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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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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Connection

Here's the second part of the piece in Torn Apart: The Life of Ian Curtis, by Mick Middles and Lindsay Reade. The first part is here.


"Ian was always extremely open and agreeable with me," says Finney. "When we played with Joy Division he absolutely went out of his way to seek me out and talk about the two bands. It seemed natural at first, because that's how I always knew him. Then, slowly, I started to realise that perhaps he wasn't like that with everyone. I also noticed that the rest of Joy Division, while always being perfectly OK with us, were also a little way because we were very much a live band. I am not saying for one minute that we were on the same planet as them in terms of sheer talent... we weren't. We were a dance, pop soul band who liked to get up on stage and lighten up the crowd."

"He once... it could have been at Leigh... I am not sure... but he once went on on about "Time Goes By So Slow". He wanted to know when it was written. Had it been written immediately after a break up? Was it written in a state of despair, I suppose that, looking back, you could look too deeply into that. My theory is that he was just discovering that song-writing could be cathartic. I don't know if that was ever the point with Joy Division but I did sense that that was what he was thinking. I knew nothing about his private life. I don't remember meeting Deborah and, frankly, The Distractions were a sexual and emotional minefield at the time. I think Ian wanted to know how we dealt with all that. I don't know, frankly. But there was a kind of link between us."

(C) Mick Middles & Lindsay Reade.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A welcome refuge

The first part of a lovely piece in Torn Apart: The Life of Ian Curtis, by Mick Middles and Lindsay Reade.



The link between The Distractions, who performed early on the Leigh bill, and Joy Division is worthy of a mention. Although only fleetingly a Factory band, with one albeit great single, "Time Goes By So Slow", the connection between the two bands was forged on a series of dates during which the lightness of their pop songs perfectly balanced Joy Division's dark introversion. Inspired by these gigs, Paul Morley once claimed: "If Joy Division are the perfect rock band for the Eighties, The Distractions are the perfect pop band". Intriguingly, while the remainder of Joy Division shied away from the hip core who surrounded The Distractions (who have been largely written out of their considerable central role in the Manchester scene), Ian Curtis warmed to Mike Finney, whose cheery bonhomie may have seemed a welcome refuge.

(C) Mick Middles & Lindsay Reade.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Manchester's best kept secret

Here we have one of the earliest pieces of Distractions history, courtesy of Stuart Murray and Mark Windsor of those other legendary Manchester post-punk groups, Fast Cars and V2. It was in Sounds in late 1978 or early '79, featuring TJM Records, Tony Davidson's famous Manchester label. 

Tony takes up the story. "The advert was in Sounds music paper and it was of the first 5 releases on the TJM label. It was a half-page advert and cost £600 plus VAT. At this stage of the record company it was all systems go, to get as much profile and sales for TJM as possible. Looking back, I was taking the profits from the rehearsal rooms and pouring them into the record label. Many thanks to Stuart Murray for the memory."

Note how The Distractions' debut demanded more copies than Mick Hucknall's Frantic Elevators!



TJM RECORDS 
announce the inception of a Manchester based Record Company.
The label for the discerning record buyer.

TJM RECORDS
The sound of tomorrow
made for today

35 Little Peter Street
Knott Mill
Manchester
061 236 2717

Distributors: Virgin Records, Rough Trade, Small Wonder Records, Bonaparte Records, Lightning, Discount Records, Wind-up Records

Watch out for the TJM tour this spring



"Manchester's best kept secret"
MICK MIDDLES, SOUNDS OCT '78

TJM2

THE DISTRACTIONS 

"You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That"

4 tracks, Limited edition of 6000

12 inch EP, Availble Feb 1st



Thursday, January 4, 2018

The stuff of legend

The Distractions' 'Kindly Leave The Stage' has appeared on a number of Best of 2017 lists. Here's the first, thanks to Dave Steinfeld (Staff Writer / Archive Creator) at Blurt. The eagle-eyed will also see The Granite Shore's extraordinary album, 'Suspended Second', and The June Brides' 'Three Wishes - Part Time Punks Sessions' (with Aberdeen and 14 Iced Bears), listed by Tim Hinely (Senior Editor / Zines & 45 Ed. / Mile High Club). These wonderful records feature the Distractions' Nick Halliwell, Stephen Perrin, Arash Torabi and Ian Henderson on 'Suspended Second', and Arash plays bass in the June Brides. 




5. The Distractions — 'Kindly Leave the Stage' (Occultation Recordings)  

The Distractions are the stuff of post-punk legend: an obscure band from Manchester, England who made one critically acclaimed album in the early '80s and promptly vanished. The title of their third long-player says it all. 'Kindly Leave The Stage' is their swan song from singer Mike Finney, guitarist/songwriter Steve Perrin and their mates. While the opening track, “A Few Miles More”, is catchy, it isn’t happy. And after that, the album is basically one long farewell. But few bands do sadness as well as The Distractions.





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