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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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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thrill of the chase

Part one of a terrific article over at THENEWPERFECTCOLLECTION, in which they also mention the Parabolically Yours PledgeMusic campaign:





THE DISTRACTIONS – NOBODY’S PERFECT (1980)



The thrill of the chase is something that’s  been irretrievably lost in the you-want-it-we-got-it internet. My curiosity, fuelled by Paul Morley’s characteristically evangelical assertion that “their music will move you” and its number one position in an NME Manchester top 10 (yus, above NewJoyFallBuzzSmithMagColumn) drove a lengthy hunt for the Distractions’ 1979 single Time Goes By So Slow. It ended at the magnificent Realistic Records, near Glasgow’s Partick Cross, for the price of a packet of dry roasted peanuts and what emerged was a brisk yet serene, sprightly yet weary, sunny yet crushed tale of an inability to let go that topples into delusion.
It’s a recurring theme on Nobody’s Perfect – which I acquired a few months later and on which TGBSS doesn’t feature – as Leave You To Dream sees her oblivious to his attention on the warmest summer evening of the year and Stuck in A Fantasy evokes another vanished detail while describing profound obsession familiar from age to age: “On my TV when the station closes down/Your ghostly face appears to me, laughing like a clown”.
Most hauntingly and unforgettably, Looking For A Ghost is the sound of the guy who missed his chance slipping into her wedding and sitting in the back row – then staying silent as he accepts that the impediment he knows of is not reasonable but, on the contrary, completely irrational, as he’s yet again imagining she’s still with him, while Wilson and Spector conduct the choir in harmonies so dense no laser could pierce them.
If this extraordinary song ever found its way on to a film soundtrack, ubiquity would swiftly follow – though considering this would inevitably entail karaoke pummellings, tone-deaf whistled renditions and weak jokes about gaps in the lyric’s logic (“One minute he’s saying she’s floating by my side, the next she’s encased inside my head. Eh? Make up y’mind hehehe”) I hope it never, ever happens.
(PG)

[to be continued]


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