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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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Monday, September 20, 2010

All Gigs review

The Distractions on All Gigs. (c) www.allgigs.co.uk.

A terrific review of the Black Velvet EP from Paul Pledger at All Gigs:

Black Velvet - The Distractions

Single Review

In an age of '30th anniversary' tours, re-issues and Pope visits, the more weary of us seek solace in the arms of the bands we loved during our youth. Then I realise that all of the bands currently reforming and wheeling out old tunes, are indeed the bands I loved during MY youth - which makes me very old. Oh well! Ancient, then.

30 years ago (and a bit), The Distractions, a pop-band from Manchester with a melancholy cherry on top, released one of the best independent singles EVER with "Time Goes By So Slow", proving themselves to be the least-likely Factory band EVER - so they signed to Island instead, failed to grab any hits despite a handful of great singles and a decent album and split up. What a shame.

2010 sees tortured singer Mike Finney return with his charges, armed with more mirrorball-sadness and unrequited retro-romance. Hey, if it works for Richard Hawley, it should have worked for Finney and Perrin. And it still does, the three songs on "Black Velvet" are bathed in exquisite sadness, not least the six-minute title track. Straight out of the Tony Christie/ Frankie Laine songbook, it's a huskily intoned ballad that will perplex most lovers of X-Factor and Bring Me My Comb And I'll S**t On The Dog, or whatever the latest scream burp happens to be.

The remaining two songs are of a similar ball-park with perhaps "Still It Doesn't Ring" being the most expressive, if only for the title. Apparently a compilation CD is planned for 2011, with another new brace of songs due to be released on 12" in November. A welcome back for a worthy reunion.

Paul Pledger

In a nice twist of fate, Paul is pictured on the website with Factory stalwart and old friend of The Distractions, Peter Hook.

Peter Hook & Paul Pledger. (c) www.allgigs.co.uk.

The Black Velvet review is listed alongside The Charlatans' new single which is embedded in my head thanks to heavy rotation on BBC 6 Music. While The Charlatans are described as Madchester mainstays, The Distractions have been away but (to paraphrase David Quantick) they are back again, and Black Velvet is only the beginning.

The Charlatans & The Distractions reviews on All Gigs. (c) www.allgigs.co.uk.

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