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Original DJ playlists from Manchester’s Haçienda glory days
07.15.2014
06:31 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Manchester
Factory Records
Hacienda


 
Maybe you were born in the wrong decade or country to be part of the legendary Haçienda dance club (1982-1997) and its attendant “Madchester” scene in Manchester, England in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Our own Paul Gallagher described the much-missed club, owned by Factory Records and New Order, as the ”night club where you could see Madonna one night and William Burroughs the next…The mix of who played there reads like an A & R man’s wet dream and included, New Order, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, OMD, The Birthday Party, Husker Du, The Stone Roses, Oasis, James, Echo and The Bunnymen, A Certain Ratio, and Divine, amongst others. Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Dave Haslam were host DJ’s, and in the late 1980s and 1990s, the club was the catalyst for Madchester - the music and drug fueled Second Summer of Love.” 
 

 
Original photos and videos of that time period are somewhat rare and, well, hazy. Anyone who was even close to a regular there can be counted on for an arsenal of entertaining war stories. However, now original playlists from Hacienda DJ’s like Graeme Park, Daniele Davoli, Lil Louis, and Sasha are available at Mixcloud and, for now, Old Skool Raver’s YouTube Channel.
 

 
More DJ playlists from the legendary Haçienda after the jump…

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Hand-job on Temperance Street (Kinda NSFW)

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An image of a couple performing a sex act on Temperance Street, Manchester, England, has been deleted from Google Street View, after the picture was spotted by users.

Temperance Street is well-known Red Light area in the city, and it is believed the image had been on Google Street view since April 2010.
 
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Close-up, after the jump…
 

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Notes From The Niallist #10: Tranarchy’s 24 Hour John Waters Movie Marathon


 
Call us crazy, call us stupid… we don’t care.

This is what Tranarchy is doing this weekend, a tribute to all things trashy, sleazy, skeezy, strange and Baltimorean. Yup, we’re showing every single full length film by cult auteur and Pope of Trash, the Ayatollah of Crud, the Prince of Puke, the one and only John Waters.

Every single one. In a row. Non-stop. For 24 hours.

The only things we’re not showing are his hard-to-find early short, and hell, if we can find ‘em, we’ll probably show them too!

You know, maybe we are crazy. And a little bit stupid. But we still don’t care. This movie marathon is something some of our members have dreamed of doing their whole lives, and just like the Dreamlanders, Tranarchy is dedicated to making our craziest, stupidest dreams a reality.

Let’s face it. watching all of these films back to back non-stop for 24 hours is going to be quite an endurance test. We are inviting patrons to sleep over, and Manchester’s Islington Mill (the venue for this festival of freakiness) are kindly letting us convert one of their heated gallery spaces into a giant bedroom for anyone who needs a break.

There will be lots of interactivity’s for patrons , including a Waters-inspired photo booth featuring some of his most iconic movie scenes, free popcorn, edible turds, and for the final film, a dance-a-long screening of Hairspray, dance lessons that will teach you to do The Madison. We’ll want you to go two up and two back with a big, strong turn. The brilliant artwork, above, by Manchester-based illustrator David Bailey, will also be available to buy as limited edition prints.

Even now, 42 years after the Dreamlanders made their first ripples in the puddle of public consciousness with the release of Pink Flamingos (our midnight show, of course!) they are THE SHIT. They were punks before there were punks (they died their hair with pen ink because colored dye was not commercially available back then.) They were openly queer before there was such a thing as queer culture (in fact, they were a huge part of defining what queer culture could and would be.) They were one of the only pockets of hippie-resistance outside of Warhol’s Factory, and their couldn’t-give-a-flying-fuck attitude is inspirational to this day. Cookie Meuller, Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pierce, Pat Moran, Vincent Peranio, Divine and John Waters, we salute you. For 24 fucking hours.

The Facebook event page for Tranarchy’s 24 Hour John Waters Movie Marathon is here.

