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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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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Arrow Studios

Jackson's Row, off Deansgate, Manchester - former location of Arrow Studios. (c) googlemap.


Arrow Studios were at No. 6 Jackson's Row off Deansgate in central Manchester.  Sadly nothing remains of Arrow - not even a Blue Plaque - and Evans Cycles sits in a new build where the studios once stood.  Today Jackson's Row is best known for the Old Nag's Head, one of Manchester's oldest pubs, established in 1777.  Arrow Studios were owned by Greendow, who also owned Indigo Studios on the other side of Deansgate where, amongst others, the seminal Buzzcocks Spiral Scratch EP was recorded in 1976 [1].


Jackson's Row, off Deansgate, Manchester - former location of Arrow Studios. (c) googlemap.


The recording sessions for Joy Division's proposed RCA album were held at Arrow Studios in May 1978 but this record was never released; of course Factory Records put out their debut album [2].  A few months later in November, Joy Division's future label mates and touring mates, The Distractions, recorded their debut release, You're Not Going Out Like Dressed Like That for TJM (this was by no means their first studio material committed to reel though... watch this space for more on that).

You're Not Going Out Like Dressed Like That producer, Brandon Leon, gave The Distractions some free overnight studio time, during which they recorded their signature track, Adrian Wright's Time Goes By So Slow, plus the Perrin/Finney flip-side, Pillow Fight.  The Record Mirror "Sign of the Times" feature on 8th September 1979 describes Mike trotting down Deansgate to Arrow-Indigo.  If he'd done this 130 years earlier, he'd have been passing a Quaker Burial Ground that was on this corner and, presumably, eventually beneath Arrow Studios!


Jackson's Row, off Deansgate, Manchester - former location of Arrow Studios. (c) Alan Godfrey [3].


3. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).


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