On Thursday 14th November, we’ll be exploring the amazing legacy of Strawberry Recording Studios, the Stockport-based studio founded by the future members of 10cc in 1967 and which played host to musicians of all kinds – from Neil Sedaka, Bay City Rollers and Paul McCartney to Buzzcocks, Joy Divison, The Ramones and St Winifred’s School Choir! Not forgetting 10cc themselves.
To take us through that story, we’ll be welcoming Strawberry Studios historian Dr Peter Wadsworth to Glossop Record Club for ‘A History of Strawberry Recording Studios… In 10 Records‘.
Peter was the driving force behind the excellent Strawberry exhibition at Stockport Museum in 2017, and with his PhD in the legendary studio, there is no better person to take us through its illustrious past, from its humble beginnings above a record shop to producing international hits by a staggering variety of artists, to its closure in the early 1990s.
Doors open at 8pm and the talk will begin at 8.30pm. See you there!
A HISTORY OF STRAWBERRY RECORDING STUDIOS… IN 10 RECORDS
Thursday 14th November
Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT
Established 2013, Glossop Record Club is the monthly vinyl-listening session which puts the music first. Have a look here to find out more about what we do and our past sessions.
Tony Wilson was a man with many strings to his bow. We all saw him reading the news on TV, he was responsible for releasing some of the greatest post-punk and indie records ever, and he gave us the legendary Hacienda nightclub. But who would have guessed that he was also once spotted performing Bob Dylan songs at The Oakwood in Glossop?
That was just one of the many gems that came out of the Wilson stories that were told on another great night at Glossop Record Club.
Our main album was Joy Division’s debut Unknown Pleasures. It’s an album that many of us probably listened to in our bedrooms as teenagers, so it was a revelation to hear its power when played loud on a great system. It might be 36 years old now but Martin Hannett’s production still makes the album sound wonderfully timeless.
In a break from our usual two full albums format, the decks were thrown open for an extended free for all, and we got to hear a great selection of Factory classics, Hacienda favourites and other Wilson-related tunes. As ever with Record Club, the obvious choices were discarded in favour of the more obscure and interesting records. So nobody choose Blue Monday, but we did get to hear Ad Infinitum’s cover of Joe Meek’s Telstar. And Love Will Tear Us Apart was nowhere to be seen but we did – of course – have some Frank Sidebottom.
And where else apart from Glossop Record Club would you hear A Guy Called Gerald’s Hacienda classic Voodoo Ray followed up by some crooning from the first man ever to tread the boards at the Hacienda – none other than that indie favourite Bernard Manning.
A big thank you to everyone who chose a song to play or told an anecdote – you made it another memorable night. And thanks for listening.
Here are a few comments posted after the session:
The first time I have been really enjoyed myself looking forward to the next one.
Loved last nights @GlossopRecord. Thanks @SteveMcVinyl Brought back loads of great memories of growing up in Manc + hanging out in the Hac.
Would’ve liked more Bernard Manning. I thought it was great!
We’ll be back on Thursday 8th October for SOUNDS FROM BEYOND, an evening of experimental, exotic and esoteric music (full details coming soon). See you then.
Joy Division – Digital
A Certain Ratio – Do The Du
Marcel King – Reach For Love (New York remix)
Section 25 – Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)
ESG – Moody
Durutti Column – How Unbelievable
JOY DIVISION – Unknown Pleasures (Factory Records, 1979)
SIDE ONE: Disorder/Day of the Lords/Candidate/Insight/New Dawn Fades SIDE TWO: She’s Lost Control/Shadowplay/Wilderness/Interzone/I Remember Nothing
Happy Mondays – Hallelujah (Club Mix)
New Order – Your Silent Face
Mike Garry & Joe Duddell – St. Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson
Frank Sidebottom – Oh Blimey It’s Christmas
Ian Dury – Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
Joy Division – Transmission
Miaow – Break The Code
Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
Magazine – Because You’re Frightened
New Order – Ceremony
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray
Bernard Manning – Love Story
Ad Infinitum – Telstar
The Source Featuring Candi Staton – You Got The Love
Iggy Pop – Nightclubbing
Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People
The Adventure Babies – Camper Van
John Cooper Clarke – Evidently Chickentown/Conditional Discharge
The Railway Children – Brighter
A Certain Ratio – Si Firmi O Grido
Joy Division – Atmosphere
So where do you start with Tony Wilson? TV newsreader, legendary record label founder, iconic nightclub owner, music conference organiser, gig promoter, writer, bar owner, professional promoter of Manchester and entrepreneur are just a few of the different hats that he wore.
He was a man of vision – someone who could see a glossy future for Manchester even when confronted by the grimy, run down reality of the city in the 70s. Countless Mancunians felt proud of him, and yet he was scorned in equal measure by the hordes that he loved to infuriate (especially on Merseyside). Never a shrinking violet, he was too big for his own boots, loved the sound of his own voice and would happily argue with anyone who disagreed with his strident views.
