31 Oct 2019
Scream City 1 - additional material 
Scream City 1 additional material - Galt Toys Picture Lotto

The Scream City digital archive comprising issues one to five is now fully live.

Now it's time for the additional material that either inspired the graphic design or else was a concept but didn't quite make it to final publication.

Scream City 1 started life in late 2005 but the graphic design direction was inspired by a Christmas find of a childhood toy puzzle from the early Seventies.

Labels: ,

30 Oct 2019
Use Hearing Protection Factory Records 1978-1979 review 
FAC 1-10 - Use Hearing Protection box set review

Where do you start?

It's big? 15" x 15" x 5" is a little oversized for the average shelf.

It's quite expensive? Yes, but with some justification.

It has limited appeal? Maybe, but those who are invested will love it.

It's breathtaking.

When this box was first announced in August, I had no hesitation in ordering it. Whilst costing more than I would normally spend (I thought the deluxe version of 'Movement' a little on the high side) the contents, the book, the music, the posters, the CD and DVD promised a treasure trove of riches most could only dream of owning, despite being copies.

FAC 1-10 - Use Hearing Protection box set review

It's worth noting on this point that where things are facsimiles, they are to the highest degree, for example, FAC-2 is in a proper heat sealed sleeve rather than a card or paper one. FAC 6 is in a replica black-on-black thermographic braille sleeve. Clearly no expense has been spared in the production of this box celebrating greatest of all record labels.

Opening the high quality box very carefully the first thing you see is the 12x12" 60-page paperback book. With new text by the curator, James Nice, and some rare full-size photographs mixed with quotes from various sources, this focuses on the content of the box and reprints an original 1979 article by the future filmmaker and screenwriter Mary Harron. My initial intention was to have a quick skim through the book before moving on to the contents of the box, but found myself being drawn in and studying it in detail for a long time.

FAC 1-10 - Use Hearing Protection box set review

Nestled between the book and the first couple of pieces of vinyl are the 3 posters and other paper-based artefacts (FAC 1, FAC 3, FAC 4, FAC 7 and FAC 8).

The posters I've not opened out yet and, to be honest, I'm a little scared of doing so as I don't want to damage them at all as I am contemplating having them framed. The stationery is interesting, especially the copy of the 'History of Factory' double-sided piece of A4 originally typed up by Tony Wilson. When it comes to Linder Sterling's Factory Egg Timer print it's something of a curio. Indeed it's probably something that will get passed over during the first examination by most people, but it's essential as not only is it one of the first 10 items with a Factory catalogue number, it's so off the wall you can't imagine any other record company encouraging the idea of such a thing… which in itself is what makes Factory so special.

Moving on to the vinyl, as mentioned these are facsimiles of the originals. A Factory Sample, All Night Party, Electricity, Unknown Pleasures and the previously unreleased 3-track 12" by Tiller Boys. Other than the Joy Division album (the 2015 master), all of the other tracks have freshly been remastered at Abbey Road this year from the original tapes.

I must confess, that when listening to 'A Factory Sample' I realised what a bad 'fan' I am. Other than the Joy Division and Cabaret Voltaire tracks I'd never actually heard the other tracks on the debut EP, never having owned it before. Whilst I was listening to the first disc I looked at what was in the charts on 24 December 1978 when it was released… Boney M were No 1 with 'Mary's Boy Child' in the singles and the 'Grease Soundtrack Album' was holding off all pretenders in the album chart. Those Martin Hannett-produced tracks sound light years away from what was in the mainstream at the time, as would the Cabs. Curiously the 3 tracks by John Dowie don't sound that dissimilar from something the likes of the Barron Knights may have performed, who had a single in the Top 5 at the time.

FAC 1-10 - Use Hearing Protection box set review

I'm not sure how the bonus Tiller Boys 12-inch would have been received if it had been released as originally planned. It's interesting to hear, but to my ears is basically a set of instrumental jams, and not something that would have necessarily been comparable to the opening salvo of ACR, OMD and Joy Division, although again, the fact that this was considered is typical of the label.

Hidden under the seven-inchers are the final treasures in the box, the first of which is the rarely seen and recently remastered 'No City Fun'. Accompanied by 3 Joy Division tracks, the film is almost exclusively filmed on the 42 bus route through Withington to Manchester City Centre. For me this was fascinating as it took me back to my youth, as it was about a journey I vaguely remember making as a 9-year-old complete with orange double-decker buses and Piccadilly Radio 261.

