YNGODLTbutton TGBSSbutton DBMbutton BCbutton NP2button SFTWbutton ATTbutton






Sign up for news




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.

Click here to sign up for occasional newsletters


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Different class

Here's another gig review from City Fun, thanks to the wonderful City Fun Exhibition at the Manchester District Music Archive.  This one, from the Factory Club in Hulme in 1979, one sees The Distractions supporting and out-shining Any Trouble and a Scottish group at the top of the bill called Simple Minds. 

As Mick Middles said in Factory: The Story of the Record Label, "...The Distractions bopped along with unnerving ease, their support spots at the Factory attracting as many punters as, say, top-of-the-bill Simple Minds."  Dave McCullough in Sounds, June 1979, recalls: "That gig at The Factory was indeed arranged through Tony Wilson, Factory owner and local media personality star, for MY benefit, The Distractions being slotted in at the last moment between support bands and the headlining Simple Minds."

THE DISTRACTIONS:  At the Factory, an excellent set. Classic trash guitar sound and red and blue lights flashing from behind the band. Reminding me of early Velvet Underground, I'm just glad I'm at the gig and nowhere else. Looking ultra smart they have a cut only to be found in the best bands. This band gets better each time they play. Leaves me breathless.

ANY TROUBLE:  On after The Distractions, slow ponderous R'n'B influenced. Make no impression at all.

SIMPLE MINDS:  On after Any Trouble. It's a bad night for these two bands - The Distractions were in a different class - sounds like clever new music and that sounds stale. Not impressed.

Elsewhere in the City Fun Exhibition is this Acute Music flier which reads 'The Distractions supporting the Leveller at Mcr Poly' (the Leveller may have been Justin Sullivan, front man of New Model Army).  It's from the first issue of City Fun which was described as a Distractions special.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Good punk/pop sounds

On 25th April 1979 The Distractions played at Bowden Vale Youth Club with support from Private Sector. This was just a month after Joy Division more famously played the club in Altrincham, South Manchester [1]. Around the same time The Distractions also played at Eric's in Liverpool [2] (note the flier), a venue more closely associated with Occultation label mates, The Wild Swans. These reviews of the gigs come from City Fun, courtesy of the City Fun Exhibition at the Manchester District Music Archive [3]. The first one laments the lack of The Only Ones, who of course, ended up supplying the drummer for The Distractions' latest album, the legendary Mike Kellie!

The Distractions

First saw them at Manchester Poly R.A.R. [Rock Against Racism] gig. Didn't pay much attention then as I was totally pissed off about the lack of Only Ones (who make fucking brilliant records). Very good at Bowden. The audience shuffled meekly towards the stage during the first number under instructions from the singer. Afraid I don't know the names of any of their numbers but they were all good punk/pop sounds. "I love Valerie but Valerie loves you!" (Valerie). Great. Sound good and I like the unusual tone of the singer. Particularly enjoyed the rather distant but clearly audible sound of the backing vocals. Look forward to seeing and hearing them again.


THE DISTRACTIONS - Eric's and Bowden Vale.

Eric's gig the best in a while, people dace all over, it's pop music The Distractions way. And the Bowden Vale "where's the drumer" panic, it's alright he's just got here. Don't know what to make... the audience... some dancing does on, the band play encores Waiting For My Man and then we go home.

Andy Zero


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Collectable indie

The Manchester District Music Archive is a priceless repository of Greater Manchester's historical music artifacts and recently a new Distractions piece has been added by shivadescending [1].  It's a clipping from Record Collector magazine in 1990 and features the 'You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That' 12" on TJM Records in 1978. 

Of course, this was the group's debut and is an EP so should technically not have been included in Collectable Indie Singles article.  But, they got the history right (and it is collectable):  

"You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That" was the Distractions only 12" for TJM.

1. www.mdmarchive.co.uk/artefact/aid/11423/DISTRACTIONS_PRESS_ARTICLE_1990.html.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Debut EP that never was

More snippets from the archives which turned up following deep research by the team at Hidden Masters.  Last month we revealed the debut album-that-never-was, and now here are details of a "Triple A" on Campion Records / Eurobeat, that never got round to being released.

The EP would have comprised:
  • 1. Pillow Fight (eventually B-side to Time Goes By So Slow on Factory Records)
  • 2. Sick and Tired (this is a drastically different version to that which eventually appeared the debut album on Island Records, 'Nobody's Perfect')
  • 3. Valerie 

This typed sheet from 1978 includes thanks to some familiar names - Mike Hannett (brother of the legendary Martin, and who did Distractions fliers), Tony Trappe (the original Distractions drummer), Jon the Postman, and all at the Peveril (of the Peak, the famous and distinctive Manchester pub).

The sleeve had even been designed by Nigel Ganley, and the recording manager was Alan Wilson, who we thank for the permission to scan this item and many, many others.  More to come...


Blog Archive


sign up for distracting news

YNGODLTbutton TGBSSbutton DBMbutton BCbutton NP2button SFTWbutton ATTbutton