In sourcing the content for the movie marathon we’ve collected some interesting curios and documentaries about John Waters and the Drreamlanders. Thankfully, some of them have appeared on Dangerous Minds before, including the excellent Incredibly Strange Move Show with Jonathan Ross and the brilliant Divine Trash. But here’s a little curio I am happy to say has never been on this site before. It’s an appearance on Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous, where he gives us a tour of his Baltimore home and its cavalcade of perversions: 

John Waters on Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

You know, we’ve been posting about John Waters on DM almost since its very inception. There are just too many great posts about the man to list them all individually. So instead of singling them out, have a scroll through the John Waters-tag page.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Notes from the Niallist #2: Tranarchy in the UK


 
I ended my first Notes from the Niallist column by mentioning the collective I am a co-founder of, and performer with, called Tranarchy.

Frankly, it’s Tranarchy that has been taking up most of time, and distracting me from mining the cultural coal face for Dangerous Minds. But that’s the trade-off I guess, as Tranarchy is helping to create the diamonds people discover under all that dust.

As the name would suggest, Tranarchy is a drag-and-trans-heavy collective interested in subverting, and commenting on, normative gender roles. I know that all sounds very serious, but Tranarchy is dedicated to putting the fun first, and letting people discover the message for themselves, without having it rammed down their throats. There’s just too much hectoring in this world already, and not enough people willing to lead by example, i.e. living the life they want to live regardless of what society says. Sniff all you like at the supposed frivolity of drag queens and the “feminine” aesthetic, as historically has been the case with male-dominated, straight society, but always remember how much guts it takes to flaunt your otherness in public.

Besides the political aspect, however, there’s something almost magical going on with Tranarchy. And I mean “magical” in terms of seeing dreams and desires become a reality. We started the collective just over a year ago, and as we have grown at a surprising rate, we have managed to put on events and happenings that, just 18 months ago, we (literally) could only have dreamed of.

So far, we have hosted Manchester’s first ever vogue ball, called Vogue Brawl (now into its second year.) We’ve held a number of interactive film screenings in the style of the legendary Peaches Christ’s Midnight Mass in San Francisco (Showgirls, Zoolander, Mad Max: The Road Warrior with Empire Drive-In and Abandon Normal Devices.) We have created promo videos and photos shoots for our events that show off much of Manchester’s untapped talent, and these are beginning to get attention in the States and further beyond. Our most popular film so far is the promo for Vogue Brawl 2: Pride Is Burning, which can be basically summed up as “The Warriors in drag.”

The collective is very aware of gay and trans history and we want to celebrate that. We’ve held a few outlaw parties inspired by the original New York club kids James St James and Michael Alig, and documented them in the style of the sadly-missed pioneering NYC videographer Nelson Sullivan.

This is where it gets interesting, though. Our first outlaw party was a reclaiming of the Manchester tram system, which, as anyone who has ever used public transport will know, can get pretty hairy if you stand out in any way. Our last outlaw party was even bigger, in terms of execution and impact. It was an invasion of, and statement about, Manchester’s annual “Pride” festival of gay culture and awareness.

Every year, Manchester Pride is held in the city’s Gay Village and attracts up to 40,000 people, making it one of the flagship gay Pride festivals in the UK. However, the amount of money raised for charity as opposed to the amount of money raised for personal profit has been a major, running issue for a while, as has the fact that a festival celebrating gay visibility, and interaction with the wider, local community, is held in a walled-off compound that charges people to enter.

However, the one thing the Manchester Pride organizers don’t have control over is the large canal that runs right through the Gay Village, and along side Canal St, where much of the festivities take place. So, as a bit of a lark, Tranarchy took a barge down to the Village this year, and crashed the Pride party to perform a few numbers and make a basic point.

We have issued an official Tranarchy statement detailing some of the problems with Manchester Pride to accompany the YouTube video, and here is an extract from that:

Freeing Pride is not an attack on Pride as a party, and it is not just about the fences and the ticket prices. Its about setting Pride free from the businesses and individuals who seek profit before the well-being of our community. It’s about asking what the event is really about, who benefits from it who should pay for it, and remembering why we do it in the first place! Its about asking whats more important; extra cash for an organization reaching out to the most vulnerable among us, or getting to see Steps [90s pop band] one last time before they slip into room 101?