The final item contains 2 CDs worth of an interview / conversation with the aforementioned Mary Harron. This comprises ninety minutes of conversation between Mary, Tony, Rob Gretton and the members of Joy Division whilst eating out in Manchester. I had an idea this would be interesting, but I didn't realise HOW interesting. The conversation covers everything from the birth of punk and the Sex Pistols in Manchester to the formation of Joy Division and Factory. There’s all this and Tony Wilson really pushing a new Mexican restaurant (which probably would have been one of the first) in Manchester City Centre and explaining what a taco is to those listening.

Unlike myself and the Factory Sample, I imagine anyone reading this, or thinking of buying the box will have heard or own the contents of the box. They may also have seen much of the printed material in books or behind glass at exhibitions.

The box is a gorgeous artefact, lovingly curated and a truly a sum of its parts. For me personally, it's an audio/visual time capsule of a period which I missed out on by around 10 years and it offered me an opportunity to immerse myself in the late 1970s Manchester. Incidentally I am currently reading Gareth Ashton's brilliant 'Manchester: It Never Rains’ book which covers this period via eye witness accounts and adds additional context from outside of the Factory bubble.

Yes, this is expensive, but I'd say worth it as it's a quality item, which has been made to the highest possible specifications and overseen by those that have been keeping the Factory legacy alive.

Saying it's the perfect tribute for the 40th Anniversary of Factory, and to the memory of Messrs Curtis, Hannett, Gretton and Wilson, or a celebration of Saville and those who remain doesn't seem enough, but that's exactly what it is.

- Iain Key for Cerysmatic Factory

FAC 1-10 - Use Hearing Protection box set review

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

29 Oct 2019
Stephen Mallinder Um Dada album launch @ Quietus Social 
Stephen Mallinder (ex-Cabaret Voltaire) will be talking tonight Tuesday 29 October 2019 with John Doran (Editor of ⁦‪theQuietus‬⁩ and playing a live solo set to launch his new album Um Dada at The Social in London.

The evening will also feature a DJ set by ⁦‪LoneLady‬⁩DJ set.

More info: thesocial.com

Labels: , , ,

28 Oct 2019
Mauerstadt 30: Stories From The Berlin Wall @ YES 9 Nov 2019 
Mauerstadt 30: Stories From The Berlin Wall @ YES 9 Nov 2019

Manchester Digital Music Archive presents Mauerstadt 30: Stories From The Berlin Wall with Mark Reeder on Saturday 9 November 2019 at YES in Manchester. The date is significant because it marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. This free event at YES commemorates the occasion with an afternoon of live music, conversation and film, as part of the HOMOBLOC festival.

Manchester-born, Berlin-based producer, filmmaker and cultural catalyst Mark Reeder (Shark Vegas, B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989) talks to Dr Beate Peter about Berlin's underground music scenes in the years leading up to the fall of the Wall, and how he risked his freedom to bring punk to the East.

Queer curator, DJ and co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive, Abigail Ward, debuts new live material in response to the theme of the Berlin Wall, with percussionist Howard Jacobs (808 State/Architects of Rosslyn) and synth torturer Mandy Wigby (Sisters of Transistors / Architects of Rosslyn).

Toast of London's queer underground, DJ Wes Baggaley (Fabric, NYC Downlow, Robert Johnson) and producer extraordinaire Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Meatraffle, Big Joanie) play a set of exclusive electronic music inspired by the Berlin Wall.

Free tickets available now via

Labels: , , , , ,

25 Oct 2019
Two aesthetics at odds 

Jon Savage and Mat Bancroft visit the archive of Tony Wilson at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester and, in Episode 1 of the Artefacts & Discussion series, talk flyers (including Stepping Out), press releases, shareholders' analyses and sandpaper.

See also: Back in the Cellar

Labels: , , , ,

Looking for A Certain Ratio (in French) 
Looking for A Certain Ratio - Section 26

Chan Masson interviewed A Certain Ratio for Section 26 (one louder than Section 25 I presume?) on the occasion of Ratio's current European tour. Thanks to Christophe Basterra are also due.

The full interview, in French, is available now via section-26.fr [->].

See also: acrmcr.com | A Certain Ratio Gigography

Labels: , , ,

Tim Peaks - Songs For A Late-Night Diner 

Imagine the Pacific North-West of Twin Peaks country transposed to the North-West of England and a new soundtrack added on top and you'll get the premise for 'Tim Burgess & Bob Stanley Present Tim Peaks - Songs For A Late-Night Diner'. Throw in the bonus of three tracks from your favourite Factory Records artists The Durutti Column, The Royal Family and The Poor and Stockholm Monsters and then you've really got something going. 'Lips That Would Kiss (Form Prayers to Broken Stone), 'I Love You (Restrained In A Moment) and Fairy Tales are alongside others from the likes of Young Marble Giants, Isan and Echo & the Bunnymen.

