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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, September 15, 2013

Another time and era

The End of the Pier featured in Penny Black Music's 'Vinyl Stories' recently, picked by the editor, John Clarkson.


Vinyl Stories : John Clarkson 
Author: Dave Goodwin
Published: 31/07/2013

Hello, and welcome to the first edition of 'Vinyl Stories', and what a way to start it too. 

Vinyl Stories is a chance to dive into people's vinyl collection whether it be albums, 12" singles or the good old 7".  It may be a chance to polish some of those 10" 78s too as long as it is vinyl and to find out about why they bought them, when, who for, where from and so on.  A life story in vinyl if you like. 

This year is Pennyblackmusic's fifteenth anniversary.  So to kick off the column, I couldn't think of anyone finer to nail down to the floorboards and rummage through their collection with than our own gaffer. 

Born in November 1965, John Clarkson was educated in Edinburgh, but spent three years at Loughborough University of Technology (as it was then) between 1983 and 1986.  He returned to Edinburgh in 1986, and has worked there for the last twenty-seven years.  John has been editing the Pennyblackmusic Magazine since the site first went online in September 1998. 

Over the years, John has built himself a great collection of the beloved black wax, and has picked out six albums from it that have clearly featured in his life so far.  John's favourite Vinyl Stories start here.

1. Stranglers/'Rattus Norvegicus' (1977).

2. David Bowie/'The Best of Bowie' (1980)

3. Friends Again/'Trapped and Unwrapped' (1984)

4. The Clash/'London Calling' (1979)

5. Kepler/'Fuck Fight Fail' (2000)




6. The Distractions/'The End of the Pier' (2012)

The story of The Distractions - this English new wave band who got back together to record a second LP thirty-two years after the first despite one of their principal members living in New Zealand - is remarkable in itself.

It was our writer Malcolm Carter who introduced them to me, an he has since done a lot to promote them on the site with two interviews and various reviews.

Their label Occultation Recordings is run by Nick Halliwell, a long-term fan, who ended up becoming both their producer and one of their guitarists.  Occultation Recordings have done a CD edition of 'The End of the Pier', but the vinyl edition is the one to go for.   It had a slightly more rugged and earthy sound that suits The Distractions, and its packaging like that of 'London Calling' is a work of art.  Its front cover photograph of a massive old pier signifies something of another time and era, but which continues to hold great durability - very much like The Distractions themselves.

(c) Dave Goodwin at Penny Black Music.

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