In short, we were all incredibly nervous about pulling this stunt, but it turned out better than we could have hoped. Check out the old voguing queen we encountered at the end of the video, in the Piccadilly basin, which is a well-known cruising ground:
 

 
Our YouTube video channel is here, and for regular news updates, subscribe to Tranarchy on Facebook.

For more info on Tranarchy, and past event pics, visit tranarchy.co.uk.

A much longer piece, detailing the objections to how Manchester Pride is run, can be found at Manchester Pride Investigation.

You can find the Niallist at Niallism.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Punk 1976-78: The Best of Tony Wilson’s ‘So It Goes’

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I miss Tony Wilson. I miss the idea of Tony Wilson. Someone who had an enquiring mind and was full of intelligent enthusiasms, like Tony Wilson. And who also didn’t mind making a prat of himself when he got things wrong. Or, even right.

I met him in 2005 for a TV interview. He arrived on a summer’s day at a small studio in West London. He wore a linen suit, sandals, carried a briefcase, and his toenails were painted a rich plum color - his wife had painted them the night before, he said.

Wilson was clever, inspired and passionate about music. He talked about his latest signing, a rap band, and his plans for In the City music festival before we moved onto the Q&A in front of a camera. He could talk for England, but he was always interested in what other people were doing, what they thought, and was always always encouraging others to be their best. That’s what I miss.

You get more than an idea of that Tony Wilson in this compilation of the best of his regional tea-time TV series So It Goes. Wilson (along with Janet Street-Porter) championed Punk Rock on TV, and here he picks a Premier Division of talent:

Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks, John Cooper Clarke, Iggy Pop, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Penetration, Blondie, Fall, Jam, Jordan, Devo, Tom Robinson Band, Johnny Thunder, Elvis Costello, XTC, Jonathan Richman, Nick Lowe, Siouxie & the Banshees, Cherry Vanilla & Magazine….. The tape fails there!

The uploader ConcreteBarge has left in the adverts “for historical reference” that include - “TSB, Once, Cluster, Coke is it, Roger Daltery in American Express, Ulay, Swan, Our Price, Gastrils, Cluster & Prestige”.

So, let’s get in the time machine and travel back for an hour of TV fun.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Best of ‘So It Goes’: Clash, Sex Pistols, Iggy The Fall, Joy Division and more


 
With thanks to Daniel Ceci
 

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Serious safe-sex advertising fail


 
“Love sex. Hate condoms. Love SKYN.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Maybe there should have been a few question marks in that statement, but there aren’t. It’s an advert for (ironically enough) a new type of condom by the company SKYN, which appears to promote unsafe sex, and definitely promotes a distaste for condoms.

Way to go, guys!

This advert is currently to be seen on a forty foot-high billboard on Manchester’s Canal St, right in the heart of the city’s gay village. Grahame Robertson, the photo’s uploader says:

The ‘Love Sex Hate Condoms’ message - in 6 foot high letters - is irresponsible and disrespectful to a community that has been at the forefront of promoting condom use for over 25 years.

SKYN condoms, who are made by the Mates brand, need to seriously rethink their advertising strategy. This advert will be looming large (literally) over Manchester’s Gay Pride festival, which kicks off in less than two weeks, and it is simply insulting.

If you wish to complain, you can find SKYN on Facebook here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Heaven Knows He Was Miserable Then: Morrissey’s first postcard to a pen-pal from 1980

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This is Morrissey’s first correspondence to his Scottish pen-pal Robert Mackie, from 1980.

21-year-old Morrissey was writing in response to a personal ad placed in Sounds magazine, and his message, written on the back of a postcard featuring a picture of James Dean reads:

Steven Morrissey
384- Kings Rd
STRETFORD
Manchester- M32 8GW

Dear Person,

So nice to know there’s another soul out there, even if it is in Glasgow.

