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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, October 18, 2010

Everett True article

There's a terrific article by music critic, ex-NME and Melody Maker writer, Everett True, in the Collapse Board on-line magazine.  A couple of highlights, first on the debut EP:

The Distractions' 'You’re Not Going Out Dressed Like That' 12-inch on TJM was one of my favourites.  The four songs had such energy, melody, enthusiasm, awkwardness – it was The Undertones, but somehow more on a level I could relate to, no tongue-in-cheek ironies here.  I loved the rough, clearly unfinished production, the way it made the songs seem way more human and personal.  The lyrics spoke directly to me.

Well, I won’t miss you when you’ve gone/And I won’t talk behind your back/The time will come when you look back and see/If the time should come when you have a reason to come back/Well, do what you want, it doesn’t bother me,” Mike Finney sang in his trembling Mancunian accent.  (Most of the songwriting, but by no means all, was managed by guitarist Steve Perrin.)  Man, I so wanted to say those words to even one person – one girl – that might have some sort of regret because they’re didn’t notice me… trouble was, I couldn’t even find one.  So I kept playing the music regardless, imagining myself into situations that were entirely unobtainable.  Guitars churned and spun, the drums rattled and thundered in their own intimate way, and throughout those damn melodies soared and hurt and twanged at my heart strings…

When I saw you last night/I got too close again/Though we stayed apart/I clung to you like glue/And though I tried so hard to prove to you I wasn’t giving in/I forgot to give you time to prove it too,” The Distractions sang on 'Nothing', before a minimal guitar solo as great as anything even from the Buzzcocks or The Jam – damn, I knew how that felt.  There was such jubilation present, too: impossible to hide on the rampant closing song 'Too Young' that soared and burnt and scoured and ran wild with the exhilaration of being young like even anything from way up in Scotland (Restricted Code or The Scars, for example).  These, for me, were my pop star gods – it didn’t matter whether they sold 100 or 10 million records.  These were my pop star gods.

The Distractions at Hope & Anchor, 3 December 1980. (c) shivadescending at songkick.

And on their latest release, the Black Velvet EP:

The Distractions have returned.  There’s a new Distractions record – their first in 30 years – and it’s great! Great, I tell you!  None of the poignancy has been diminished by the passing years, only increased.  The first track on the first EP, the six-minute long 'Black Velvet', boasts a beating pop heart and pride that would do even Pete Wylie in his prime proud; Mike Finney is on corking form: the guitars linger and berate: it’s a ballad of course.  (The Distractions did ballads like few others ever managed.)  There’s a second EP, that’s growing on me by the minute.  Frankly, this new stuff is as great as the old stuff, and from me that’s saying an awful, awful lot.


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