The album is released via Ace Records [->] on 29 November 2019.


Choci Loni - Young Marble Giants
House With A Hundred Rooms - The Chills
Lips That Would Kiss (Form Prayers To Broken Stone) - Durutti Column
Yanks - The Gist
Hunros (A Dream) - Gwenno
I Had To Say This - The Clientele
I Love You (Restrained In A Moment) - The Royal Family &The Poor
Betty's Lament - Isan
Slow Motion - Jane Weaver
Fuel - Echo & The Bunnymen
Flowers - Galaxie 500
The Broken Fall - Gnac
Blue Dress - Birdie
Dog - El Perro Del Mar
Fairy Tales - Stockholm Monsters
Different Now - Chastity Belt
A Year With No Head - Blue Orchids
Ten Years - Bracken
Sheila - She Beats In My Heart - The Fates
Sky Burial - Dean McPhee

Labels: , , , , , ,

24 Oct 2019
Robs Records discography updates 
Robs Records

I always welcome updates on any missing or incorrect data and therefore it's a big thank you to Dec Hickey for filling in some gaps in the Robs Records discography on releases by Flamingos, Anambi, Gold Coast, Koolaid and others.

Additional releases:

12ROB8 Flamingos - 'Reason For Living' (12”)
CDROB8 Flamingos - 'Reason For Living' (CD5")
12ROB4 Anambi - 'Our Love Climbs Higher' (12”)
12ROB27 FR’ Mystery - 'Somebody’s Gonna Get Hurt' (12")
12ROB32 Sound Source - 'For Real' (12”)
12ROB33 Dan Man & General - ‘Bass Power' (12")
12ROB34 Gold Coast - 'Better Vibes / Havana Lick' (12")
12ROB41 Gold Coast - 'The Rink' (12")
12ROB43 Rack-it! - 'Have You Had It?' EP (12")
12ROB54 Koolaid - 'Untitled' (12" {test pressing only?})


23 Oct 2019
A Certain Ratio live in Japan 2020 
Eikoku-Ongaku/Vinyl Japan proudly present A Certain Ratio live in Japan 2020

A Certain Ratio's 40th Anniversary live activity goes truly global as they play Shinjuku Marz, Tokyo, Japan on 11 and 12 January 2020.

Earlybird tickets are on sale priced 7800 Yen now via marz.jp.


Eikoku-Ongaku/Vinyl Japan proudly present
Saturday 11 January / Sunday 12 January 2020, Shinjuku Marz, Tokyo, Japan

See also: A Certain Ratio Gigography

Labels: , , , ,

22 Oct 2019
Scream City 5 - The International Edition 
Scream City 5 - The International Edition

Scream City 5 was the last edition of the fanzine that I produced, back in 2010 after a 2-year gap from the fourth edition. I didn't know at the time that there wouldn't be any others. In fact, for quite a while after this edition I had an active concept for SC6 "the Video Edition" which would have delved into the world of Ikon, Doublevision, Play at Home, etc and probably come with a free VHS tape glued to the front cover (seriously, this was in the concept!). I did some tests for video titles and had some ideas for articles including the Ikonathon (a non-stop marathon of video-watching that would somehow morph into a critical masterpiece plus, on a more serious note, the extensive interview by Brian Nicholson with the late Malcolm Whitehead that eventually made it onto Cerysmatic (and which, in turn, inspired the whole Scream City digital archive).

Back to Scream City 5 and its international theme, starting with the cover and Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion projection which has absolutely nothing to do with Factory but just seemed right for this edition. I stopped short of doing the fold-out inside front cover which would've enabled a build-it-yourself Dymaxion globe but I resolve to make the template available for those who are geometrically inclined. This, and other supporting materials such as alternate covers, source materials, etc will be made available once the main issues are published.

There were 10 different articles spread across 60 pages: Andrew James took a Factory Trip Around the World, I interviewed Fiona Allen about The Area and The Haçienda, James Nice presented an extract from his Shadowplayers book and discussed the background, David Quantick sleevenoted The Distractions, Ian McCartney gave us his magnum opus on Mozart vs Joy Division, Matthew Robertson had an exclusive interview with Andrew Penhallow of Factory Australasia, I talked to Mark Reeder, Ike Yard and Michael H Shamberg and David Nolan paid tribute to Larry Cassidy.

