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  • seandodson 12:25 pm on May 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Manchester,   

    The Light live at the Factory 

    So to Manchester last night to see The Light play at the Factory. Fronted by Peter Hook, the band performed songs from Joy Division’s second album, Closer, on the 31st anniversary of singer Ian Curtis’s death, no less

    Somewhat, surprisingly Hook, the former bass player in Joy Division, didn’t play bass last night, but instead stood centre stage where he sang all but two of the songs (Rowetta of the Happy Mondays sang the others). He did a fair interpretation of Curtis, growling like a tomcat cornered with a stolen piece of meat and angrily shouting in the right places, although he lacked the vocal range to render the more tender moments with much meaning.

    The best bit? The encore where the band re-visited Joy Division’s punk roots, banging out a quartet of Warsaw songs and a rollicking version of Transmission.

    Fitting tribute for Curtis or tribute band? Definitely the latter in my opinion, New Order actually played quite a few Joy Division songs towards the end of their stage career, but I never thought I’d here the likes of Ice Age performed live. Hearing them in the former-HQ of factory records belted out by one of the original members to the band to a pogoing audience was indeed a good way to celebrate their music.

  • seandodson 11:47 am on May 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digital, digital culture, festival, , futureeverything, , Manchester,   

    FutureEverything: festival preview 

    I’m looking forward to FutureEverything, Manchester’s annual foray into everything digital. It kicks of a week on Saturday (May 14) at the Victoria Baths (where I once went to an infamous acid house party) which examines the intersection between contemporary craft and digital hacking. The events last for three days, exploring the overlap between art, digital and music. Steve Reich, Rob Da Bank and Beach House feature on the programme. There’s a full talkothon to go with it. Thursday’s my choice. Paul Bradshaw of Online Journalism Blog and City University will give a talk about how journalists can use open data; Dr Chris Speed’s lecture on the internet of things is luckily on the same day, but Michael Smyth and Ingi Helgason workshop, Interfacing With The City, looks good too.

  • seandodson 6:53 pm on January 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Manchester, ,   

    Love Will Tear Us Apart: A History Of The Haçienda Granada Television documentary from 1999. I think it had something to do with the death of Rob Gretton – presented in five YouTube parts (sorry but can’t embed it here)

  • seandodson 3:39 pm on November 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Manchester,   

    The Joy Division colouring book 

    A limited edition A4 colouring book. Being sold as a ‘Buy It Now’ on eBay, priced at £15.99. The perfect Christmas present for the Factory obsessive in your life (me, me, me!)

  • seandodson 5:59 am on October 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Manchester,   

    “But if you could just see the beauty, … 

    “But if you could just see the beauty,
    These things I could never describe,
    These pleasures a wayward distraction,
    This is my one lucky prize.”

    Isolation, Joy Division

    RIP Tony Wilson, though your headstone may be three years late.

  • seandodson 5:36 pm on October 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: casual connoisseur, , , Manchester, manchester music   

    Very, very nice Factory-inspired T-shirt.

  • seandodson 9:39 pm on July 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manchester   

    Unknown Pleasures in icing 

    Every slice a veritable division of joy (via dangerous minds)

    • seandodson 2:53 pm on January 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This very nice looking cake was baked and photographed by Heidi, more of her delightful confections here

  • seandodson 2:41 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bernard Summer, Donald Johnson, , , Fingers Inc, giorgio moroder, , Manchester, , section 25, Soft Cell   

    Jon Savage on Looking from a Hilltop by Section 25 

    Have been enjoying Jon Savage’s occasional column on the Guardian Music Blog. Lately he’s been celebrating the best of early eighties dance music. Here he is on Soft Cell’s Bedsitter and Fingers Inc’s Mystery of Love, here on Cybotron’s Techno City. Today he chose Section 25’s simply wonderful Looking from a Hilltop (megamix) remixed by New Order’s Bernard Summer and A Certain Ratio’s Donald Johnson. He’s right, but the vocal mix was always the one for me.

    “In the end, Looking from a Hilltop (Megamix) is all forward motion. At eight minutes, the track isn’t a second too long: all the elements are subordinate to the irresistible Moroder-esque modulations, which give a framework over which the group and the remixers pour backwards synths, wailing rock guitar, and all manner of ambient noises. With this epic – one of the best tracks from a great year for electro – Section 25 finally achieved the grandeur that they had always sought. Released in June 1984, the 12″ – with a bright orange sleeve – made waves in the UK and was a club hit in New York. It was also picked up by black radio stations in the Chicago area, and consequently fed into the early house scene.”