Does being Scottish bother you? Manchester is a lovely little place, if you happen to be a bedridden deaf mute.

I’m unhappy, hope you’re unhappy too.

In poverty,

Steven

Morrissey and Mackie remained pen-pals for 18 months, shortly before the formation of The Smiths in 1983.
 
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With thanks to Letter of Note
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Man versus T-Mobile shop


 
This happened in Manchester over the weekend, and reminds me of Michael Douglas in Falling Down. I would REALLY like to know what T-Mobile did to provoke this guy’s rage? Maybe it was their legendarily shitty customer service? From the Manchester Evening News:

It is not known if the man was a customer or was staging a protest.

The footage was shot by a member of the public who was one of a number of people who witnessed the rampage through the windows. The film ends with a shot which shows a large crowd of people standing motionless on Market Street, transfixed by the dramatic scenes.

The 3 min 44 second-long footage – which was uploaded on YouTube by user Niall42 [not me!] on Sunday evening – had been viewed hundreds of times by lunchtime. It is thought the incident happened on Saturday.

A spokesman for T-Mobile said the firm was aware of the video footage but was unable to comment further at this stage.

Is this guy a hero? Or deranged?
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘The Second Second Coming’: brilliant Stone Roses spoof starring Peter Serafinowicz


 
Tonight’s the night. Not only are the Stone Roses back, but they are back in their home town, their old stomping ground of Manchester, for shows at the enormous Heaton Park.

Am I going? Nah. I saw them last time round, mate, on their first round of comeback gigs for the Second Coming album, released five years after their debut. It was, in fact, the Roses’ first show in the British Isles since 1990, and it was… ok. As enthusiastic kids we were buoyed along by the thrill of seeing our idols, live and in person, and before anyone else. This was at the Irish festival Féile ‘95 in Cork city, which was a really great festival (despite someone dying), but looking back on the footage of the Roses now, well, that’s another story.

To my mind the Stone Roses are second only in influence on British indie after The Smiths. Well, third place, I guess, now that Joy Division have been elevated to being the pinnacle of everything guitar music could and should be. And what’s the connecting factor between all these bands? They’re all from Manchester. Yeah, the city I live in has defined indie-rock music for the last 30 years. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Yes, there is a buzz here about the Heaton Park gigs, of course there is. But as with everything Manc, there’s also a sly element of piss-takery. Maybe it’s because some people don’t like the band, or maybe it’s fatigue at having to relive the “Spike Island” mythology all over again (Spike Island was a huge Roses stadium show that happened in 1990, and has gone on to become the stuff of urban legend, despite many people who were there decrying its status as the most important cultural event of a generation.) Or maybe it’s just a Manc thing. That’s what I’m going with.

So, speaking of piss-takery, here’s a very funny spoof clip of The Stone Roses talking about their reformation. You might need to be in on the joke for this to work fully, but there’s a lot of universal humour in here too. I mean, who doesn’t find the Manchester accent even just a little bit funny? This clip was written and created by Nico Tartarowicz, and also features the comedian Peter Serafinowicz impersonating Morrissey (and we’re big fans of Serafinowicz at DM.) So there’s that, too. Oh, and kudos for also laying into the ultimate talking-head-TV classic-rock-bore, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie: 
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
This Week’s Question: Why does the N.M.E. want fans’ photos of The Stone Roses?

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This week’s question (apart form when will we Nationalize the Banks?) is: why does the N.M.E. want fans to photograph The Stones Roses at their reunion concerts at Heaton Park, Manchester this weekend? Has it anything to do with a certain photographers’ boycott?
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Why Photographers are Boycotting The Stone Roses


 
Via NME’s Facebook page
 

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Tonight, A DJ Will Save Your Life: An interview with Performer Extraordinaire The Niallist

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‘...I’m from an old school that believed that music and musicians could change things - maybe not radically and maybe not quickly, but that the seeds for change could definitely be sown with songs and videos and shows and interviews.’

Niall O’Conghaile aka The Niallist is talking about the music that inspired him to become a musician, a producer, a DJ, a one-man-disco-industry, and a Performer Extraordinaire.

