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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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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Distracting New Year

Happy New Year to all, and here's to an even more exciting 2015.  Sign up for occasional emails from us here to keep up with the latest Distractions news.  This is the latest email blast:

Distracting News - December 2014

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Parabolically Yours Pledge campaign

After more than four years of intensive work, the Pledge Music campaign for Parabolically Yours, Hidden Masters' huge retrospective of The Distractions' career is now underway. Click here to pledge for all sorts of exciting items. Fuller details are to be found on the Pledge page but, to quote from the Hidden Masters press release:

"The 1st edition is limited to 500 copies worldwide. It is presented in a 12" 100 page hardback book format and includes 1 vinyl LP / 3 x CDs. Editor-at-large is David Quantick with pre-ordering exclusively via www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thedistractions."

The band - including members past and present - are closely involved in finally bringing the back catalogue into the 21st century. 


Monday, December 29, 2014

In brief

The January 2015 issue of Record Collector mentions the 'Parabolically Yours' Pledge campaign in the 'In Brief' Pledging part of the News section (page 18).  As news gets out and pledging continues, sets will start to run out, so pre-order now.  Remember, pledging by debit or credit card means no money is taken until the target is reached.

The Distractions Hidden Masters: Parabolically Yours 500-copy LP/3CD/100-page hardback is due via PledgeMusic in March and subs include handwritten lyrics, art-work, original flyers.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

In progress

The 'Parabolically Yours' campaign is into its second week and a marvellous 35% of the target has already been reached with over 11 weeks to go. Thank you to those who have made this such a great start! If you've not yet pledged, maybe the thought of access to Steve and Mike's heart-string-tugging video updates will convince you?

So, the good news is that you've got plenty of time left to place your order by pledging. The bad news is that some of the options are almost sold out. Package 3 (+ AccessPass) - the 100-page 12" book edition, 3 x CD + 1 x LP, each copy hand-numbered (176/225) PLUS signed & handwritten lyric to It Doesn't Bother Me - has proved to be so popular that only four remain.

Meanwhile, the word is being spread by the Pledge Music team, with The Distractions featuring in their latest mail-out:

The Distractions offer Hidden Masters

The Distractions have announced that they are releasing "Parabolically Yours", a Hidden Masters package that includes three CDs, vinyl and a hardcover book. For much of the band's material this is the first time it has been digitised, and the group has even found some great live recordings to go along with the studio tracks. Pre-orders are available now that also come with digital downloads of the collection and signed artwork. 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

3 CDs & re-mastered vinyl

For those of you not signed up to Hidden Masters/Pledge Music updates, here's the details from them on The Distractions' 'Parabolically Yours' campaign, which as of this evening, has already reached 26% of the target with 90 days to go. Thank you for your support!

Hello everyone… 

I thought you’d like to know that our latest HiddenMasters project is now up for pre-ordering on PledgeMusic – it’s a full scale retrospective on The Distractions. 

The Distractions? Ahh yes… Remember them? Of course you do! Theirs was a star that shone briefly above the Manchester skyline back in the late '70s; sharing rehearsal spaces with Joy Division, The Fall and the Buzzcocks. Releasing genuine pop-classics like the much-heralded You’re Not Going Out Dressed Like That EP… Time Goes By So Slow (their second consecutive NME Single of the Week)… Something For The WeekendIt Doesn’t Bother Me… one album on Island (Nobody’s Perfect)… the inevitable acrimonious split… and then… 32 years later, a second album – the 2013 masterpiece, 'The End Of The Pier'. 

This is a HiddenMasters project that’s taken the better part of four years to pull together – none of the band’s pre-millenial work has (save a couple of songs) been digitised before so we’ve gone back to the original analog reels and not only found everything intact but also discovered a myriad of never-before-heard gems along the way… from demos to different mixes to live recordings that only exist on cassette (which have scrubbed up pretty well, by the way). 

All are included on this 500 copies only book-edition… this time around it’s a 100-page hardback that contains a mass of never-before-seen images wrapped around fresh interviews during which the band and those close to them tell their own, inimitable tale. The music – from 1977 to 2013 – is on 3 CDs with the (hard to find nowadays) first album re-mastered and pressed on 180 gsm vinyl. 


Lastly… next up for us will be the Chris Wood / Evening Blue retrospective. And… a bit further away will be the first-ever full-scale Heads Hands & Feet compendium. 

