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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, May 30, 2017

National treasures

With another fine review of The Distractions' remarkable third and final album, here's Paul Pledger at Flipside Reviews.



THE DISTRACTIONS - KINDLY LEAVE THE STAGE 

OCCULTATION - LP DELUXE

OUT NOW



I don't know. You wait 32 years for one Distractions album to come along and then blow me, they deliver a second in a fifth of the time. This, their third full-length set comes in numerous format combinations, the most essential of which is the deluxe vinyl edition, complete with the 10" EP Go Dark, the vinyl and CD versions of Kindly Leave The Stage, a poster and artwork. A slap on the back is due to Occultation for compiling another collectable package.

And further slaps on backs are due to the band members themselves (including label honcho Nick Halliwell who, because, despite bearing a title that might suggest a desperate live recording, this is prime studio material recorded in the label's hometown of Exeter barely five years after the last LP, suggesting the Manchester outfit have legs yet.

Sadly though, Kindly Leave the Stage is chiefly about goodbyes - it's a swansong, a final curtain and the poignancy starts right at the beginning with A Few Miles More. When Mike Finney trills "There's no virtue in survival / not if you constantly repeat the same mistakes...", you already sense that this is not just a chapter ending, it's the whole book, cover and all. It is also one of The Distractions' most accomplished songs, alongside their Factory one-off Time Goes By So Slow, the singles It Doesn't Bother Me and Lost and the preceding album's Girl Of The Year. It's an emotional start.

The theme of departure and unrequited love continues on Last To Leave and the glorious Wake Up and Kiss Me Goodbye, both nods to an era when heartache and heartbreak steered '60s pop songwriters towards million-sellers and screaming fans. The Distractions have courted only a limited audience since debuting in 1979 with the frenetic EP You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That, without so much as a sniff of a hit since. Island Records failed to convert the record-buying public, yet Occultation (tiny in comparison) have probably achieved far more in keeping The Distractions firmly ensconced as national treasures.

On every Distractions release comes fully fitted with a lip-trembler and this one is no exception. Head to The Connection's Dropped Again for the beginning of a trio of introspective little vignettes designed to unlock the tearducts and keep the lachrymosity flowing. It's the blurry lock-in after last orders, the last drops of single malt, the shutters are down, the hall is empty and it's time for bed. Or in this case, the last dance at The End Of The Pier.

The deluxe bonus has a 10" EP has the fabulous Nothing Lasts and Skin, both worthy of being singles in a parallel universe, as well as a string of alternate versions of various album tracks - well worth purchasing from Occultation direct.

9/10

Posted 16th April by Paul Pledger


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