To top things off there was a limited edition compilation CD featuring Section 25, Ike Yard, Thick Pigeon, The Wake, The Names, The Durutti Column, Biting Tongues, The Distractions, Shark Vegas and Fidelity Kastrow & Spartak.

Phew! Enough fanzines already!!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

21 Oct 2019
Scream City 4 
Scream City 4

Scream City 4 was almost totally themed around FAC-2 A Factory Sample and featured all four artists - Joy Division, The Durutti Column, Cabaret Voltaire, John Dowie - in the form of interviews with Peter Hook, Vini Reilly, Colin Sharp, Stephen Mallinder and, er, John by Scream City regulars Ian McCartney and Michael Eastwood with a special guest appearance by Phil Kooky Cleaver. Matthew Robertson discussed the design philosophy behind the record whilst Andrew James took on the wider concept of the record label sampler throughout the history of popular music.

A free limited edition CD featured the track 'Cup a Soup Romance' from the then forthcoming album by The Durutti Column, 'Sunlight to Blue... Blue to Blackness'.

The design theme was decidedly and deliberately old school, taking the fanzine concept back to its origins. Fixed-width fonts and black and white vibe. Cover star Vini Reilly was half-toned by Steven Hankinson from a portrait photo by Rachel McFarlane.

The back cover star was the silver mascot of Tony Wilson's old Jag - true story. The figurine was broken and the owner sold it to Scream City's Ian McCartney and donated the proceeds to The Christie, where AHW had been treated during his illness.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

19 Oct 2019
Ike Yard Remixes out 23 October 2019 via Noiztank 

Ike Yard's latest releases on Noiztank, 2017's 'Sacred Machine' EP, and 2018's 'Rejoy' LP have been reworked by CUB (Regis and Mønic), Antechamber (Codex Empire), Grebenstein, Rebekah, Richard Fearless, Mønic, and Sedvs on a new remix compilation which is out on 23 October 2019 on 12" vinyl and digital delivery.

Buy it now via Bandcamp.


A1 Night Klub (CUB remix)
A2 Beyondersay antechamber remix)
A3 Sister M GREBENSTEIN remix)

B1 Teardrop Rebekah remix)
B2 Indra’s Net (Richard Fearless remix)

Bonus 1: Spit Simon Shreeve monic remix)
Bonus 2: K55 (Sedvs remix)


Original tracks by Ike Yard: Stuart Argabright, Kenneth Compton, Michael Diekmann
Mastering: rude66
Design and edition: Zosima

Labels: , ,

18 Oct 2019
Scream City 3 
Scream City 3 front cover; designed by John Cooper with artwork by Matt Carroll from a photo by Richard Bellia

Scream City 3 was published in June 2007, one year after the second issue. I discovered that making fanzines is not an easy thing to do and gradually the gaps between issues got longer and longer. This was the one with the seventies porno cover and so the use of Alba Super for the title and inside cover contents page seemed de rigueur. This was probably the most eclectic issue in terms of content as there was no overall theme, save for two articles about the archives at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester (which, back then, was known as the Museum of Science and Industry or MoSI). Regular contributor Andrew James and Jan Hargreaves (now Hicks) from the Museum itself explained two different sides of the Factory archives.

David Nolan presented an extracted from his then forthcoming 'Confusion' biography of New Order's Bernard Sumner and Aloysius Munn (aka Ian McCartney) talked to Ian White of The Wendys. Michael Eastwood gave us two articles about Fac 51 The Haçienda - one on the long-lost Haçienda Classics album and another, 'Ghosts of the Haçienda' which celebrated the early years and coincided with an event at One Central under the same title.

Matthew Robertson critiqued the graphic design used by Electronic for their three main albums, David Nolan talked to Crispy Ambulance's Alan Hempsall and I snagged the cover story with the slightly suggestive title 'A Cock and Balls Story'. Whilst refreshing my memory of this last article I found an archived email with the title 'Tony Wilson's Cock and Balls'. Fortunately the article is not as puerile as the title suggests.


Scream City 3 forms part of the Scream City digital archive.

Labels: , , , , , ,

17 Oct 2019
Joy Division - Shadowplay (Re-imagined) 

Shadowplay (Re-imagined) is the latest in an ongoing video series launched in June 2019 which will see ten directors create new music videos for every track on Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures to celebrate the album's 40th anniversary. Director Vincent Moon adds 'Shadowplay' to Interzone, I Remember Nothing, Candidate and Day of the Lords with more tracks to follow.

