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One Album Wonders Northside's Chicken Rhythms

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 23, 2015 03:55pm | Post a Comment
NORTHSIDE - CHICKEN RHYTHMS (1991)


My introduction to the quartet named Northside came in my second year of college, I believe, a few years after the release of their only album, Chicken Rhythms. As a teenage fan of all things Madchester, I'd heard of them, of course, but it wasn't until Liz lent me a cassette that I was able to give it a listen. Although I was at first dismissive of what seemed to me to be by-the-numbers Baggy, over time the album unexpectedly grew on me.

Northside were formed in 1989 by Warren "Dermo" Dermody (vocals and United supporter) and Cliff Ogier (bass and City supporter). They were soon after joined by Michael "Upto" Upton (guitar) and Paul Walsh (drums). Upton was soon after replaced by Timmy WalshAll were residents of either Blackley or Moston, in Manchester's Northside. In August they recorded a demo at The Cutting Rooms, part of Abraham Moss College




Northside received some airplay byTony the Greek’s program on Piccadilly Radio and Craig Cash on KFM, Stockport. They capitalized on their growing local fame with their September live debut at Manchester’s Boardwalk which sold out. Not long after, Tony Wilson visited them at their rehearsal space and offered them a contract with Factory and they accepted. They closed out the year opening for Happy Mondays at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in November and a performance (supported by Paris Angels) at the Haçienda's Christmas party. In early 1990, Northside were profiled on the Granada documentary, Madchester – The Sound of the North


In April Northside headed to the capital to record their debut single with producer Ian Broudie, "Shall We Take A Trip" b/w "Moody Places," released on Factory. It was very much of the time, with wah-wah guitar, funky drumming, and vocals sung in the style of The Stone Roses' Ian Brown or The Charlatans' Tim Burgess. A not at all veiled paean to LSD, it was predictably banned by the BBC and climbed to No. 50 on the singles chart.



Second single, "My Rising Star,” was both less derivative and less distinct but no less winning. It reached No. 32 in the charts and spent seven weeks on the charts. 

Northside Chicken Rhythms

Chicken Rhythms was released in 1991 (some re-issues also included "My Shining Star"). The album's cutesy artwork, designed by Manchester's Central Station Design, suggested strangely that Northside were some kind of twee boy band. Their third single, "Take 5," climbed to No. 40 in the UK (and No. 1 in Canada). It was 
released on 1 June, the same day they played Leeds’s Elland Road Stadium with Happy Mondays, The Farm, and The La’s.



Northside began working on demos for a follow-up but Factory went out of business in 1992 and the follow-up was never completed. Northside went their separate ways in 1996. In 2003, Dermo and Ogier formed Silent Partners, with Malc Law (drums) and Danny Yates (guitar). Ogier left and was replaced by Dom Morrison.

In 2006, following the reformation of Inspiral Carpets and Happy Mondays, Dermody, Morrison, Yates and new drummer Spencer Birtwistle (The Fall)
 played as Northside on a handful of dates. In 2014, the original line-up of the band re-formed but so far no new material has emerged.



*****


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One album wonders: World of Twist's Quality Street

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 24, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment
WORLD OF TWIST - QUALITY STREET (1991)

World of Twist
are one of the greatest one album wonders, on par with The La’s and The Sex Pistols — if unfortunately much more obscure than either. Although they’ve been broken up for more than twenty years, their cult still remains small although it seems inevitable that they will some day be granted the adoration which they so deserve. It seems only a matter of time before an excellent documentary on them screens at Don’t Knock the Rock or appears on video. 




As with many one album wonders, though not prolific as recording artists, the World of Twist’s members were involved in music for many years. From 1977-1979, Dave Conner (vocals), Gordon King (bass), James Fry (guitar), Julia Adamson (guitar), and Tony Ogden (drums) played in a punk band called The Blackout when all were art students in Art & Design at Stockport College in Greater Manchester.

