Nominally top of the bill were The Distractions, who I’d previously seen supporting The Fall at Kelly’s, a tiny venue in Manchester, and who were earmarked (if only by City Fun) as the next big thing, though of course they never were.
We (naturally) were ostensibly there to see The Fall, although Joy Division were also a major attraction.
Luckily we made it unscathed, physically if not mentally.
The gig was billed as ‘Stuff the Superstars’- a kind of indoor festival, which featured most of the Manchester bands of note (Buzzcocks weren’t there, of course – they’d signed to UA by then and were probably in London eating Lobster and chips and quaffing champagne).
He had a decent set of pipes even then, though in those days he sounded more like Jon Anderson of Yes than Curtis Mayfield.‘Feel Like the Hunchback of Notre Dame’ – that was their big one, simultaneously more witty, poignant and catchy than anything Simply Red ever did (except possibly ‘Holding Back the Years’, but then that was an Elevators song as well). There were two things which really stuck in my mind about their set.
One, inevitably, was Ian Curtis’ dancing, which, cliché though it is, really was a sight to behold. based on enjoyment of music or getting into the rhythm, at all.
Notwithstanding that, the hardest working woman in south Manchester - - continues to release a run of excellent albums from the Invisiblegirl label, including excellent new EPs from Kin and Borland, and one of the albums of the year - "Gravy on a plate of food" by Moff Skellington. I was becoming seriously obsessed with music, I know that too.
July 1979, however, I can be quite precise as to my whereabouts. ) Mayflower, or rather The Fun House, a new wave club which occasionally squatted on the premises in much the same way as The Factory holed up in the Russell Club.In any case they were astonishing, much better than the next time I saw them, supporting Buzzcocks at the Apollo.On that occasion their set was cut to about 20 minutes, presumably for fear they would upstage the headliners.I noticed the younger sister is dating T Dawg but I always assumed the zombies had only been around 2 or 3 years in the original show but he looks a little younger here.Hello and welcome to our quarterly look at all matters Fall, and beyond.They’d also made significant headway since I’d seen them earlier (at Bowdon Vale youth club) and they were on the verge of next big thingdom themselves.Sold at virtually every gig (as well as Virgin and Piccadilly records) it occupied a hallowed status among the concert goers of Manchester. Admittedly it was as humourless as The Passage playing at a Funeral, but in its defence, they were humourless times.City Fun were also the organisers of ‘Stuff the Superstars’, which would explain how the appalling Glass Animals (featuring writers Andy Zero, Cath Carroll and Liz Naylor) were so far up the bill (and the fact that they weren’t booted off stage after one song.)One of the first bands we saw were the ever-brilliant Hamsters. (Well I did, I know, but there has to be exceptions) ‘Friday Night at the Chinese Chip shop’; ‘Ole Spain’; ‘I’m a C**t’ – I could sing them now.If I ever get to curate Meltdown (and surely it can’t be long) they’ll be first on my list.Next band were Armed Force, featuring the ubiquitous Muppet on vocals.He was at every gig you ever went to, in those days.