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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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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peel & Fanning

 John Peel. (c) rocklistmusic.


The incomparable John Peel often stated his favourite ever single was Teenage Kicks by the Undertones, and it is to this band that The Distractions were and still are frequently compared [1-3].  Peel himself gave The Distractions a little airplay in the late '70s, early '80s as FAC 12 and the Island album were both featured on his BBC Radio 1 show:

http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/25_July_1979 - The Distractions:  Time Goes By So Slow (single) Factory

http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/16_August_1979 - The Distractions:  Time Goes By So Slow (single) Factory

http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/09_June_1980 - The Distractions:  Something For The Weekend (LP - Nobody's Perfect) Island

http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/07_July_1980 - The Distractions:  Louise (LP - Nobody's Perfect) Island


Dave Fanning. (c) tower.


Over the water in Ireland, the "Irish John Peel" was undoubtedly RTE's Dave Fanning.  He had The Distractions in the studio in 1980 but sadly no details of this show exist.  However, a few weeks later, the lead singer of John Peel's beloved Fall was in and amongst other things, Fanning and Mark E. Smith brought up The Distractions:


Dave Fanning:  What about then the bands that are around at the moment from the same area as yourselves, like say The Distractions, from the Manchester area?

Mark E Smith:  I like The Distractions, because they're like a paradox to us.  I think they're a good cabaret pop band.  I think they're very honest.  I like honesty in bands.  But I think once they got into the hands of the record company, I think they messed up a bit.

DF:  When The Distractions were on the programme some months ago, they mentioned the fact about going to London and not being able to get gigs and there's no way at all, and in Manchester there's so few places to play.  Well in the last six months there seems to be loads of bands coming out of Manchester, loads of albums on independent labels and things like that.  So it is that much better up there, do you need to go to London do you think?

MES:  Well we went to London because I think the Manchester scene is like an imitation of the London scene, the Manchester scene is rapidly becoming like London.  If you go to Manchester now, it's just like London.

DF:  With all the upswings of all the bands are there places to play over there now?

MES:  In Manchester?  There's the odd place, but it's no better than any other city.  I think just that Manchester turns out people like that, I think it's the city [4].


1. Paul Morley, 1980 and David Quantick, 1987:   www.thedistractions.co.uk.
2. Mick Middles, 2010:  http://thequietus.com.
3. Malcolm Carter, 2011:  www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk.
4. http://gcoleman.tripod.com/sixplus.html.


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