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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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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Eighties

The last part of Pete Frame's take on the Manchester scene, this time it's the early '80s and The Distractions appear...

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A former cotton warehouse in Little Peter Street was converted into TJ's rehearsal studios, used by every local band from The Frantic Elevators to Joy Division to The Inadequates (with Gillian Gilbert) to The Buzzcocks.  TJM was a spin-off indie label offering The Distractions, V2, Victim and The Frantic Elevators.

In the Eighties came The Mothmen, The Distractions, A Certain Ratio, Occult Chemistry [prophetic], Crispy Ambulance, The Freshies, The Smirks, The Blue Orchids [formed by Factory Star's Martin Bramah], Any Trouble, Quando Quango (featuring Mike Pickering, later of M People), Flag of Convenience (Buzzcocks spin-off), The Inca Babies, Simply Red, James and two thirds of Swing Out Sister.

Late Eighties groups included King of the Slums, The Sun And The Moon, Turning Blue, The Waltones, The Happy Mondays, Stockholm Monsters, The High. A Man Called Gerald, Lavolta Lakota, Baby Ford, Northside (from Blackley), Easterhouse (who perversely named themselves after a council estate in Glasgow!), 808 State, Yargo, Electronic and The Stone Roses.  

The Gallery in Peter Street (where R.E.M. played in November '84) and the Portland Bar (under the Piccadilly Hotel) were the places to play.

The city's first warehouse rave was a Stone Roses gig in a British Railways arch in Fairfield Street, behind Piccadilly Station in July '85.


(c) Pete Frame's Rockin' Around Britain, Pete Frame (1999)

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