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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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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tiger Lounge gig

Some more photos of the wonderful set from Mike, Alex and company at the Tiger Lounge last month. Thanks go to Wendy Clark for these.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jon The Postman tribute (pt2)

After the blistering Distractions set, a short break allowed Mike Finney and Alex Sidebottom to join friends old and new in the crowd, while Dave, Joe and Chris went straight into preparation for the main event, along with Ella Burton (keyboards) and Brian Benson (live drums).

Dave Holmes, Ella Burton, Tim Lyons.

The Things opened with Pleasures, followed by two very different but equally fine cuts off their brilliant new extended play, 'EP1'. The epic 1,000 Stars, a stone-cold classic, was followed by The Seeds' cover, Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The two other tracks from 'EP1' soon followed, Nobody Wonders and a new take on their legendary 1980 single, Pieces Of You. The other tracks, new to this reviewer, sounded great and also bode well for the forthcoming album, which was recorded earlier this year with founder member and Buzzcocks' John Maher on drums. 

The Things - EP1. 

As this was Jon The Postman's night, the set finished, of course, with a communal rendition of Louie Louie, which pretty much everyone in the venue joined in with. This was a great night and one that Jon would have loved. I had the pleasure of meeting Jon at the Kings Arms at the 2012 Distractions gigs, along with Tim, Joe and Chris... and rumours of The Things' reunion abounded then. It's great to see it happen, and what a fitting tribute to the man. 

Brian Benson, Joe Brehony.

After the set, it was left to the musicians to mingle with the crowd as the Tiger Lounge reverted back to its usual night. One of the last things I recall before departing was leaving Mike and Alex in conversation with Joe and Chris, and I'm pretty sure I overheard Mike asking: "fancy doing this again?"

The Things set list.

Pleasures Of The Mind
1,000 Stars
Can't Seem To Make You Mine
This Island Earth
If You're There
Nobody Wonders
Walking In The Sand
The Sound Of Sirens 
Pieces of You
Pacific Blue
Louie Louie

The Postman is the music scene

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jon The Postman tribute (pt1)

It was a fitting venue. A basement club, once owned by George Best, around the corner from Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square. Here two of Jon "The Postman" Ormrod's favourite bands, The Distractions and The Things, paid tribute to a Manchester legend with a fantastic double set.

Dave Holmes, Joe Brehony, Mike Finney.

First up, The Distractions' Mike Finney and Alex Sidebottom were joined by Tim Lyons, Dave Holmes, Joe Brehony and Chris Dutton of The Things. While Mike has been busy recording The Distractions' third and final album (to be released mid-2016), this was the first time Alex had drummed with The Distractions in over 30 years.

Joe Brehony, Mike Finney, Tim Lyons.

Mike and Alex rolled back the years with a terrific set of early favourites. The 1-2-3 burst of It Doesn't Bother Me, Too Young, and Maybe It's Love, were all from the TJM debut EP. It must be at least two decades since the latter two were performed live. It sounded like Alex, Dave, Joe and Chris had been playing together far longer than a couple of rehearsal sessions, and Mike was in fine voice with backing vocals from Tim.

Alex Sidebottom, Joe Brehony, Mike Finney, Dave Holmes.

Still It Doesn't Ring has been with The Distractions since the earliest days, and followed by the Factory Records classic Time Goes By So Slow, there were ear-to-ear grins all around. The short, sharp and superb show was closed with a stomping cover of The McCoy's Hang On Sloopy.

Mike Finney, Tim Lyons.

Thank you to Wendy Clark for the photos. Read the Jon The Postman obituary in The Guardian.

To be continued. Next, The Things...

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