  • seandodson 2:21 pm on November 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ben kelly, , , , , , Manchester,   

    Ben Kelly: Hacienda silk prints recall the clubs halcyon days 

    Ben Kelly, the architect of the Hacienda, has released this stunning pair of limited edition prints (above) of the legendary Mancunian club. They are not photos, nor paintings but digital renderings from a full-scale digital model being produced to celebrate its 25th anniversary. £600 each, £1000 the pair (via the excellent Cerysmatic Factory)

  • seandodson 2:11 pm on October 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clubbing, clubs, , , , , , Manchester, mike pickering, , , ,   

    Factory days: the Hacienda must be rebuilt! 


    I have been sailing through Peter Hook’s The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club his account of the decline and fall of the Factory empire. Although he is not exactly Tom Wolfe or Nick Kent he tells his tale with some wit and much stoicism. The legendary club nearly ruined him and the rest of the band, as they sank in many millions of pounds to keep it going. Hooky reckons that for every person who came through the door of the Hacienda, it cost him and the rest of New Order around £10. So buy him a drink next time you see him.

    The books full of anecdotes and quotes from many famous factory figures (Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton, Mike Pickering et al). Here’s the club’s former DJ Dave Haslam on the Hacienda’s wonderful music policy:

    “Whereas music in clubs is now pigeion-holed and segregated, in those first years of acid house, the dance floor was open minded. In retrospect DJs have tried to convince us of thier purist underground credentials; that wasn’t really the case. In the acid-house era you would have heard hous, and techno, but also hip-hop records like ‘know How’ by Young MC, New Order and Euro-disco tracks by Italian production teams.”

    • Ricki Mavris 10:45 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi I reach this site when i was searching bing for this

      • Andreas Andrews 1:15 am on December 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I couldn’t agree more with Dave Haslam’s words in the quoted text about current DJ’s seeming to retrospectively try and convice their audiences of their purist underground roots, however I can’t agree with what times were like as I’m new on the scene, and that time… was before my time…

        I couldn’t agree less with Ricki

        • Andreas Andrews 1:17 am on December 9, 2010 Permalink

          urrmm… site moderator.. please delete the above duplicate comment, meant to comment on the article and not reply to Ricki… sorry Ricki…. you can blame Bing for that one….

    • Andreas Andrews 1:16 am on December 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more with Dave Haslam’s words in the quoted text about current DJ’s seeming to retrospectively try and convice their audiences of their purist underground roots, however I can’t agree with what times were like as I’m new on the scene, and that time… was before my time…

      I couldn’t agree less with Ricki

  • seandodson 8:02 pm on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Manchester, martin hannett, , unknown pleasures, unknown pleasures at 30   

    Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures at 30 

    This week see the 30th anniversary of the release of Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures. Somewhat surprisingly, to me at least, the New Musical Express has published an anniversary “special” featuring interviews with the surviving members (sadly not online), which we can probably take as a sign that the nation’s 16/17 year olds still think Joy Division matter an awful lot. Which is amazing for an album that peaked at number 71 in the album charts on its initial release.

    The album was recorded in the winter of 1979 in an unheated studio in Stockport and it captures the mood of imposing decay of Northern Britain with its austere and dark production. Unknown Pleasures is firmly fixed in a time and place: the Manchester of the late seventies, and yet its appeal endures.

    At the time Jon Savage, writing in Melody Maker in 1979, praised, ” Joy Division’s spatial, circular themes and Martin Hannett’s shiny, waking-dream production gloss. …. [a] perfect reflection of Manchester’s dark spaces and empty places: endless sodium lights and hidden semis seen from a speeding car, vacant industrial sites – the endless detritus of the 19th century – seen gaping like rotten teeth from an orange bus.”

    In remains, to my mind, one of the greatest albums of all time. From the deliciously minimalist cover designed by Peter Saville (which was recently parodied as a Pelican Classic, above right) to the equally minimal, and haunting, production by Martin Hannett, to the ten beautifully crafted songs which simply refuse to date. We are still in its axis, musically at least. Think of this way, we are as far away in time from Unknown Pleasures as Joy Division were from the music of Perry Cormo and Frankie Laine and yet still it features on the front cover of the music press.

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  • seandodson 9:44 am on June 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , british national party, chinatown, Edmund Burke, , Manchester, ,   

    What the BNP election brought home to me 


    And so I arrive in Manchester on the day after the election of the far right British National Party to the European parliament. It’s good to be back North, a place and an idea and a set of traditions that I’ve always been intensely proud of and so, naturally, I feel a heavy note of dismay about such a disastrous result.