Around 1982, King and Fry followed the latter’s older brother, Martin (of ABC) to Sheffield, then one of the most musically interesting cities in the UK (see Made in Sheffield). Over the next few years the line-up grew to included Ogden, Andy Robins (synthesizer), and Rory Connolly (saxophone). After Robins quit they were joined by Andrew Hobson (bass) and Nick Philips (organ) and by 1984/’85 they had a repertoire of about a dozen songs which they recorded as demos. Three songs from 1985 were released in 1992 after World of Twist had split up.

We cannot walk the floor at night in peace -- a look back at Perry Boys

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 29, 2013 04:56pm | Post a Comment

18 May was the 104th birthday of Fred Perry. As someone who'd generally rather poorly play any sport than watch others, no matter how good, this occasion in and of itself didn't mean much to me. Fred Perry was, I've read, a great tennis player but I reckon his name conjures up images of tennis shirts rather than tennis players. And for anyone remotely aware of youth subcultures, Fred Perry shirts have been part of many style tribes' uniforms. In fact, Fred Perry was so popular with a Mancunian tribe that arose in the late 1970s that they came to be known as "Perry Boys."


A BRIEF HISTORY OF TENNIS SHIRTS


Lacoste (left) and Perry (right) in their creations (image source: Modern Gentleman Magazine)


The tennis shirt was invented in 1929 by French tennis star Jean René Lacoste but Fred Perry introduced several innovations to the article of clothing. As with Lacoste, Fred Perry shirts only came in white when they were introduced in 1952. The now signature twin-tipping was reportedly introduced to placate the demands of West Ham United football fans. When members of the Mod subculture adopted the shirt, more colors were added to cater to their tastes. (Fred Perry also invented the modern wrist sweatband although there's no excuse for wearing those off the court). 

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SF DJ Dance Party Temptation Pays Tribute to Manchester's Rich Musical Legacy

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2010 11:23am | Post a Comment
"And God Created Manchester (Pt 1)" from Rock Family Trees

As the above excerpt from the the Rock Family Trees series about the history of the Manchester music scene (see Pt 2 and Pt 3) nicely outlines, and as most of us Smiths/Joy Division etc. fans already well know, Manchester, England has an incredibly rich musical legacy. It spans several decades with a seemingly never ending stream of talented bands and artists including (to name but a handful) New Morrissey, Manchester UnitedOrder, The Stone Roses, James, 808 State, The Durutti Column, The Happy Monday, The Inspiral Carpets, The Fall, Autechre, The Ting Tings, and Herman's Hermits.

Also well aware of this are the music loving folks who throw the ongoing Bay Area electro/80's/indie/goth themed Temptation party. So for tonight's (sure to be hella fun) Temptation party at Cat Club, the theme is Manchester and that's what the DJs will be spinning all night long. I caught up with Temptation DJ/promoter DJ Damon, who co-produces the Bay Area club night with Dangerous Dan and Skip, and who holds a special place in his heart for Manchester's rich musical history to ask him about tonight's party and Manchester music in general.

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IAN CURTIS WOULD'VE APPROVED

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2009 01:54pm | Post a Comment
Joy Division
I think Ian Curtis, the late, great lead singer of Joy Division, would have approved of this Caribbean steel band cover of Joy Division's classic song "Transmission." It's by Steel Harmony and was part of Jeremy Deller's Procession from a couple of Sunday afternoons ago in Ian Curtis' hometown of Manchester England. Although, judging by the reaction, or lack thereof, by most of the crowd, I would say that this inspired cover went mostly underappreciated. 

To compare this instrumental steel band version with the original version, below is the band performing it live 33 years ago in Salford, Greater Manchester. "Transmission" was played onstage in the film 24 Hour Party People (available on DVD at Amoeba) in a scene where Curtis suffers an epileptic fit. Orginally a single, the studio version of the song can be found at Amoeba on several Joy Division releases, including the JD collections Substance and The Best of Joy Division. There are also several live versions out there, including one on Joy Division: The Peel Sessions, recorded in 1979. Over the years numerous other artists have covered the song, including UK electropop stars Hot Chip, the Minnesota slowcore group Low, and of course, most recently Steel Harmony.

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