Labels: , ,

16 Oct 2019
The Periodic Table of Factory Records 

The Scream City digital archive presents an excellent opportunity to revisit a printed paper fanzine published during the period 2006-2010.

Scream City 2 is coming soon (#coding) but meanwhile eagle-eyed readers may have wondered "what happened to the centrespread of Scream City 1, you know the Periodic Table of Factory Records?".

Well, this was reworked a few years ago on factoryrecords.org and now, after a bit of css tweaking for mobile devices, is being relaunched again.

I'm not promising that it's perfect but please enjoy.

Labels: , ,

15 Oct 2019
A Certain Ratio - 40 Years on the Floor 
Dave Simpson‬⁩ spoke A Certain Ratio about their career and extensive discography for Attack Magazine.

We learn about the ACR Barmy Army, Andy Connell's love of Weather Report and the track that got them kicked off A&M and much more.

Labels: , ,

14 Oct 2019
Scream City 2 
Scream City 2 (via the digital archive)

Scream City 2 was published in June 2006 a mere 4 months after the first issue. This production cycle proved to be unsustainable though as it was 2007 before the third one appeared.

There was a loose theme around Fac 151 The Festival of the Tenth Summer plus interviews with Andy McCluskey of OMD, Cath Carroll of Gay Animals and Miaow, Larry Cassidy of Section 25 and Tony & Chris from 4M (whose track 'The PSV' was a covermount CD which is now available to listen to via Soundcloud).

moist wrote an article about the long-lost original 'Haçienda Classics' compilation album that was scuppered due to Factory in-fighting and other shenanigans. Meanwhile the non-original 'Haçienda Classics' was hitting the shelves...

Andrew James contributed the seminal music vs style guide with his 'Giving Alvar Aalto to the Kids' and he charged a very reasonable fee.

The cover evolved from my fondness next of Observer books and the Photoshop/Illustrator mastery of Steven Hankinson. The design evolution will be covered in a future article.

With only a very small amount of editing to protect you from my editor error in the first place and malware on obsolete websites in the second, I present to you - Scream City 2.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

11 Oct 2019
Factory Records' NYC HQ at 325 Spring Street 

325 Spring Street, New York City was the former location of Factory Records’ US operations in the form of Factory US and Of Factory New York.

In 2017 photographer Sean Vegezzi took an amazing series of photographs of the upper floors of the building which were completely empty. Factory was in Room 233 and it's quite possible that some of the pics show the location of the old office. However, with most of the building contents completely stripped out it is not possible to discern exactly where it was.

In September/October 1986 the video / sculpture / installation 'Compact' designed by Peter Saville took place at the White Columns art gallery which was also located in the building. This was commemorated by the Fac 171 poster.

Many thanks to Sean Vegezzi for the photos and for giving factoryrecords.org permission to use them. I have published them as a series of three mini photo galleries on Instagram in order to do justice to the detail that they show. These are also embedded on the main page for 325 Spring Street on this site.

Labels: , , , , , ,

10 Oct 2019
New Order - Four at the Fillmore, Miami, 2020 
New Order - Four at the Fillmore, Miami, 2020

New Order will take up residence at the Fillmore Miami Beach (at the Jackie Gleason Theater) for a very special four-night run on 14, 15, 17 and 18 January 2020. All shows start at 20:00 with support from DJ Arthur Baker and special guests.

Tickets and hotel/VIP packages are on sale now at newordermiami.com

Labels: , , , , ,

Selling the 40th Anniversary 
Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition at Chelsea Space in London runs until 26 October 2019. As well as displaying, to all intents and purposes, the complete rundown of all the Fac numbers from 1 to 50, this exhibition presents the first opportunity to buy official Factory records merchandise (to any real degree) since the heyday of Factory Records itself. The Use Hearing Protection - Factory Records 1978-1979 box set itself is released on 11 October 2019 but the price tag on that rolls in at a hefty 180 GBP. Here we present a quick run-through of the slightly more affordable merchandising options, most of which are only available at the exhibition itself (as of the publication date of this article).

First up we have individual Factory Records postcards priced at £2.00 each. These come in Fac 47 anvil logo (black-on-white and white-on-black variants), Fact 45 'Always Now', Fact 10 'Unknown Pleasures' (white-on-black and black-on-white variants) and Fac 33 'Ceremony' (green sleeve).