    According to some excellent coverage in the Manchester Evening News, the city is awakening to the grim realisation that its allowed Nick Griffin, the party’s leader (who can be seen above being pelted with eggs) as one of the region’s eight seats. David Ottewell, in a strident op-ed piece, summoned up the spirit of Edmund Burke, citing his well-known maxim that “all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”. This stuck something of chord with me. Although I couldn’t vote in this region, I had allowed my electoral registration to lapse and, therefore by extension, I am one of the many apathetic millions guilty of allowing this to happen: our inaction and complacency has allowed he far right a legitimate democratic voice.

    I mulled all this over while enjoying a delicious belly of pork at the New Emperor, a Cantonese restaurant, all piped jazz saxophones, polystyrene ceiling tiles and watercolour wallpanels, and wondered what the BNP would do with a wonderful places like this, if they ever got their grip on some real power.

    So it is worth reminding ourselves that the BNP are all about: that it wishes to repatriate all non-ethnic Britons, including owners of Chinese restaurants.  That Andrew Brons, the BNP’s elected candidate for Yorkshire and Humberside, was once belonged to a neo-nazi group whose members were found gulity of firebombing Jewish synagogues; and that Nick Griffin, elected in the North West, believes that the gas chambers found at Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Majdanek (and hasitly disassembled elsewhere) as a “nonsense” and a “total lie”.

    So, like the egg throwers who pelted Griffin at Westminster today (worth it alone for the image, bottom centre, where Griffin’s pantomime mask of dignity falls from his face), I’ve decided that I can no longer do nothing. It’s been a while since I’ve attended an anti-facist demonstration, but this trip back to the North, and this splendid dinner in one of the quarters most threatened, has really brought the threat of the BNP home to me.



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  • seandodson 10:41 am on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , beecham tower, dave haslam, , , Manchester,   

    Dave Haslam on the rebuilding of Manchester 

    liverpool-road-and-beetham-tower-manchester-177798As part of its Changing Cityscapes series, BBC News has invited former-Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam to ruminate on the transformation of his adopted city. The three-minute video is a characteristically thoughtful look at the city’s reinvention.

    Here he is on the recently completed 47-story Beetham Tower, now the tallest in the city:

    “I love the fact that its a reflection of that steel-grey Manchester sky: solid and quiet and solitary,” he says.

    (via Cerysmatic Factory)

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    • Alison Bell 2:52 pm on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Beecham Tower? Is that Beetham Tower with a touch of swine flu?

    • seandodson 3:02 pm on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for pointing that out Alison.

  • seandodson 6:35 pm on January 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: acid house, , , , , house music, Manchester, , , techno   

    Hacienda author seeks contributors for new book 

    factory_recordsJimmy Batista is writing a new book about FAC 51 The Haçienda. It is ear-marked for publication around the end of this year. He is looking for people who were regulars at the legendary Manchester club. He is also looking for original pictures from the club and associated scene, as well as scans of flyers and posters or any other kind of memorabilia.

    Naturally I’ve offered to help him out. So, my old friends, if you don’t want your messy stories publicising, perhaps you want to consider a bribe?

    If you would like to participate please contact fac.off@hotmail.fr.


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  • seandodson 9:37 pm on December 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: johnny marr, Manchester, morrissey, , smiths reunion,   

    The Smiths reunion: a light that should never go on 

    THE SMITHS: Meat is murder

    Originally uploaded by Christoph!

    Personally I think they are making it up, but both the Torygraph and the Mirror are both “reporting” that the Smiths “could be ready for a reunion”. Note the “could”. Well I could be wrong, but none of the former band has actually said anything to indicate they might play again. I am sure “sources inside the music industry” may wish for a lucrative reunion, but Morrissey has already turned down a £40m deal in 2007. Everyone else might be entertaining reunions, but I think The Smiths remain the band least likely to.

    Nice to hear that Morrissey and Marr are talking again though.

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  • seandodson 11:59 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manchester, , , unknown plesures   

    Peter Saville: On the designing of Unknown Pleasures and other great moments in 20th century design 

    on my desk # 25

    Originally uploaded by japanese forms

    Arkitip has a new video interview with Peter Saville, the great Mancunian designer. It shows the mock-ups of Unknown Pleasures, the first Joy Division album, where the famous diagram of an image of a pulsar, taken from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, had originally been rendered as a three-dimensional model (see right). Moreover, the a couple of versions of the said model still exist.


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    • japanese forms 11:55 am on December 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Glad that you liked my photograph enough to use it for your post. Nonetheless, I would have liked to have been informed beforehand. I gladly give permission for use my photos but I like to know where there being posted.
      Anyhow, thanks for the credit and links.

      On the Arkitip article: I suppose you know that there’s also the special Saville edition magazine available. If not, you can see it here .

      japanese forms

    • japanese forms 11:57 am on December 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oops ! – where there being posted. – of course, i mean where THEY ARE being posted.

      I hate making stupid mistakes like that.


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