Although he might never have played on a note on a record, it’s hard to think of anyone who had a greater influence on the music scene of the North West from the days of punk through to the 90s. Factory Records, The Hacienda, his ‘So It Goes’ TV show, gigs at The Factory Club – Wilson’s fingerprints are everywhere. Maybe he is best described on his gravestone – as a cultural catalyst.
It’s now 8 years since Tony Wilson died. If he was still here now he’d be 65 – and no doubt Wilson the pensioner would be opening his big gob on a regular basis about the state of the country, the Northern Powerhouse of Manchester and, more likely, publicising himself. Now that Manchester has got round to naming a road after him and opening an arts centre in his honour, it seems an appropriate time to celebrate his life with a night dedicated to the huge musical legacy that he launched and nurtured.
We’re going to start the night with the album that paved the way for the future success of Factory Records – Unknown Pleasures, the iconic debut album by Joy Division. Wilson took a big gamble with his own personal finances to fund its recording, but his belief in the band was vindicated. Most of Joy Division famously hated Martin Hannett’s ground breaking production at the time, but that give it a timeless quality which still reverberates 36 years on.
As for the rest of the night – it’s up to you. We’ll play any tracks that you want – as long as the tune has some (even tenuous) Wilson connection then we’ll play it. It could be your favourite Factory track, a tune you heard in the Hacienda, a band you saw at the Factory Club or one that Wilson introduced on the TV. Don’t worry if you don’t have it on vinyl – get in touch and let us know in advance what you’d like to hear, and we’ll do our best to get our hands on a copy for you to play.
And if you have an anecdote about Wilson then please come along and share it. As Wilson is probably most famous for talking – especially about himself – then we’re sure it’s what he would have wanted!
GLOSSOP RECORD CLUB’S TONY WILSON NIGHT Thursday 10th September, 8-11pm Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT FREE ADMISSION
Glossop Record Club returns on Thursday 9th October for JOHN PEEL NIGHT, curated and hosted by record club regulars Gavin Hogg and Steve McNamee.
We’ll be playing two albums in full – Grotesque by perennial Peel favourites The Fall, and the winner of the poll (see below). There are ten albums to choose from – Ivor Cutler, Captain Beefheart, Half Man Half Biscuit, Cocteau Twins, The Wedding Present, The Undertones, Joy Division, Misty In Roots, The Jesus & Mary Chain and The White Stripes. That’s quite a choice. We’ll also be playing a specially compiled tape of Peel show highlights and sessions. And as ever, bring along any Peel related records you wish to share.
This October marks the 10th anniversary of Peel’s sudden and unexpected death whilst on a working holiday in Peru. Since the launch of BBC Radio 1 in 1967, Peel was the one constant. Always there, exploring the fringes of popular music and bringing the best of what he found to subsequent generations of listeners (many of whom would often be poised at a tape recorder, ready to capture some hitherto unknown and life-changing gem). He is still greatly missed, but for those of us who were at one time or another dedicated listeners, he instilled in us an open and inquisitive nature when it comes to music, and that is surely his greatest legacy.
That I own records by Wire, The Fall, The Wedding Present, The Colorblind James Experience, Dinosaur Jr, Beck, The Dirtbombs (and many more) is a direct result of listening to Peel’s radio show, something I first discovered in the summer of 1985, aged 11 (almost 12), staying up just that little bit later and fiddling with the tuning dial on my Amstrad radio alarm clock. It was a voice I recognised (thanks to his occasional stints on Top Of The Pops), but the music was unlike anything I’d encountered on TOTP, or daytime Radio 1 for that matter. I didn’t quite get it at first, but I kept coming back, and by 1987 I was hooked, filling blank C90s at a regular rate and expanding my musical horizons in the process. I lapsed over the years (the schedule changes to mid-evening and weekends didn’t help) but I would always tune in every now and then to hear what he was playing. Fast forward to the late 90s and I was listening more regularly again, only this time filling blank minidiscs instead of tapes.
Since his death on 25th October 2004, the anniversary has been marked each year by John Peel Day, with events up and down the country featuring live bands and DJs. So, this is our tribute to the great man and his legacy, albeit on the second Thursday of October, ’cause that’s when record club is, innit.
Anyway, I shall now hand over to Gavin and Steve. Read on…
Although it only seems like a short time ago when Peel’s Radio One show was the staple fixture of both the cool kids and music geeks’ evenings, it’s hard now to imagine that such a time ever existed. Music is ubiquitous now and self-generated eclectic mixes are only a mouse-click away. Back in the 80s, in my formative years, it was only Peel who was playing such a broad range of music and, more importantly, doing so with real enthusiasm and passion. I remember reading something he’d once written with genuine disdain about a fellow Radio 1 DJ who didn’t even own a record player.
We recognised Peel as one of us; a genuine music fan who would puncture the glossy bubble of Top of The Pops at any opportunity with his asides (“…that was George Michael and Aretha Franklin – do you know she can make any old rubbish sound good … and I think she just has”), who was responsible for getting The Fall on live TV for the one and only time, who was still excited to discover new bands and who would give out the addresses for fanzines written by students in northern Polytechnics. Would Peter Powell, Dave Lee Travis or Tony Blackburn have done any of these things?
