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the official distractions website

Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

FAC

The Distractions played a small but significant part in the remarkable Factory Records story. The cataloguing system the label used highlights the role the band played in the nascent Factory Records. Like FAC 1 and FAC 3 before it, FAC 4 was a poster designed by Peter Saville, advertising gigs at the Russell Club in Hulme, south of Manchester city centre. FAC 4, which later appeared in Face magazine, advertises some notable groups - Human League, Magazine, Undertones - in addition to The Distractions. Note the repeated misspelling of the club name and the incorrect address on all the posters! (Moss Side is another mile south of Hulme).
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..................FAC 1, FAC 4 and FAC 3. (c) Cerysmatic, Cerysmatic & Cerysmatic.
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The Russell Club was previously known as the PSV Club, and was situated in a rather run-down part of town, including the infamous Hulme Crescents. Thankfully these days Hulme has been regenerated into a pleasant enough area, although Moss Side still awaits its turn.
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..................PSV / Russell Club, Royce Road, Hulme, (c) exhulme & atomicsoup.

Following the release of FAC 5 (A Certain Ratio's All Night Party), FAC 6 (OMD's Electricity) and FAC 11 (X-O-Dus's English Black Boys), The Distractions' Time Goes By So Slow was Factory's fourth (and, in the humble opinion of many, Factory's greatest) 7-inch single, FAC 12. A bizarre but instantly memorable image of an ear-ringed female adorns both sides (the back a negative of the front) on Peter Saville's sleeve. History has it that the original A-side was going to be Pillow Fight, but at the last minute Time Goes By So Slow was rightly made the A-side. This change may have lead to the unfortunate labelling mix-up which has, until now, always credited The Distractions' most famous song to Perrin/Finney when, of course, it was penned by Adrian Wright. Posters and magazine adverts promoting FAC 12 were also produced, such as the one from City Fun shown below.
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.................FAC 12 and advert from City Fun. (c) Manchester District Music Archive.
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Another Factory poster featuring The Distractions is FAC 15, Zoo Meets Factory Half-way, that poorly attended festival with such a fantastic line-up.
.......................................................FAC 15.

One of the strangest FAC catalogue numbers (and that's saying something - perhaps the weirdest of all FAC numbers is FAC 8, Linder's "Menstrual Egg Timer") is FAC 20. This is described as an unmade film which was to feature most of the 1980 Factory roster, but mainly A Certain Ratio and The Distractions attempting various forms of terrorism around Manchester, kidnapping Ian Curtis and blowing up Joy Division [1]. Why oh why wasn't this made!?

Not strictly a FAC number, but referred to as FAC 10 + 4, posters advertising FAC 12 were based around the iconic artwork of FAC 10, Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, and arguably Factory's finest LP.

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.........................................FAC 10 + 4. (c) Cerysmatic.
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A tantalising "what if" FAC catalogue number that never materialised is FAC 301, Factory Conference 'Think About The Future' / First 50 Book. The First 50 Book by Tim Chambers was to do what it says on the tin - tell the story of the first 50 numbers in the FAC-catalogue [2], in which The Distractions would have featured significantly.

1. http://home.dialix.com/~u3336/factory/facuk1.html.
2. http://home.dialix.com/~u3336/factory/facuk7.html.
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