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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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Monday, October 4, 2010

Rate Your Music review

Another great review of the Black Velvet EP, this one from Denmark and 'Magic Moments' over at Rate Your Music:



After 29 years they’re back! And in this case I don’t think it is to cash-in on a glorious past since very few people know (or knew) the Distractions anyway.

In 1981, after one album, two EP’s and four singles (good reviews, poor sales) the band quietly closed the door. Nobody noticed and not much has happened ever since. Okay, three singles have been released on different CD-compilations, but only the quasi-famous debut, Time Goes By So Slow, is easily available. For years some bastard American label has prevented a rerelease of the album, Nobody's Perfect, nor have the two EPs ever been released on CD or digitally. I don’t know those EPs, but rumour has it that particularly the first one is truly outstanding.

However, the silence has not been complete, because in 1995 the Distractions shortly reformed to play a handful of gigs in Northern England and more importantly they also recorded demos to what seems to be more or less a full album. It is three selections from these recordings that has now been properly produced and released on the small Occultation label. The line-up is not the same as before, but what matters is that it does include the songwriting team of guitarist Steve Perrin and singer Mike Finney. The old uptempo new wave is gone. Instead Perrin has written two epic guitar ballads, ‘Black Velvet’ and ‘If You Were Mine’, and I don’t think Finney ever has sung this well. Call it old-fashioned, if you like, for me it’s just timeless. The middle track is a new interpretation of ‘Still It Doesn’t Ring’ from Nobody's Perfect - not as tense, but definitely as good as the old one. What it all adds up to is an excellent EP, and although it is not officially released before today, I ordered the promo-CD (3 £) a few weeks ago, and I’ve been playing it like 25 or 30 times. It hasn’t happened in a long time and I’m so happy that these guys are back.

And there is more to come: This summer the Distractions reformed again – again including Perrin and Finney – and a new EP will be released November from these sessions. Next year, we’ll have an album called ‘Nothing’ – a mixture of a standard album and a compilation it seems, including more tracks from the 1995-session as well as the early singles, including b-sides. The final track listing isn’t published yet, but I’m really, really looking forward to those releases.

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