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and peaceful 2015.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Parabolically Yours campaign launched

You can now pre-order 'Parabolically Yours', the definitive Distractions boxset, exclusively via the Pledge Music site.  Thank you for your patience during these last few years (it's been 5 in the making!), but we hope you agree that this has been worth the wait. If you haven't used Pledge before, you simply pledge your order now, and only if and when the target is reached is any money charged.

There are several variants of the 1 LP, 3 CD, 100+ page book (edited by David Quantick) sets to consider (on its own or with extra goodies), with 9 of them strictly limited to 25 each. There is a also a 10-track sampler download, which comes free to all those who order a boxset. Take a look... you can even pre-order a set as a gift. If you need convincing, listen to Mr Perrin (hit the play button on the Pledge site).

During the course of the campaign there will be exclusive updates for pledgers, including streaming of tracks, the 10-track sampler from Mike and Steve, and the actual track-listing will be unveiled too. We will also delve deeper into the packages and boxset here. In the meantime, enjoy the campaign, and feel free to ask questions here, on Facebook, Twitter or on the 'Parabolically Yours' Discussion area.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Countdown continues

HiddenMasters' (and ex-Island Head of Press) Neil Storey has been leaving a few choice details about 'Parabolically Yours' on The Distractions' original Facebook group.  This long-, LONG-awaited set will comprise 1 x LP, 3 x CDs and a 100+ page, 12" hardback book...

News of the ordering process is just around the corner (guess how many days to go), so keep up to date with the latest news at:


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The most outstanding group

More from the City Fun archives at the Manchester District Music Archive. This review of the City Fun benefit gig at the Band On The Wall includes the Liggers, Jon The Postman and the Accelerators, with the highlight being The Distractions, of course.


Right, for a start, it was a 'reet night out' 70p. The spirit of '76 is back (I welcome it with open arms). I got in for nowt. First on were the Liggers, an all-girl group (Gina, Donna and Patty) they were fantastic. They only did three tracks, I enjoyed 'The Sadistic Doris Day'. The last one wasn't very good, with practice they'll be something.

The Distractions were next, well, what can I say except these boys are probably the best Manchester band I've ever seen. Good tunes and lyrics, confidence at times even funny, people danced, they have developed considerably since the first time I saw them. Not much I can really say. An encore speaks for itself.

Jon took the stage. Jon The Postman was billed top of the gig. He shouldn't have been. He wasn't bad but he certainly wasn't good. This was the first time I've seen this guy. I must admit I enjoyed 'Louie Louie'. He didn't do enough, it seems ill-rehearsed (is this his way of not conforming?). I'd go to see him again though.

The Accelerators were the final group. This Liverpool band certainly get around a bit. They are together, tight and fast. The reggae was good, and the song about the radio was good, but the one about the pop star was outstanding, people danced.

City Fun had a good night out, so did I. The Distractions were the most outstanding group. I like the Manchester scene (if this is typical). Hope to see Jon The Postman again. I liked Donna of the Liggers. Ta pal, that's all folks. Oh, thanks to Andy Blade (of  eater for a lift down to Manchester).



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Parabolically Yours (almost)

The months of deep-archive research have borne fruit; all of The Distractions key masters have been located. However, using the same methodology as for any HiddenMasters project, the complete audio-database also includes live recordings; demos, outtakes, different mixes and radio sessions – some of which only now exist on DAT, cassette or virgin vinyl.

HiddenMasters have just completed the digitisation process of all found (at FX with Richard Whittaker as chief engineer) and will shortly be embarking on the song selection process in collaboration with Mike Finney and Steve Perrin.

The forthcoming set is entitled Parabolically Yours and will not only include historic Distractions recordings but bring the story totally up to date by featuring more recent material (as well as some prime cuts from the band’s sold out shows in Salford during 2013).

Parabolically Yours will be presented in a 12″ hard back, casebound book format (100+ pages – with text drawn from extensive interviews with the key people involved in the story of The Distractions – edited by David Quantick). It will be issued as a limited 1st edition of just 500 copies worldwide.

Further details – including the full track listing and pre-ordering details – will be announced shortly.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Definition of lost classic

As we gear up for the order process for the long-awaited, eagerly-anticipated release of the definitive Distractions box set, here's a couple of lovely little fan reviews of what will be the centre-piece of 'Parabolically Yours'.  Thanks to Mr Worthy and Whammo and My Party Is Better Than Yours for the kind words.

