Perhaps subconsciously I’m a little homesick but whilst I’m sat here working away in Camden I can’t stop myself listening to some good old Manc classics.
It all started this morning when one of my all time favourite records came through via an iTunes set to random. The unmistakable rhythm guitar from the classic “Let’s Take a Trip” by Northside gripped me immediately and sent me into a spin back to a little Manchester-in-my-head. For me it’s one of the defining songs of the whole ‘Madchester’ scene and to some extent Factory records too; optimistic, uplifting whilst still being a bit rough. (For the record in my opinion much of Factory’s music was quite uplifting -if a bit scruffy- despite the belief by some that it was all a bit tragic due to the Joy Division association, but that’s another debate.)
Following on from that, I couldn’t help but dig out Palatine: The Factory Story; the 4 piece box set containing some outstanding tracks from pretty much every member of the Factory family. From Joy Division early James and The Durutti Column through to more the obscure X-O-Dus and Kalima the full set mixes the upbeat with the downright grim. It’s a pretty good way to reawaken any dormant Manchester thoughts in anyone’s brain and today in-particular I’m glad for it (gladferit?).
If you can dig it out (I believe it goes for anything between £75 and £1000 second hand these days so good luck), I highly recommend it. Although listening to the albums from which the tracks are taken is always worth the time if you have it.
My notable tracks:
Sketch For Summer – The Durutti Column
Hymn From a Village – James
Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division (Of course this has to be there)
You’re No Good – ESG
Happy Ever After – Stockholm Monsters (Weird Johnny Rotten/Brian Ferry/Roxy Music sound but lovely)
Sparkle – Kalima (The birth of the Balearic scene maybe?)
24 Hour Party People – Happy Mondays
World In Motion – New Order (Catch Me If You Can, Coz I’m The England Man – Ha Ha John Barnes)
Wrote For Luck – Happy Mondays