Next (all at £5.00) we have the Factory badge set (5 button badges in various designs including worded 'Factory' and anvil), Factory pencil, Factory key ring and the Use Hearing Protection poster (which seems especially good value).

At £10.00 we have the Unknown Pleasures and Always Now tea towels. My mind starts slightly thinking of Joy Division Oven Gloves at this point but these do seem to be a constant in the photos of hauls made by people who I know who have visited the exhibition so someone in the marketing department deserves a big pat on the back for having the guts to see this one through to manufacturing and selling! Also at £10.00 there's Factory A6 paper pad and the Factory tape (eschewing the original silver-on-green of Fac 136 for on-message yellow-on-black). If A6 isn't big enough for you then there's an A5 paper pad at £15.00. Both pads seem a tad pricey but the grey design is attractive.

Finally there's a series of t-shirts in various designs starting at £15.00 for the kids' yellow Use Hearing Protection one (which looks great but, even though I've lost a lot of weight, won't fit me) and £25.00 for the adult t-shirts - Use Hearing Protection white, the amusing 'Printed on poor quality vinyl' stamp white t-shirt and the rather snazzy 'Unknown Pleasures' with text in the correct size in white-on-black.

Bonus items also on sale include Matt Robertson's Fac 461 'Factory Records - The Complete Graphic Album' book and the 40th anniversary vinyl edition of Fact 10 'Unknown Pleasures'.

Happy shopping!

Let's hope that after the exhibition finishes the range of items available to buy online is extended.

Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise

Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise

The full price list is as follows:

Selling the 40th Anniversary - Use Hearing Protection merchandise


Hearing Protection White T-shirt*£25.00
Hearing Protection Yellow kids T-shirt*£15.00
Unknown Pleasures Text Black T-shirt*£25.00
Stamp White T-shirt*£25.00
Factory Postcard£2.00
Factory A5 Pad£15.00
Factory A6 Pad£10.00
UP Tea Towel£10.00
Section 25 Tea Towel£10.00
Badge Set£5.00
Factory Tape£10.00
Factory Pencil£5.00
Factory Pin Badge£5.00
Factory Key Ring£5.00
Factory Records Book£25.00
Unknown Pleasures Vinyl£20.00
UHP Poster£5.00

* - available to buy online

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bigmouth podcast with OMD on Factory 

The latest Bigmouth podcast (#171) is an OMD special which includes Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys recalling their memories of being on Factory Records, supporting Joy Division and the Fac 15 Zoo Meets Factory Half Way gig in Leigh.

Thanks to JG for spotting.

Labels: , ,

9 Oct 2019
In conversation with Peter Saville & Jon Savage @ Tate Britain 
Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40

To coincide with the Use Hearing Protection: FAC 1 – 50 / 40 exhibition on at Chelsea Space until 26 October 2019, co-founder and art director of Factory Records, Peter Saville, will be in conversation with exhibition co-curator Jon Savage at the Clore Gallery in Tate Britain on 22 October 2019 from 19:00 until 21:00.

Following the talk, there will be a very special screening of rare footage of Joy Division playing live at the Apollo Theatre, Manchester filmed by Richard Boon during the Buzzcocks' 1979 tour. Some of the footage can be seen on the Fact 27 'Here Are The Young Men' video which, of course, is on display in the exhibition.

The event is free but tickets must be booked - see the Tate website [->] for more info.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Fac 27 Sex Machine alternative sleeve - full story and pics 
Fac 27 Sex Machine alternative sleeve - full story and pics

My favourite item in the Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition is the Fac 27 'Sex Machine alternative sleeve' artwork. It has always intrigued me as to what this actually was (and, indeed, whether or not it actually existed as opposed to just being a concept). During the 'Back in the Cellar' archive project (2009-2019) I uncovered a sketched out drawing which to my mind could have been the "alternative sleeve" - see above.

However, it always seemed a bit too jovial or jocular for a Crawling Chaos sleeve. Now that the true source has been identified (Chapter 13, page 59 of 'La Baronne Steel' by Jim) it seems reasonable to assume that the sketch (probably by AHW) was done as a rather loose interpretation before the final, less-pornographic, sleeve for Fac 17 'Sex Machine' was decided upon (see last image).

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review - detail of Fac 27 Sex Machine alternative sleeve

Exhibition caption

La Baronne Steel
By Jim

The alternate cover concept for Crawling Chaos's Sex Machine was a Peter Saville design using an image from the book La Baronne Steel (The Baroness Steel) by illustrator Jim. First published by les humanoides asscolés in Belgium in 1976 the book features numerous illustrations by Jim throughout. The image Saville had marked as the potential cover image was on page 59 highlighting Chapter 13.