Niall makes music that moves you “physically, mentally and emotionally. Dance music, for want of a better term!” But it’s always been about more than that.

Let’s turn to the history book…

When Brian Eno was working with David Bowie in Germany, he heard Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” in a record shop. Eno bought the single and ran, holding it aloft, back to Bowie in the studio, where he announced, like a pop John-the-Baptist, ‘I have heard the future.’

Niall is part of that future and his musical output is quite phenomenal and brilliant.

But it’s not just music that Niall has made his own, you’ll know him as a star blogger on Dangerous Minds, and perhaps through his work on the blogs Shallow Rave, Weaponizer, Menergy and his site, Niallism.

Niall also DJs / organizes club nights with Menergy and Tranarchy, and is the keyboard player with Joyce D’Ivision. All of which, for my money, makes The Niallist one of the most exciting, talented and outrageous DJ/producers currently working in the UK. Not bad for a boy who started out spinning discs on one turntable at school.

Now, it’s strange how you can spend much of your working day with someone and yet never really know that much about them. Wanting to know more about the extraordinary Niallist, I decided to interview him for (who else?) Dangerous Minds, and this is what he said.
 
DM: Tell me about how you started in music? Was this something to moved towards in childhood?

The Niallist: ‘Yeah, music is something I remember affecting me deeply as a kid. My sister, who is older than me, was a huge Prince fan and naturally that teenage, female, pop-music enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I would read all her old copies of Smash Hits and create my own scrap books from the magazines, even though the bands were, by then, either non-existent or pretty naff.

‘My brother was into more serious, “boy” music, which I didn’t like as a child, but which I really appreciated when I hit puberty. He had a big box of tapes that was crucial to me, even though he didn’t like me borrow them, but he had pretty much all Led Zep’s albums in there, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Bowie, The Stone Roses, and I particularly remember him getting a copy of Nevermind when it had just come out, which was a key discovery. That box smelt of Dettol and musty cassettes, and to this day the smell of Dettol still takes me back!’

What were your early tastes in music? What were those key moments when a song a record made you realise this was what you wanted to do?

The Niallist: ‘Well, Nevermind was definitely one. I think that record started a lot of people on a musical journey. But also, I really identified with Kurt Cobain, as he was an outsider in the pop music landscape who spoke up for gay and women’s rights, which really struck a chord with me. He was a man, but he also wasn’t scared of being seen as feminine. He was a pop star, he looked scruffy and spoke with intelligence and passion. He was different. As someone else who was different, and a natural outsider, I guess I saw music as maybe a place where I could fit in and still fully express myself.

‘Call me hopelessly naive if you will, but I’m from an old school that believed that music and musicians could change things - maybe not radically and maybe not quickly, but that the seeds for change could definitely be sown with songs and videos and shows and interviews. Looking back on the early 90s now, it seems like an incredibly politically-charged time for music and pop culture. Public Enemy, NWA, Ice Cube, Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill, The Prodigy with “Fuck ‘Em And Their Law”, Pearl Jam telling Ticketmaster to fuck off, Spiral Tribe, massive illegal raves, Back To The Planet, Senser, Rage Against The Machine, the fact that RuPaul was a pop star, even Madonna’s Sex book and Erotica album for God’s sake! If you weren’t politically active or at least aware back then, you were terribly uncool. That spirit seems to have disappeared from music altogether now, which is sad.’
 

 

 
More from Niall, including his Top 5 picks, after the jump…
 

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Sounds for the summer pt 1: Silverclub release excellent ‘Your Headphones’ for free


 
Favorites of the Manchester alternative and electronic undergrounds, SIlverclub are releasing their debut album in a few weeks, and in the meantime are giving away a free, four track EP featuring one of the album’s highlights, the brilliant track “Your Headphones.”

Subtly reminiscent of Manchester’s golden age of danceable alternative pop, without being your typical retro-based cash-in, Silverclub have been slowly building a legion of fans with some excellent past singles and and a steady stream of quality live gigs.

