Genius

Genius might be overplaying it but it isn’t too far off. Before M-People, before T Coy, Mike Pickering formed Quando Quango with Gonnie Rietveld and her drumming brother Reinier Rietveld. ACR’s drummer Donald Johnson helped out too. They made dance music before such a thing really existed, combining the energy of New York’s early 80s music scene with northern European tastes. Gonnie described it as ‘Fela Kuti meets Kraftwerk somewhere between Manchester and Rotterdam’ This song has manipulated voices, slow and fast, intoning the groups’s name, spiraling piano parts, a Latin vibe and synths. It should have had them bouncing all over the Hacienda’s dancefloor, except this was 1985- The Smiths held sway. And although this song is now thirty years old it still sounds really fresh. I like it so much I think we’ll have two period piece pictures to go with it.

Genius

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Chapter And Verse

I got Bernard Sumner’s autobiography (Chapter And Verse) for Christmas. I haven’t read it yet but have spent some time flicking through it. Bits of it sent me off towards the record collection and to Youtube. Which is where I found this piece of footage from thirty years ago.

January 1984 and The Tube is filmed live from the Hacienda. Onstage are The Factory All Stars who play four songs- 52nd Street’s Cool As Ice, ACR’s Shack Up and New Order’s Confusion (all three together as a medley). Then Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart (sung by Caesar from The Wake). There are way too many people on stage, several singers and a multitude of musicians (including members of The Wake, Quando Quango, ACR, 52nd Street, Bernard from New Order and Marcel King). They all seem to be having a good time and yes, it is a bit shonky but it is very good fun too.

Later on the same evening and also on The Tube a young lady called Madonna will make her first British TV appearance, miming and dancing. There is a story that Peter Hook offered her some cash to dance in the dressing room but I’m sure that’s not true.

Quando Quango ‘Atom Rock’

I published a post the other day about The Durutti Column, where I said that Factory Records was the greatest record label ever, and seeing as no-one left a comment arguing about it, I think we’re all agreed on that one. So maybe this’ll become a regular feature. Quando Quango were the first band of Mike Pickering, years before he made pop-house with the massively popular M-People. Atom Rock is very Factory- clipped white boy funk, short back ‘n’ sides, and produced by B-Music (New Order’s production pseudonym). It’s a great record, and features the massively talented Johnny Marr moonlighting from his day job. Can’t imagine this track went down that well in Morrissey’s house though.

07 Atom Rock.wma