Note: there is no mention of Rob Gretton who is generally credited on this Fac number in this caption - more information needed.

Fac 17 'Sex Machine' final sleeve

detail of Fac 17 Sex Machine

Labels: , , , , , ,

8 Oct 2019
Use Hearing Protection Poster Design Event 
Use Hearing Protection Poster Design Event

To coincide with the Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition which runs until 26 October 2019, hosts Chelsea Space are running a poster design competition. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to submit poster designs inspired by the First 50 Fac numbers.

5 designs will be selected to be exhibited on the exterior wall of Chelsea Space. Winning designs to be announced and exhibited on Thursday 24 October.

The original exhibition poster was designed by Howard Wakefield. Entrants are invited to design a poster that is 16 cm high by 12 cm wide.

Submissions must be received by Chelsea Space by Monday 20 October 2019.

All submissions must include name and email address.

By submitting an entry to this competition you agree for your name and the image of your design to be used by Chelsea Space for marketing purposes.

Labels: , , ,

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review 
The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50/40 exhibition (aka "we are bored in the city") is on at Chelsea Space and the Chelsea College of Art and Design until 26 October 2019. Curators Mat Bancroft and Jon Savage have assembled historical artefacts in the form of records, posters, archive papers, documents and much more in the first exhibition of its kind that I can remember as part of celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Factory Records (41st shurely? Ed.).

The exhibition deals with the first fifty Fac numbers in approximately numerical order starting with Fac 1 at the end of the corridor as you enter the main space and after some scene-setting posters and publications such as the Joy Division 'Walthamstow' ("Shimmy") and Situationist texts like 'Leaving the 20th Century'. Explanatory texts and captions are kept to minimum but there is a foldout A4 black-and-white information sheet or, for a modest £5, the "we are bored in the city" A5 black-and-white information booklet (by Jon Savage) which contains small reproductions of some of the artefacts on display.

The FAC 1-50 collection is impressive when seen together as a body of work and is all the more so when you consider the very short span of time it took for it to be developed (1978-1981). Given the rarity and value of some of the individual items it's pleasing to see virtually everything that could be displayed is present and correct. The only exceptions are the mega-rare black-on-silver variant of the Fact 10+4 poster and the Fac 46 'Video Circus' poster. The latter number is represented only by the silver A Certain Ratio sticker for the NYC leg of the Video Circus. Interestingly the copy on display featured blue ink on a silver sticker whereas my personal copy (kindly given to me by Donald Johnson of ACR) has red ink. The former is very rare indeed and it was not possible to locate a copy (where are you Steven?).

The Use Hearing Protection FAC 1-50 / 40 exhibition review
The exhibition in final stages of preparation

The supporting material is mainly presented in flatbed display cases with clear vitrine protective lids. This comes from a variety of sources but most notably the AHW Collection at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. This aspect was especially pleasing for me on a personal level since I have been involved with the documenting and catalogue of that collection since 2009 when I was invited to help the Museum by Oli Wilson. All along it's been at the back of my mind that wouldn't it be great to see this material in an exhibition. That dream has finally come to life and there is the tantalising prospect of even more material being exhibited when the Use Hearing Protection exhibition transfers to the Science and Industry Museum next year. The theme will still be FAC 1-50, but, due to increased capacity when the new exhibition space at the Museum is completed, there will be scope to include more material. I understand that there are also proposals to include a video screening room and perhaps even hold more associated events.

In fact, if there was one criticism of the current exhibition it is just that the limited exhibition space just isn't big enough to allow justice to be done to everything. With the exceptions of Fact 10 which has a whole panel devoted to it, Fac 18 which has 7"/12" variants and Fac 41 Fairy Tales (green and purple colourways), pretty much only one side of one version of one format is viewable. It would be nice to see both sides of the sleeves of all releases in the way that materials were exhibited at The Peter Saville Show in 2003. There are numerous opportunities to include additional material, such as all the variants of the Fac 18 'Girls Don't Count' with all the three different girlfriends, the Fact 14 'The Return of the Durutti Column' variants with and without stencilling, Fac 19 'It's Hard To Be an Egg' with the feather, Fac 39 'Watching the Hydroplanes' on clear and transparent vinyl, different formats of various albums and the occasional promotional poster.

Here's looking forward to next year.


