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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, January 23, 2012

An impossible dream

The word slowly spreads from Cerysmatic in London to Rarebird's Rock n Roll Rarities in America...


Spotlight Album Review #8

The Distractions - "You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That" EP (TJM 2) 1978

The Distractions - "Nobody's Perfect" (Island ilps 9604) 1980

The Distractions were a quintet from Manchester, England who recorded only one full-length album during their original existence.  That 1980 album, Nobody's Perfect, has long been out of print.  The band split up in 1981, after the album failed to attract much attention.  Their commercial failure wasn't caused by a lack of effort.  Their small body of work demonstrated that these new-wavers were avid students of music history, and they skilfully applied their knowledge to their own enjoyable music. 

Before recording their full-length album, the Distractions released a few singles and a 4-song EP in the U.K.  Their 1978 EP, titled You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That, already showed that they did not intend to limit themselves to the usual new wave sounds.  These four songs (one of which, "Nothing", was remade for the album) show influences including Elvis Costello, early Kinks, early Byrds (singer Mike Finney sounds uncannily like Gene Clark on this EP), and dashes of surf-rock and psychedelia.  And this was just a rough warm-up for the album to come.

Thankfully, the U.K. label Hidden Masters plans to release a 2-CD Distractions anthology in Spring 2012, which would include the tracks from Nobody's Perfect.  And... singer Mike Finney and guitarist Steve Perrin have reunited to form a new Distractions lineup, and have recorded a new studio album set for release in 2012 on Occultation.  For the lucky few of us who are familiar with the Distractions, this seems like the realization of an impossible dream. 


Thursday, January 19, 2012


From the 9-22 July 1981 issue of Smash Hits posted at Like Punk Never Happened:


SIGH FOR Arthur Kadmon who, following the break-up of The Distractions, has been forced to take the job of guitarist with Bucks Fizz in order to pay the rent.  Meanwhile, ex-Distractions vocalist Mike Finney has been angling for a slot on the next "Video Entertainers" telly series.
   Could a part in "Crossroads" be next?


Saturday, January 14, 2012

A hidden master

The Distractions' celebrated debut record was 1978's You're Not Going Out Like That on Tony Davidson's little TJM label.  It was nearly so different. This master tape contains what could and perhaps should have been their debut:

The notes on the reverse confirm the date it was recorded (before the TJM 'debut') along with a roll-call, technical details and the all-important track-list. There is also the studio's sticker - none other than the celebrated Cargo Studios in Rochdale run by John Brierley.  It's not that surprising when you consider that pals and label-mates, The Fall and Joy Division famously recorded there:

Thanks to the Hidden Masters team at FX Studios, the contents of this master tape have been expertly and fully recovered and, all being well, may be available for your pleasure on The Distractions' fully-remastered retrospective out later this year.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Electric Ballroom 1979

Mike, Pip & Steve at the Electric Ballroom, London, 26th October 1979.

A touch of soul in the darkness of punk.

Manchester's most unlikely pop star?

Warming them up for A Certain Ratio and Joy Division.


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