Thursday 13 June 2024


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Thursday 13 June 2024

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Keeping Control, Independent Music From Manchester 1977-1981 – 3 CD Box Set

Apr 18, 2023

This comprehensive set encapsulates perfectly the throbbing heart of the Manchester scene around the turn of the late seventies. A time when punk was slowly morphing into the so called New Wave and when the ferment created by the Sex Pistols was still echoing its DIY ethos.

With three chords and a whole load of attitude the city threw up a generation of potential new talent that included  Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order, The Fall, John Cooper Clark, Slaughter & The Dogs, Magazine and many more. Lesser known diamonds in the rough were aided and abetted  by the Manchester Musicians Collective. A catalyst for many musicians at the time, the MMC organised gigs and gave encouragement to many aspiring hopefuls which created a scene that had A & R men from the smoke suddenly discovering that the M6 wasn’t cobbled.

On reflection, when the nostalgia fades away you realise that with one or two glorious exceptions the bands that made the charts or at least 3 minutes on the John Peel show were the ones with the talent. In the cold light of day the valiant never-likely-to-be’s music that comprises the majority of the 76 tracks here was as dreary as a condemned cotton mill in Ancoats. But for 15 minutes they could dream of leaving the dirty old town. Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias put it best with the line, ‘We want to be ourselves, though we sound like everybody else ‘on the wittily titled ‘Fuck You’.

Still, if you were there as I was this is a thoroughly thought through package. With a highly detailed booklet that details the period along with interviews and pictures of long forgotten clubs that stir the memory it reminds you of the raw excitement of the period.

Lyndon Noon

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