Durutti Column - he was a pioneer in the mould of Joe Meek and Phil Spector, a one-off, a maverick and the like of whom we're unlikely to see, or hear, again. So, until someone at the Beeb gets off their arse and makes a high-end film about the man called Zero, this no-frills DVD will suffice.

Read the full 4* review by Cerysmatic's Paul Pledger via his Flipside Reviews.

Martin Hannett: He Wasn't Just The Fifth Member of Joy Division launches on 10 April from 7pm at Gorilla in Manchester.

For more details on pre-ordering please email ozitrecords@which.net.

Martin Hannett: He Wasn't Just The Fifth Member of Joy Division launch night flyer

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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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The Durutti Column