More info at usehearingprotection.com/exhibition [->]

Labels: , , , , ,

7 Oct 2019
A Certain Ratio live at the Warehouse Project, Manchester, 2019 
A Certain Ratio live at the Warehouse Project 2019

A Certain Ratio play The Warehouse Project @ Mayfield Depot in Manchester on Saturday 12 October 2019 alongside Hacienda Classical, Soul II Soul and a huge line-up of ex-Haçienda DJs including Greg Wilson, Pickering & Park and many more.

Full stage times have now been released and tickets are still available. Full details below:



Haçienda Classical
Soul II Soul
A Certain Ratio


Louie Vega
David Morales
Marshall Jefferson
Mike Pickering
Graeme Park
Greg Wilson
Arthur Baker
Justin Robertson
K Klass
Tom Wainwright

Plus very special guests, the return of Sub Sub (DJ set)

18:00 – 03:00 | DEPOT (MAYFIELD)

GBP 35.00 + Booking fee [Buy Tickets]

A Certain Ratio live at the Warehouse Project 2019

Labels: , , , , , ,

6 Oct 2019
Happy Mondays 'The Egg' new video by Pete Fowler 

To accompany the newly-announced 'Early EPs' vinyl boxset, Happy Mondays commissioned a new video by Pete Fowler for 'The Egg'. This is now available on YouTube and features audio that has been remastered from the original archive analogue tapes:

The 'Early EPs' is available to pre-order now [->].

Labels: ,

Happy Mondays - The Early EPs coloured vinyl boxset 

Happy Mondays release the 'Early EPs' 4x12" Coloured Vinyl Boxset Collection on 25 October 2019. A companion digital download is also available and, if you order via the official Happy Mondays store, there's also a limited edition A4 print by Pete Fowler which is based on his new video for 'The Egg'.

'The Early EPs' compiles Happy Mondays' first four 12" singles/EPs in special transparent coloured vinyl as follows: the 'Forty Five EP' (Fac 129, 1985, transparent green vinyl), 'Freaky Dancin/The Egg EP' (Fac 142, 1986, transparent orange vinyl), 'Tart Tart EP' (Fac 176, 1987, transparent blue vinyl), and '24 Hour Party People' (Fac 192, 1987, transparent yellow vinyl).

The recordings have been remastered from the original archived master tapes. The artwork has been redrawn and digitised by original designers Central Station Design with the boxset cover itself being a new 24 Hour Party People Bez-themed affair.


Forty Five EP

A1: Delightful
B1: This Feeling
B2: Oasis

Freaky Dancin/The Egg EP

A1: Freaky Dancin' (Live)
B1: The Egg (Mix)
B2: Freaky Dancin'

Tart Tart EP

A1: Tart Tart
B1: Little Matchstick Owen

24 Hour Party People EP

A: 24 Hour Party People
B1: Yahoo
B2: Wah Wah (Think Tank)

The 'Early EPs' is available to pre-order now via happymondays.ffm.to/EarlyEPs.

Labels: , , ,

4 Oct 2019
Andy Robinson’s We Love It Mix @ YES Basement on Mixcloud 

New Order co-manager (and one-time member of Life) Andy Robinson's 'We Love It' mix from his basement session @ YES in Manchester on 6 September 2019 is available to stream now via Mixcloud.

Thanks to Colin for spotting.

Labels: , ,

3 Oct 2019
Things That Go Punk In The Night @ The Railway, Whaley Bridge 
Things That Go Punk In The Night @ The Railway, Whaley Bridge

Home Truths present 'Things That Go Punk In The Night' at The Railway in Whaley Bridge on 31 October 2019 from 19:30.

The event is an exploration of three books on the Manchester Punk Scene with David Nolan, Martin Ryan and Gareth Ashton.

There will be a rare screening of 'I Swear I Was There', David Nolan's documentary on the Sex Pistols concerts at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in 1976.

Please note that this is a free event for which you don't require a ticket.

More info: Facebook Event [RSVP if you would like to attend as it gives the venue an idea of expected numbers]


The Railway
33 Market Street
Whaley Bridge
SK23 7AA

Labels: , , , ,

1 Oct 2019
The Haçienda - How Not To Run a Club TV series 
The Haçienda - How Not To Run a Club TV series

Peter Hook's book 'The Haçienda: How Not To Run A Club' is being adapted into a 6-part television drama series according to deadline.com. Ed Whitmore will write the show which is being developed for television by Witchery Pictures.

Labels: , , ,

- - - -
Blogger Archives
- - - -