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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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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Distractions are here again

David Quantick's press release for the Come Home EP is now available to download here from the Occultation site.



YMIR7DA008

The Distractions Come Home 12" EP


Press release by David Quantick


THE DISTRACTIONS COME HOME!

The Distractions were the great lost band of the new wave era. Factory single legends, one rated and feted album, a batch of classic songs and an awful lot of “Whatever happened to?”

And now they’re back.  It’s been a while and there have been hints.  Some unreleased songs from the 1990s, a definitive and definite first-time reissue of their back catalogue – but now this.  The first all-new record from The Distractions since the back end of time.  Three brand new songs, guitars by Steve Perrin, vocals by Mike Finney.

There’s Lost, a Perrin classic.  Steve describes it as “a real toe-tapper with a lyric in which a bloke contemplates the pointlessness of his existence.”  There’s Nicole, a majestic song about a girl in the great Distractions tradition of majestic songs about girls.  And there’s the only non-Perrin/Finney song here, Nick Halliwell’s Oil Painting, a song that nevertheless continues that old Nobody’s Perfect feel.

“When the planning started for the possible new single", says Steve Perrin, “Mike and I had a discussion, the gist of which was that the Distractions in 2010 could sound any way that he and I wanted.”  And that sound, brilliantly, is the sound of the 2010 Distractions – guitars and vocals from men who have worked the popface long and hard, but losing none of the soul and vitality that they brought to their earliest work.

With Liverpool production and California mixing by Nick Garside, Come Home is only the second Distractions 12” EP, but is very unlikely to be the last.

With the Nothing compilation on the slipway and a new album being planned, The Distractions have not so much come home as been indoors, scrubbed up and got ready to go out again.  The Distractions are here again, and Come Home is only the beginning.

David Quantick, 2010

Details: The Come Home EP will be available on 12" vinyl (Occultation YMIR7DA008) and digital download in November 2010 and then the Nothing compilation album early in 2011.


Click here to go to the Come Home preview page.

Click here to purchase the 12" single, or here to buy a 12" single plus a promo CD (limited) or here to purchase the EP as MP3s files only - no need to do both, you'll get MP3s sent out immediately and free of charge if you buy the 12" and/or promo CD version.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Now taking orders for Come Home

Occultation Recordings are now accepting orders for the Distractions Come Home 12" EP and expect to have the vinyl next week (i.e. the first week of November).  There's information on the release on the main Come Home page, previews of all three tracks are available here and you can place your orders in the Occultation Shop.  There are various improvements to the ordering system, some you'll notice, some you may not, but it should now be cheaper to purchase multiple items. 

YMIR7DA008 is also the first Occultation release to come with something extra, a collaboration between the label and the Your Heart Out and Unpopular websites called etc.  We'll leave you to discover what it's all about as each of the zips of MP3 files (free for all vinyl and promo/special edition orders) comes with one of these absolutely free.  There will be more to come about this project...

Meanwhile, those of you who've signed up to The Distractions newsletter will have had the news: 




Distracting News

29th October 2010

This just in from Occultation:

"It is with enormous pride that Occultation Recordings announce pre-ordering for the forthcoming Distractions Come Home 12" EP.  We expect to have them next week.  There are three ways to buy:

1) Limited 12"+CD edition, introductory price: £10+P&P

2) Vinyl-only version: £7.50+P&P

3) As part of a Package with other Occultation releases


If you're interested in a combination of our releases not shown on the Packages page, please contact us.  As always, you'll be e-mailed a link to free 320k MP3s with vinyl orders.  MP3s can be purchased separately here but we recommend the vinyl, cut from a higher-resolution source, and the 12"+CD is a bargain.
YMIR7DA008, the Come Home EP, was recorded in Liverpool in June 2010 by a line-up featuring original members Mike Finney and Steve Perrin, another former Distraction, Nick Garside, plus Nick Halliwell of Occultation label-mates The Granite Shore and drummer Stuart Mann.  Richard Turvey of The Wild Swans engineered the session, playing piano and organ.

The 12" single will come in a special UV spot-varnished sleeve and the limited promo CDs are professionally replicated and in special vinyl-replica style wallets.

Early in 2011 we plan to release the first compilation of Distractions recordings, featuring the band's first EP, both sides of the classic Factory single Time Goes By So Slow b/w Pillow Fight and more of the fabled mid-90s recordings.  There are also plans for the band's first new album since 1980's Nobody's Perfect."
Obviously this is very exciting news - the first new Distractions recordings made since the mid-1990s and the second EP in as many months.  If you've not yet bought Black Velvet, Occultation are offering a couple of special deals on their Promos page, allowing you to buy the limited 12"+CD version of Come Home, the limited promo CD version of the previous EP and/or The Granite Shore's Flood of fortune 7"+CD.  A number of other special deals are also available in the label's Shop.

We hope to have more news of the Nothing compilation album over the coming weeks.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Distractions at Cerysmatic Factory

"Sometimes you have a band that feel like they are entirely yours. My band were The Distractions."

This is exactly how I've felt for years until recently.  These are the words of David Quantick from his excellent article that appeared in Scream City 5, the Factory Records fanzine from John Cooper & Co at Cerysmatic Factory.  This included The Distractions' first release in 29 years in the shape of (I Thought You Were Dead) Josephine on the limited edition CD which accompanied the publication.