The Distractions - Nobody's Perfect

Pop perfection.  Often cited as one of the GREAT lost classics, the Distractions certainly hit a winning formula with this.  Elvis Costello eat your heat out!!  Don't think it's ever surfaced on ceedee but they did re-form in 2012 and released an album that was head 'n shoulders above most.

To Hell With Good Intentions.

The Distractions - Nobody's Perfect (1980)

The Distractions are an often-overlooked band of the seventies Manchester scene, forgotten in favour of peers and occasional touring buddies such as the Buzzcocks. Perhaps the definition of a lost classic, Nodoby's Perfect is 40 minutes of sonic brilliance, taking in Buzzcocks-like full-tilt punk, new-wave, and a bit of Phil Spector sixties pop.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Melancholy sensuality

This lovely review of FAC 12 Time Goes By So Slow appeared earlier this year on the Pop Diggers website based in Sweden - like many other Distractions fans seem to be - not least Malcolm Carter of Penny Black. 

Time Goes By So Slow
[Factory, 1979] (Listen)

The Distractions - Time Goes By So Slow

Just like in The Shoes there is in The Distractions' music something fleeting, sensuous that is hard to describe.  A melancholy spread by the wind, a sorrow and longing sensuality.  A listening to Time Goes By So Slow and hopefully you will understand what I mean.  Singing of a real English soul singer, written by guitarist Adrian Wright - though it says otherwise on the label - and originally intended as a B-side.   Became instead a very obvious A-side and one of those rare singles where everything is correct.
You can play it a hundred times without finding a weak point, and it stands completely outside both time and trend.  Play in the years 2009 and rediscover innocence.
And for God's sake - get Nobody's Perfect today, their only and much beloved LP!  The 2000s can be very cold without it.

Time Goes By So Slow
[Factory, 1979] (Lyssna)

The Distractions - Time Goes By So Slow

Precis som hos The Shoes så finns det i Distractions musik något flyktigt, översinnligt som är svårt att beskriva. Ett vemod som sprids med vinden, en sorgens och längtans sensualism. En lyssning till Time Goes By So Slow och ni förstår förhoppningsvis vad jag menar. Sjungen av en riktig engelsk soulsångare, skriven av gitarristen Adrian Wright – fast det står något annat på etiketten – och ursprungligen tänkt som en B-sida. Blev istället en alldeles självklar A-sida och en av dom där sällsynta singlarna där allting stämmer. 

Du kan spela den hundra gånger utan att hitta en svag punkt, och den står helt utanför både tid och trend. Spela den år 2009 och återupptäck oskulden. 

Och för guds skull – skaffa redan idag Nobody’s Perfect, deras enda och mycket älskade LP! 2000-talet kan bli mycket kallt utan den.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Better than Buzzcocks

As mentioned by former Distractions drummer, Alex Sidebottom, on Facebook last week, the box set is nearing reality thanks to the efforts of Neil Storey, former Head of Press at Island Records, and team at HiddenMasters.

In the meantime, delving into the archives of the City Fun Exhibition at the Manchester District Music Archive pulled out this double review of a Distractions gig at The Squat , supported by The Nives and The Gags.

The Distractions - in retrospect, a strange looking bunch. The sound wasn't too hot. Awful drum sound, no punch, no power. Presumably not the drummer's fault, he looked pretty active. The rhythm guitar was too far low down in the mix. The bass? Sounded OK. Lead guitar was jumbled. A very boring review. I couldn't understand the words. They have promise. Reminded me of the Jags, who supported Squeeze at the university in November. Let's just say that The Distractions were better than the Smirks when I saw them at the university, and, given a clearer sound, would (or should) get people dancing. I didn't dance, I'd have been too embarrassed... Christ, that was a boring review...

Wednesday 13th December, The Squat, featuring: Gags, Distractions, Nives.
Distractions - promising, need a clearer sound. They looked bored, can't blame them, was that Bob Geldof in the audience? No atmosphere at the gig. The Squat's too high and always empty. Most of their songs sounded better than the Buzzcocks latest (awful) single. The Small Faces song they did was (seemed) the most effective. A good / great dance band given the opportunity. 


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