I already have Silverclub’s debut album on promo, and it’s excellent, highly recommended for fans of quality music regardless of genre. “Your Headphones” is one of the album’s definite highlights, a shimmery wash of gorgeous synths and summery harmonies underpinned by what could almost be a “baggy” beat. It’s a tune about the sheer joy of music that thankfully manages to joyously brilliant in its own right.

You can listen to, and pre-order, Silverclub’s eponymous debut long-player from the website SIlverclubuk.com. In the meantime, here are the band themselves playing “Your Heaphones” live at London’s Saatchi Gallery a few months ago, and below that, the link to download the Your Headphones EP for free. It’s worth it. 

Silverclub “Your Headphones” (live)
 

 

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds: 
Silverclub: the sound of Manchester 2012

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Joyce D’Vision ‘She’s Lost Control’ - what would Ian Curtis think?


 
You may remember a few months ago I posted about Joyce D’Vision, the world’s first drag queen tribute band to Joy Division (of which I am a member) and our adventures on UK primetime TV with the comedian Harry Hill.

Well, we have finally managed to wrangle Joyce herself into the studio to record some vocals, and the first fruits of this labor are cover versions of “She’s Lost Control” and “Isolation.” Both are iconic, classic tracks, that have been covered before (by Siobhán Fahey, Grace Jones and Wino & Conny Ochs, as featured in yesterday’s Roadburn post) but I like to think we have put our own unique spin on them.

While some people find the idea of Joyce D’Vision highly offensive, to me it’s as Northern English as Eccles cakes and Boddington’s bitter. People in Manchester have a sly, sometimes wicked sense of humor, and they are not above taking the complete mickey out of themselves and the stultifying, retro-based “Madchester” culture industry that seems to have a stranglehold on this town (check the blog Fuc251 for proof.) Unfortunately Joy Division are very much a part of this frozen-in-amber, Manchester music-heritage industry, which goes against the iconoclasm inherent in the band, and is ironic as they were sorely under-appreciated in this town when they did exist. 

And that’s where we come in. It’s all in the best possible taste, darling, with hints of Vic & Bob, The League of Gentlemen, Kenny Everett and Frank Sidebottom (a legendary Manc comic who famously covered “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on a Casio). We’re not doing this because we hate Joy Division, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Joy Division have helped us get through as much teen angst as the next wrist cutter, but the band’s hallowed status doesn’t mean they are above a bit of fun poking. Every religion needs its satirists. Because let’s face it, if what we’re doing is somehow ruining your teen dreams or memories of a JD goth paradise, then those dreams and memories were not very solid in the first place.

I am well aware of Ian Curtis’ mental health problems (duh!) and I’m 100% convinced he had that same sly, piss-taking, Manc sense of humor as everyone else who grew up within the city’s grey-and-redbrick confines. I think he would have had a giggle or two at a bearded drag queen singing his songs.
 

Joyce D’Vision with Harry Hill on the set of TV Burp
 
But more to the actual point, I wonder what Peter Hook thinks?

If you’re not aware, original JD/New Order bassist Hook has formed a new band with jobbing Manchester musicians called The Light, whose purpose is to cover the work of Joy Division. He’s the only original member, and now the band are embarking on a tour playing “Unknown Pleasures” in full.

Originally Hooky himself was on vocal duties, but after he shamefully forgot the words at an infamous Manchester show a couple of years ago, he has brought in Rowetta (ex-Happy Mondays and Britain’s Got Talent) to sing instead. Not to mention some of his celebrity-fan pals when they have the chance - The Light have performed JD tracks with Billy Corgan, Moby and Perry Farrell on vocals, among others. They sing from a lyrics book open at the front of the stage.

So is what we are doing with Joyce D’Vision really any worse than what Peter Hook is doing with The Light? In a sense, both are karaoke, but only one has an actual on-stage lyrics sheet. And it’s not the band with the drag queens. Which of the two acts, Joyce D’Vision or The Light, are going to do more to shatter your teen-goth memories of Joy Division?