Sometimes you have a band that feel like they are entirely yours.  (This is no fun for the band who would like to belong to themselves but be liked by the world.) My band were The Distractions, and they felt like they were mine despite the fact that they'd made one of the great, great Factory singles, Time Goes By So Slow, despite the fact that they'd signed to Island Records when that was a cool, pre-U2 thing to do, and despite the fact that they were brilliant. Mike Finney was possibly the only great white soul voice of the punk and post-punk eras, Steve Perrin a brilliant songwriter and inventive guitarist, and the rest of the band were a unique blend of the spikey modernist pop of Buzzcocks and the more retro groove of Costello.

David Quantick, Scream City 5

The Distractions' brand new page over at Cerysmatic Factory contains links to current and previous Distractions releases plus other pieces.



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Friday, October 22, 2010

Come Home promos



CD promos of the Come Home EP have arrived and as expected they're looking and sounding superb.  The 12" vinyl - due in a few weeks - is going to be special.  The vinyl record will be available to order soon from the Occultation Vinyl Shop (comes with free mp3s) and a limited number of promos will also be available as well as standalone digital versions from the MP3 Shop.  

Interesting fact about the Albert Memorial Statue which adorns both the Come Home EP and The Distractions' first Occultation release, the Black Velvet EP - its precise spot marks the site of an old Manchester pub, The Engravers' Arms.  The pub was lost when the streets on this site were cleared between in 1863 for the majestic Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square and the Albert Memorial, which was built in 1865.


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Everett True article

There's a terrific article by music critic, ex-NME and Melody Maker writer, Everett True, in the Collapse Board on-line magazine.  A couple of highlights, first on the debut EP:

The Distractions' 'You’re Not Going Out Dressed Like That' 12-inch on TJM was one of my favourites.  The four songs had such energy, melody, enthusiasm, awkwardness – it was The Undertones, but somehow more on a level I could relate to, no tongue-in-cheek ironies here.  I loved the rough, clearly unfinished production, the way it made the songs seem way more human and personal.  The lyrics spoke directly to me.

Well, I won’t miss you when you’ve gone/And I won’t talk behind your back/The time will come when you look back and see/If the time should come when you have a reason to come back/Well, do what you want, it doesn’t bother me,” Mike Finney sang in his trembling Mancunian accent.  (Most of the songwriting, but by no means all, was managed by guitarist Steve Perrin.)  Man, I so wanted to say those words to even one person – one girl – that might have some sort of regret because they’re didn’t notice me… trouble was, I couldn’t even find one.  So I kept playing the music regardless, imagining myself into situations that were entirely unobtainable.  Guitars churned and spun, the drums rattled and thundered in their own intimate way, and throughout those damn melodies soared and hurt and twanged at my heart strings…

When I saw you last night/I got too close again/Though we stayed apart/I clung to you like glue/And though I tried so hard to prove to you I wasn’t giving in/I forgot to give you time to prove it too,” The Distractions sang on 'Nothing', before a minimal guitar solo as great as anything even from the Buzzcocks or The Jam – damn, I knew how that felt.  There was such jubilation present, too: impossible to hide on the rampant closing song 'Too Young' that soared and burnt and scoured and ran wild with the exhilaration of being young like even anything from way up in Scotland (Restricted Code or The Scars, for example).  These, for me, were my pop star gods – it didn’t matter whether they sold 100 or 10 million records.  These were my pop star gods.

The Distractions at Hope & Anchor, 3 December 1980. (c) shivadescending at songkick.


And on their latest release, the Black Velvet EP:

The Distractions have returned.  There’s a new Distractions record – their first in 30 years – and it’s great! Great, I tell you!  None of the poignancy has been diminished by the passing years, only increased.  The first track on the first EP, the six-minute long 'Black Velvet', boasts a beating pop heart and pride that would do even Pete Wylie in his prime proud; Mike Finney is on corking form: the guitars linger and berate: it’s a ballad of course.  (The Distractions did ballads like few others ever managed.)  There’s a second EP, that’s growing on me by the minute.  Frankly, this new stuff is as great as the old stuff, and from me that’s saying an awful, awful lot.



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Friday, October 15, 2010

Come Home press release

As seen on the Norman Records Come Home EP page:




The Distractions were the great lost band of the new wave era.  Factory single legends, one rated and feted album, a batch of classic songs and an awful lot of “Whatever happened to?”  And now they’re back.  It’s been a while and there have been hints.  Some unreleased songs from the 1990s, a definitive and definite first-time reissue of their back catalogue – but now this.  The first all-new record from The Distractions since the back end of time.  Three brand new songs, guitars by Steve Perrin, vocals by Mike Finney.  

There’s Lost, a Perrin classic.  Steve describes it as “a real toe-tapper with a lyric in which a bloke contemplates the pointlessness of his existence.”  There’s Nicole, a majestic song about a girl in the great Distractions tradition of majestic songs about girls.  And there’s the only non-Perrin/Finney song here, Nick Halliwell’s Oil Painting, a song that nevertheless continues that old “Nobody’s Perfect” feel.

“When the planning started for the possible new single", says Steve Perrin, “Mike and I had a discussion, the gist of which was that the Distractions in 2010 could sound any way that he and I wanted.”  And that sound, brilliantly, is the sound of the 2010 Distractions – guitars and vocals from men who have worked the popface long and hard, but losing none of the soul and vitality that they brought to their earliest work.  With Liverpool production and California mixing by Nick Garside, Come Home is only the second Distractions 12” EP, but is very unlikely to be the last.  With the Nothing compilation on the slipway and a new album being planned, The Distractions have not so much come home as been indoors, scrubbed up and got ready to go out again.  The Distractions are here again, and Come Home is only the beginning.

David Quantick, 2010

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