Monday’s Long Song

Tony Wilson, later on Anthony H. Wilson, died on this day in 2007. His gravestone in Southern Cemetery, Chorlton- cum- Hardy, as pictured above reads-

Cultural Catalyst

1950- 2007

It was designed by Peter Saville and Ben Kelly (of course) and stands out among the ones around it, all in black, in the same way Wilson did when he was alive. In the film 24 Hour Party People Wilson, played by Steve Coogan, says he suffers from ‘an excess of civic pride’ and there’s no doubt Tony was utterly committed to improving Manchester and Salford, to changing things- a record label founded on revolutionary lines with equally revolutionary design principles, a nightclub, a long line of bands and artists who made art first and commerce second. All these things changed the city partly because he saw no reason to ‘fuck off down to London’, but to do it here, and partly because (eventually) the nightclub brought people to the city (as revellers, as students, as workers), who stayed and helped the city grow. The nightclub inspired the building of bars and flats and the regeneration of warehouses, new places for people, that have a look, a design aesthetic, a knowing modernism. And so on. Not all these things are solely due to Tony Wilson but they are at least partly due to him.

There’s been a tendency since he died to lionise him. While he was alive, especially in the 80s and early 90s, he was sometimes a divisive figure. That twat off the telly. Smug. Too clever for his own good. By all accounts he was capable of falling out with people, his friends, easily and without warning. Tony I’m sure would be amused by the ascension to sainthood he has achieved after death and I think he’d love it as well. ‘When you have to choose between the truth and the legend, print the legend’, he is supposed to have said. This quote comes from 24 Hour Party People as well. The legend becomes the truth. So it goes.

In 2015 this stunning record was released, Mike Garry’s poem about Tony, a figure he knew from growing up, from seeing him on the TV and from his works, set to music by Joe Duddell, based on New Order’s Your Silent Face, and then remixed by Andrew Weatherall. It remains one of the best records of the last decade, a nine minute tribute, moving and uplifting and elegiac.

St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H. Wilson (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Isolation Mix Three

It’s over halfway through April already. The weeks seem to be flying by even though some of the days seem very long. This is Isolation Mix Three. I thought I’d do something different from the ambient, blissed out, opiated sounds of the first two mixes and this mix is something that I first wrote about doing in a post here about three years ago. This is an hour and three minutes of spoken word and poetry and music. Andrew Weatherall features in various guises and with various poets, the Beat Generation and The Clash are represented, there’s some reggae and the unmistakable voice of John Cooper Clarke.

Jack Kerouac/Joe Strummer: MacDougal Street Blues

John Cooper Clarke: Twat

Misty In Roots: Introduction to Live At The Counter Eurovision

Linton Kwesi Johnson: Inglan Is A Bitch

The Clash (and Allen Ginsberg): Ghetto Defendant (Extended Version)

Allen Ginsberg/ Tom Waits: Closing Time/America

Andrew Weatherall and Michael Smith: The Deep Hum (At The Heart Of It All)

Joe Gideon and The Shark: Civilisation

Woodleigh Research Facility and Joe Duggan: Downhill

Fireflies and Joe Duggan: Leonard Cohen Knows

BP Fallon and David Holmes: Henry McCullough (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Mike Garry and Joe Duddell: St Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Allen Ginsberg: I Am A Victim Of Telephone


Tony Wilson died ten years ago today. His legacy is all over this city and (probably) in your record collections and on your hard drives. Manchester and pop culture is a poorer place without him. I’ve posted Mike Garry and Joe Duddell’s tribute to Tony before but Mike Garry’s words about him and the world he was part of are always worth hearing again.


I went to the launch event for the St Anthony single on Friday night- it was a ticketed event before you go imagining I’m some kind of mover or shaker. It was held in the old Granada TV studios, Wilson’s place of work. After a screening of the video and some brief interview clips Mike Garry performs several of his distinctively Mancunian poems with Joe Duddell and a string quartet, finishing with St Anthony- An Ode To Anthony H Wilson. His poetry is hard edged, honest, human and real and often comes loaded with a punchline, making you both laugh and cry and his delivery is a performance- rapid fire rhymes and sudden stops. The Wilson tribute especially is moving, heartfelt without ever becoming sentimental- much like the man himself. At ten the doors to one of the filming studios opens and the thump of house music begins. Mike Pickering plays what turns out to be a blinding set followed at midnight by Bobby Langley who starts out with the Andrew Weatherall remix of St Anthony, this new version of Your Silent Face booming out with Mike Garry’s voice. Manchester vibes are very much in the area.

You can buy the single in a variety of formats here with proceeds to The Christie and their continuing fight against cancer. Do you want to hear the Andrew Weatherall remix? Thought you might…


This has appeared today on the eight anniversary of his death- a poetic tribute to Anthony H Wilson and the modern Manchester he was instrumental in creating. The poem was written by Mike Garry and then set to music by Joe Duddell (an orchestral version of New Order’s Your Silent Face). The video has a variety of people you’ll recognise lip-synching the words. I have to say, it pushes a lot of my buttons. New Order played it over the PA at their Jodrell Bank gig and Hooky played at his recent gig in Macclesfield. Several months ago a clip of Andrew Weatherall playing a dance version of this at the A Love From Outer Space festival at Carcasonne Castle was on Youtube (although I can’t find it right now). That very Weatherall remix of this is on the B-side of the 12″, out in a couple of weeks, with all proceeds to the Christie. How many more reasons do you need to buy it?