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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 13, 2010

Valerie

As the wonderful Looking For A Ghost fades out, in comes a delicate piano, playing Satie-like notes for a few moments, suggestive of a gentle end to the album. However, suddenly in come the band at full-pelt, playing Valerie at Ramones-like speed. It's a sub-two minute thrash that ends the musical hot pot that is Nobody's Perfect. One of The Distractions' many notable fans, David Quantick (who gave such a glowing retrospective of the album in 1987), cites Valerie as the perfect song to put on a mix tape if you've not got much time left on it, on his BBC Radio 4 show The Disappearing Art of the Mix Tape. This show also featured Simon Armitage, a celebrity fan of another classic lost band, the Comsat Angels, and Elbow's Guy Garvey (who, coincidentally, I bumped into last weekend in the Britons Protection). Check out the only Distractions track currently on You Tube, a suitably raucous cover of Valerie by the Yum Yums.
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The Distractions (c) Drowned In Sound; Maximo Park (c) Better Propaganda.
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One of the more leftfield comparisons is that of The Distractions with Maximo Park made by Ditching Boy's blog. To surmise, both bands are endearingly dorky, aren't afraid to wear their heartbroken emotions on their sleeves, and write jerky songs with killer hooks and memorable choruses, straddling the fine line between punk and new wave. He's got a point.
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