Very Moody

Thirty years ago a second wave of Manchester bands came through following in the footsteps of The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, who as far as guitar bands go had made 1989 their own. The city’s practice rooms, rehearsal spaces and recording studios buzzed with people eager to get their sounds out into the world. The second wave included The Charlatans (not actually from Manchester), Northside, Paris Angels, World Of Twist and Rig. Looked at now these bands have little in common with each other musically. Rig, from the south side of the city, the Didsbury/ Withington/ Stockport area, were young and fired up by Talking Heads, ACR, the Mondays, ESG, Tackhead, James Brown, Public Enemy- noise plus funk is what they were aiming for. Several sessions in Stockport’s Strawberry Studios and a record deal with Cut Deep and then with Dead Dead Good saw them put out some singles that have just been made available digitally for the first time. Debut Dig (on Cut Deep) in an eye catching, day glo pink and yellow sleeve, followed by Spank in 1991, a white label release for Moody and then the catchy Big Head in the same year.

Moody, produced by A Certain Ratio’s Martin Moscrop, is a cover of ESG’s 1982 NYC proto- house/ disco/ hip hop classic. Rig’s version, with a sample from Brian Eno and David Byrne’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, is a dancefloor groove, house rhythms and percussion, piano, wah wah guitar, cowbell and singer Adam’s vocals floating on top, the sample weaving in and out. Sounds like a bit of a lost gem to me.

Their back catalogue is on all the digital services and guitarist Darren is reliving the band’s past in a blog here with stories, photos, posters, gig tickets and flyers. Dig in.


E.S.G.’s skeletal post punk-funk came from three sisters- Renee, Valerie and Marie Scroggins plus friend Tito Libran- whose mother bought them musical instruments to keep them off the streets of the South Bronx. Moody came out in 1982 and along with other of their songs (especially U.F.O.) has been sampled umpteen times. It still sounds as fresh as you like.


>What She Came For

While in Helsinki the other day I tried to find a record shop. Stupidly I’d forgotten to research this before going to Finland. Eventually, with the help of several passersby, I ended up in Antilla, a department store with cds and – shock, horror- a fairly random selection of vinyl. I ended up with the recent e.p. of cover versions of Franz Ferdinand songs (only 9 Euros) and a nice re-pressing of The Ramones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll High School album. The Franz Ferdinand e.p. features Debby Harry with the Franz boys, LCD Soundsystem, Peaches, Stephen Merritt, and ESG. ESG’s cover of What She Came For is the pick of the bunch, their skeletal post-punk funk still rocking and bouncing thirty years after the Scroggins sisters first picked up instruments, paid for by their mother to keep them out of trouble and off the streets.