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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, October 25, 2017

It's just right

Although the third and final Distractions album, 'Kindly Leave The Stage', was released earlier this year, its predecessor, 'The End Of The Pier', is still getting some rave reviews.  This one is from 2004, and while this five-star review was kindly published by the reviewer at Amazon, the LP (just £10 with free CD and download!) or CD (a bargain £5) is best purchased from Occultation directly.

Deserves to be more widely heard

By spineynorman on 6 January 2014

I saw the Distractions supporting someone in Birmingham many many years ago (was it The Members?). I was so impressed I then went out and bought 'Nobody's Perfect'. I can't think how I would ever have chanced upon such a gem had I not seen them that night, purely by chance. What a find. The only area where I disagree with the previous reviewer is favourite songs from Nobody's Perfect - "Still it doesn't ring" and "Stuck in a fantasy" for me ! Or was it "Looking for a Ghost" or "Leave you to dream"

How do you follow what, for some, was as good an album as they have ever heard? It must have been difficult to decide how to play it, update the sound, the style, the lyrical ideas? It could have been a disaster but thankfully no chance of that. It's just right. The sound and style obviously wasn't in tune with whatever the majority wanted then and it certainly won't be now but it ought to be. It takes a few listens for it to develop. Remember when all the great albums did that? Great songs, great singing, great playing. 

Mike Finney had such a vocal talent, I wondered what he would be like now. Well he's just as good. A bit different, a bit older, a bit growlier but how this man's singing isn't rated up there with the best is a complete mystery to me. Think of a cross between John Lennon and Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops. Probably not right but hopefully you get how highly I rate him. And it isn't anaesthetised by production like some "X Factor" winner. This is real heartfelt singing. In fact the Beatles comparison also extends to the guitar playing. Just as George Harrison embelished Beatles songs rather than trying to sound flash, so does Steve Perrin here. Please please give it a try!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A superb farewell

Here's a glowing review of The Distractions’ third and final album, 'Kindly Leave The Stage', from Manuel Borrero in the Spanish magazine, Ruta 66.  We've just seen a follow-up interview piece with Steve Perrin and Nick Halliwell in this months' magazine, which we'll feature and translate soon.

Kindly Leave The Stage

“I’m absolutely hooked on the final record by this now disbanded - amicably and innocently - combo who first stepped out in the turbulence of Manchester in 1980. Back in that dim and distant past, amidst all the upheaval of punk/new wave, they released their debut album, 'Nobody’s Perfect'. The follow-up took thirty-two years to arrive and was called 'The End of the Pier' and, by comparison with that temporal abyss it’s only taken them a few years to release what is their final goodbye, according to Mike Finney and Steve Perrin, who have always been the heart of the band. They say that resignation is the word that best sums up this finale, an outstanding group of ten songs breaking through the dark shadows rather like the weak sunshine of the first few days of spring. There’s a dense layer of intimacy to these tracks, sung up-close-and-personal, delicately wrapped in subtle instrumentation where the strings of the acoustic played by Perrin back Finney’s slightly soulish voice, with traces of forerunners such as Scott Walker and more recent comparisons like Edwyn Collins cutting through the arrangements of huge songs such as “The Fire” with its evocative whiff of the best British folk, the innocent atonement for sins detailed in “Talking to Myself” and the hidden happiness produced by “A Few Miles More”. A superb farewell. 

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