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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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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Paul Slattery on The Distractions

An extract from Paul Slattery's new photobook, Joy Division at Strawberry Studios.


In the evening we went to the Funhouse at The Mayflower to see Joy Division play along with The Distractions, The Fall and Ludus at a gig entitled 'Stuff The Superstars'... tickets were £1.50. I thought Joy Division were excellent - they came on very early in the programme and I remember them sounding so much better and far more powerful live than on the album.

Everything about Joy Division seemed to stand out - Steven Morris's electronic drum sound... Peter Hook's low-slung bass driving the rhythm... Bernard's clanging guitar... and amazing baritone vocals and dancing from ian Curtis... this was new and special.

I had to be careful about the amount of pictures that I took as I only had a few frames left to photograph the rest of the gig - The Fall and The Distractions, who had just signed to Island Records, were bigger bands and I had to save some film for them. Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

   * * *

From another interview with Paul Slattery: "There were some great bands on there – Ludus, The Fall, The Distractions were a really great pop band from Manchester, and Joy Division. I never knew whether Joy Division’s band of music would surpass The Distractions. I’d seen the Distractions a few times and I like that kind of pop music."

And on this audio interview with Paul Slattery: "The headliners of the night were The Distractions - Manchester pop band, The Distractions - who I loved. I thought they were fantastic."

   * * *


On 26th Ocrober 1979, I'd been asked to do a photo session with The Distractions, backstage at the Electric Ballroom - Joy Division were headlining that evening.

Unknown Pleasures had already become a cult record and Joy Division's status and reputation had grown considerably since I had met them at Strawberry Studios three months earlier.


The place was really packed and the photographers had to fight their way to the front. I had about half a roll of film left I  the camera, and after I finally managed to get a reasonable place in the crowd, I was able to take these images.

I didn't realise at the time that my pictures would be so poignant, and in many ways, moving.


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