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sight of the national music press, untll Melody Maker illiterate," Witts explains. "This has fascinating white. It was done out like a small white cave. We just ran a story, on 14 May, titled "New Wave Devolution: because we were overburdened with knowledge about took the tables and chairs out. Mark and Martin, who ManchesterWaits For The World To Listen". The article music, we were just playing other people's stuff, and were taller than the others, had to bend down because focused on The Buucocks, The Drones and Slaughter here were these kids coming along playing something of the low ceiling. I t wasn't really public, the audience And The Dogs, and included a succinct description of from nowhere." was just a group of other musicians sitting around the local milieu by Tosh Ryan, who ran Rabid Records, North West Arts occupied an office, shop and listening." the label which had issued Slaughter And The Dogs' basement cafe on King Street, one of the most Part of that audience consisted of local heroes The first single: 'The area is so neglected, so economically exclusive streets in Manchester's city centre. Witts Buucocks. 'The first gig was recorded, so somebody deprived and full of massive housing complexes, that persuaded the organisation to let out the basement on might have a tape somewhere," says Bramah. "It was the mood of the place was right and ready for a new Monday nights for the Collective to use. From The Fall, a small room and about half the audience was The movement in music with a markedly different criteria of i t was Friel who first made contact with Witts and the Buucocks. Mark just let fly with such venom from day success. What has developed is peculiar to Collective. "It had quite an impact on me personally," one. I remember he just sort of reached into the Manchester and I can only hope that instead of going Frlel says. " I met lots of interesting people and it audience and virtually poked h ~ sfinger up Howard to Condon for future deals, the agents and record turned me on to 'New Music', which has been an Devoto's nose." companies will come here." interest evef since." Friel persuaded the other For Friel the gig was the opportunity he'd been

Afl important component in this 'new movement in members of The Fall to attend the Collective's waiting for: "As you'd expect i t was a bit rough - j ust music' was the Manchester Musicians' Collective, meetings, and eventually the group were offered the right! We were really pleased to have a chance t o play which had been established at the beginningof the chance to play. There was one problem: The Fall didn't outside the bedsit. People were kind and it was very year by Dick Witts and Trevor Wishart. Witts was a have a drummer. Through a local advertisement they encouraging." What hit the small audience immediately musician who had come to Manchester to study found 'Dave', an insurance salesman and rabid was the intensity of the group, especially Smith, who, percussion. With money he earned working for The Conservative whose one attempt at songwriting was accordingto Witts, 'howled the place down". Later, Hall6 Orchestra, he promoted concerts of entitled 'Landslide Victory". He was far from perfect, Baines told Witts: "I don't know what the fuck he was contemporary classical music and became interested but for the moment he had t o do. Another problem was doing. I've never heard him do that before, it scared in the idea of musicians organising themselves into CO- that Una Baines had nothing to play. The bank loan me!" Bramah was not so surprised: 'It was just welling operatives and collectives. At the same time, Wishart she had applied for in order to buy a keyboard was still up inside us all. That was the way we were living, that was employed as a composer-in-residence by North being processed. So with no instrument, she had to was the way we felt and that was the way Mark was. I West Arts, the regional branch of the Arts Council. It stand in the audience. mean, if you went out to a club with Mark he'd pick a was Wishart's idea to set up a collective to share No one involved can remember the exact date of the fight with someone. But that was just Mark: irrational equipment and put on glgs. "We wanted to know how gig, but Witts recalls the venue as being "like a and erratic. He didn't practise it, he didn't plan it, he these kids made music when they were musically fashionable restaurant in the late 70% with everything was just like that."

THE WIRE 31

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