I don’t doubt that The Light has got something to do with New Order reforming recently without Hook and his iconic bass sound, a massive “fuck you” statement in his general direction. A lot of people in Manchester are happy they did this, but there’s also many people wondering if New Order can properly function without Hook on bass. I’m not sure, but either way, I do wonder now what Barney and Steve (original JD members, remember) and Gillian (a HUGE drag inspiration for our band) make of Joyce D’Vision?

Time will tell. For now, here are our first two tracks:
 
Joyce D’Vision “She’s Lost Control”

 

Joyce D’Vision “Isolation”

   

You can make friends with Joyce D’Vision on Facebook.

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The Sex Pistols: ‘I Swear I Was There - The Gig that Changed the World’

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It’s been described as one of the most important gigs of all time, one that saw hundreds, even thousands of people claim they were there. In truth only around 30-40 people saw The Sex Pistols perform at the Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall on June 4, 1976. But of those who did, most went onto form a generation of legendary bands - The Fall, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Smiths.

Also, allegedly in the audience were such future ambassadors of taste as Anthony H. Wilson, who would co-found Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub, and nascent journalist/writer Paul Morley.

Culturally, it was an event akin to the storming of the Bastille, for it unleashed a revolution.

I Swear I Was There tells the story of that now legendary night, and talks to the people whose lives were changed by The Sex Pistols.
 

 
With thanks to Graham Tarling!
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Silverclub: the sound of Manchester 2012


 
Manchester is a city with an incredible musical history, but a somewhat divided and schizophrenic musical present. On the one hand there’s the let’s-have-it late 80s/early 90s “Madchester” party gang (think The Stone Roses/Happy Mondays/Inspiral Carpets/etc) and on the other the “more-serious-than-thou” school of late 70s/early 80s Factory records (Joy Division/New Order/A Certain Ratio/etc). Bestriding both these worlds like a colossus of crap are, of course, Oasis, the band who made partying and getting off-yer-face seem like the most boring activity on earth.

Entire blogs have been set up to both eulogise and criticize Manchester’s musical history and it’s current legacy. So, while it was great to see Richard posting about the Mondays here the other day (and to read the reactions from their US fan base) I can’t help but feel mixed emotions. For as much as I love that band (I vividly remember the first time I heard “Step On”, on my school bus at the age of ten) they are also signifiers of what is wrong with the current Manchester music scene. In a nutshell: a relentless clinging on to the past.

I guess it’s the double-edged sword of having a once world-beating music scene right on your doorstep, but certain elements within the Manchester “culture industry” are all too willing to just lean on that reputation (sensing that it’s a quick way to make an easy buck) without putting effort into discovering new talent. Talent like Silverclub. 

Led by frontman Duncan Jones (who formerly made techno and electro as DNCN on the Human Shield label), Silverclub combine all the best bits of pop, rock, dance and electronica, drag it down the local disco and tie it up with a shiny, techno bow tie. They are influenced by the past yet remain firmly focussed on the present, while retaining a very English vibe with the kind of spiky, edgy songs that betray a childhood spent listening to Elvis Costello and the Attractions. 

To me, this band represent all that is good about music from the North of England, and Manchester in particular. People here have a dizzying array of tastes, have an appreciation for pretty much every single genre available, and yet somehow manage to meld these disparate influences into something that is their own with a distinct, regional voice and outlook. Silverclub fuse a knowledge of dancefloor dynamics and sharp hook-writing skills, and maintain a singular identity thanks to Jones’ Northern drawl and sweet harmonies from synth-player Henrietta Smith. Hmm, I wonder if there’s room in the band for a dancing maracas player? I want that job!

At the very start of this year I featured the Silverclub b-side “The Goldener Reiter” on my Best of 2011 Mixtape, which you can still download, here. The single it’s taken from, “No Application”, is available as a free download (below) while Silverclub’s self-titled debut album will be coming this May on the Canadian label Hidden Pony. There’s more info on the band’s website, and in the meantime, here’s the “No Application” video:
 

 
Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
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