There can be no question – John Peel is without doubt the most influential person in the development of the UK music scene. Countless great acts over the past 50 years got their first break through his encouragement and persistence whilst the rest of the world was often showing complete indifference. As a teenager he shaped my tastes too – many of the acts I still love today like Julian Cope, The Pogues, Orange Juice and The Smiths first came to my attention when they recorded sessions for Peel. I spent many a night crouched over a radio with my fingers hovering over the Record button of a cassette player when I really should have been doing my homework, but listening to Peel was a musical homework which has paid dividends in spadefuls ever since, and for which I will be eternally grateful.
The Fall – Grotesque (1980)
“I cannot imagine ANY circumstances under which I would get fed up listening to The Fall” said John Peel of his favourite band, so it’s only right that we celebrate Peel by playing one of their finest albums.
Grotesque was The Fall’s 3rd album (another 27 have followed, plus countless live albums and compilations) and it’s their first truly great album. Apparently it only cost £300 to produce (and at times it sounds like it) but it is chock-full of songs which have gone on to become Fall standards.
Grotesque contains some of the group’s most musically accessible work; for the unititiated, it’s a great place to take your first tentative steps into the wonderful and frightening world of The Fall. But what stands out on this album is the remarkable quality of Mark E Smith’s lyrics – he was producing incredibly imaginative material which put him leagues ahead of his contemporaries . New Face In Hell is the tale of a CB radio enthusiast who intercepts state secrets over the air and is then framed for his neighbour’s murder by the government – all driven by a riff played on, of all things, a kazoo. English Scheme is a withering look at what was going wrong in Britain (“if we were smart we’d emigrate”) whilst Container Drivers exposes the dull life of waiting in car parks and at customs checks over a pounding rockabilly beat. Towering above them all is the epic 9 minute album closer The NWRA (The North Will Rise Again), about the North staging a takeover of the South which goes wrong.
References to ‘mithering’ and Lancashire towns like Haslingden only added to the sense of real Northern-ness that enveloped The Fall on this album – they really couldn’t have come from anywhere other than the North West.
When Grotesque came out in November 1980, Abba, Dennis Waterman and Barbra Streisand were all in the Top 5 singles chart. Meanwhile, here was MES ordering us to “pay your water rates” or else you’ll wind up on a “debtor’s retreat estate”. The Fall, as ever, were a world away, marching to their own beat.
So, Grotesque is an album that covers all the bases: it is musically accessible (by Fall standards!), melodic, lyrically fascinating and it never ceases to be interesting. At times it is also baffling, murky, weird, downbeat and experimental, and you might just wish that you could skip a few tracks.
In other words, it’s just like a typical John Peel show. And there can be no greater compliment.
ALBUMS IN THE POLL (vote for as many as you like)
Ivor Cutler – Jammy Smears (1976)
Ivor recorded more Peel sessions than anyone other than The Fall. John introduced many people to the off kilter world of Mr. Cutler and plainly saw it as an act of public service – which it undoubtedly was.
Capt. Beefheart – Safe As Milk (1967)
Peel first met the good Captain in California in 1966 while he was working as a DJ over there. They continued their friendship into the new millennium with regular telephone calls, the contents of which must have been fascinating.
Half Man Half Biscuit – Back In The DHSS (1985)
The album that kickstarted a career of sorts, that’s still going strong today. With their arcane and caustic pop culture references sitting on top of a rudimentary DIY musical backing, HMHB were always destined to be favourites of Peel.
Cocteau Twins – Treasure (1984)
The Cocteau Twins made music that created its own woozy atmosphere and pretty much single-handedly invented the genre of ‘dream pop’. The best band to have named themselves after an obscure Simple Minds song by some margin.
The Wedding Present – George Best (1987)
Like Ivor Cutler, the Weddoes were also runners up to The Fall, not in the amount of sessions recorded but in terms of the most success in the Festive Fifty charts. Peel was quoted as saying this about Dave Gedge, the band’s singer – “The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong!”
The Undertones – The Undertones (1979)
14 perfectly formed speedy pop nuggets, only half of them breaking the 2 minute barrier. Still sounds like a breath of fresh air and hits you like a smack on the nose.
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)
The band famously hated Martin Hannett’s mysterious and claustrophic production, but it’s precisely that which gives it the timeless, dark & gripping quality that has made it a bedsit classic.
Misty In Roots – Live at the Counter Eurovision 79 (1979)
Barely any Peel show would pass in 79-80 without hearing a track from this classic roots reggae album and it remained one of his favourites to the end. Probably the finest British reggae album ever.
The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy (1985)
The Mary Chain would arguably go on to record better albums than this, but none of them could ever hope to reach the iconic status of the debut – a violent firestorm of white noise & feedback, yet full of beautiful melodies and Beach Boys-inspired songwriting.
The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001)
A stripped down, raw and primitive collection of garage rock that gave the Stripes their breakthrough. Probably Peel’s last great obsession – 10 of their singles were found in his legendary Record Box.
Glossop Record Club’s JOHN PEEL NIGHT Thursday 9th October, 8-11pm Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT FREE ADMISSION