8 shows promoted this year at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton, The Green Room, Stockton and Westgarth Social Club. Massive thanks to all at the venues and anyone who helped out in anyway or came to the shows but as ever it’s about the music so a thank you to all the bands who appeared on any of my shows this year.
Take a bow The Fallen Leaves (Twice), The Space Agency, Spear Of Destiny, The Relitics, The Filthy Tongues, The Golden Age, Of Nothing, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, The Corn Shacks, Cyanide Pills, The Filth, The Continental Quilts, Goodbye Mr MacKenzie, Rob Galloway, Thee Strawberry Mynde, A Certain Ratio and Sink Ya Teeth.
After 2 fantastic shows in November featuring Goodbye Mr Mackenzie and The Fallen Leaves at the Westgarth Club in Middlesbrough we return to Stockton’s Georgian Theatreon December 6th for the final show of the year featuring Manchester’s post punk legends A Certain Ratio.
Once again this show is a co promotional venture between Fast Forward Promotions and Tees Music Alliance.
ACR, like so many, were born of the Punk explosion that rocked the UK in the late seventies but they quickly became more than just another also ran punk band. A post punk band without doubt. Borrowing the name from a Brian Eno record the band were soon spotted and signed up by the hugely influential Factory Records and the iconic Tony Wilson assumed the role of manager.
Initially influenced by the likes of the Velvet Underground and Wire the band released their debut single “All Night Party” (FAC 5 on the influential Factory label) but they quickly adapted their sound to the rapidly growing influences of funk music. James Brown, Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins and George Clinton all weighed heavily in influencing the direction the band were heading.
ACR played regularly in Manchester and around the country with label mates Joy Division but a major breakthrough came for the band in 1979 when they supported Talking Heads on a major UK tour. By now though the band were not just absorbing music and shaping their own sound. They were influencers as well. Talking Heads and David Byrne rapidly changed their musical direction after seeing ACR support them. The sound of ACR was captured live early on the Factory Records cassette only release The Graveyard and the Ballroom (FAC16) released in December 79.
In 1980 the epochal “Shack Up” was released on the Factory Benelux label. Recorded for just £50 the single manged to dent the American Billboard Disco charts and there was a lot of interest in state side in the band but they remained close to their mancunian roots and released the astonishing debut album “To Each” in June 1981. Actually recorded in New Jersey but completed and produced by the legendary Martin Hannett at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.
The band had toured America with the early New Order and were now moving in a new direction taking their place in the new avant-funk vanguard alongside the likes of The Pop Group and 23 Skidoo.
As Factory bankrupted itself the band joined New Order manager Rob Gretton’s label imaginatively entitled “Rob’s Records” and continued to release many fine records having previously released the wonderful “Won’t Stop Loving You” on A&M which somehow only managed to reach No. 55 in the charts despite being a song of true quality.
The band laid low through the latter part of the Nineties and into the Noughties but their stock never dropped as first Creation and then latterly Soul Jazz reissued the bands music in various formats. A new album was eventually released in 2010, the mighty ” Mind Made Up”
Fast forward to 2019 though and Mute Recordsare putting out reissues of ACR classics, compilations and box sets on vinyl and CD including the impossible to find “The Graveyard And The Ballroom” to coincide with the bands 40 year anniversary and a nationwide UK tour.
Featuring a line up consisting of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop, Donald Johnson, Anthony Quigley, Denise Johnson and Matt Steele the band play Stockton’s Georgian Theatre on Friday 6th December with doors at 8pm.
Advance tickets are £21 and available from the venue or via SEE Tickets here.
ACR are proud to support Action Against Hungerand £1 from each ticket sold will be donated to the Charity
This will be The Fallen Leaves 8th headline show at The Westgarth Club that I have promoted (plus 2 support shows, one at The Westgarth, one at The Georgian. Also a headline show in Newcastle to boot as well ) .
Why so many shows?
Well quite simply they are one of the best live acts around who simply excel especially at what has now become the band’s second home.
The band believe in keeping things simple both live and in the studio. They have released 4 albums plus a compilation album of selected tracks from the recorded output. They have also just released a live album recorded at the legendary Hope & Anchor in London entitled Maximum Minimum and (if there’s any left) it will be available to but at he show on Saturday.
You should know the manifesto by now but just in case:
“Simple Songs For Complex People. Punk Rock For Gentlemen. No Jeans. No t-shirts. No Cover-Versions. The Fallen Leaves believe in the DIY Punk ethos. Song, Sound and Performance are all. Recordings are live, minimal overdubs. As the self proclaimed champions of the glorious underachievers The Fallen Leaves ask you to remember … Simple and easy are not the same thing. “
What do they sound like?
A cross between The Who and The Ramones might just cover it.
Tickets are £7 in advance plus any booking fees or it’s £9 on the door,
Tickets are available from the Westgarth Club itself (check for opening hours. Online from SEE Tickets. In person from Sound It Out Records in Stockton.In person from the box office of Middlesbrough Town Hall and on line via their web site here
Original support act The Moron-O-Phonics have had to withdraw as their guitarist is stranded in America. King Mojo were added to the bill but had to pull out for “personal reasons”.
Thee Strawberry Mynde have stepped up and will be the main support. At the time of writing it’s not been possible to find a second suitable band to open up. We’re still trying but it’s likely now at this late date it will just be the one support act.
The next show features Goodbye Mr MacKenzie. The band were extremely popular in the late Eighties/early Nineties but never quite managed t make the final breakthrough. Three core members of the band, Martin Metcalfe, Fin Kelly & Derek Wilson have played together since in various incarnations but most notably as The Filthy Tongues and reaching great acclaim in doing so. Now the MacKenzies are back and joined by guitarist Big John Duncan with Rona Scobie alongside. The band have played a number of sell out shows and this is the only show in the North of England.
PUNK ROCK FOR GENTLEMEN What do they sound like? Punk / Mod / Garage / Beat If you can imagine a cross between The Who and The Ramones you might get somewhere close…. “Sharp, angular, melodic garage-pop” What does the Manifesto say? No jeans. No t-shirts. No cover-versions. The Fallen Leaves believe in the DIY Punk ethos. Song, Sound and Performance are all. Recordings are live.Minimal overdubs. As the self proclaimed champions of the glorious underachievers The Fallen Leaves ask you to remember ……
Final show of the year is a co promotion with the good folk at Tees Music Alliance and features Mancunian legends A Certain Ratio. The band are on a high at the moment having played numerous festivals over the summer promoting the entire back catalogue being re-issued on Mute Records. The band are touring through the Autumn/Winter and play at The Georgian Theatre on December 6th.
Formed at the outset of punk, pioneers of what became post punk the band have influenced a host of old and new bands and still thriving today 40 years.
We had a great night in the newly refurbished Green Room in Stockton on Friday 27th September when The Cyanide Pills, The Filth and The Continental Quilts played. All 3 bands were excellent. It was a great turn out on a cold and wet night with the gig not far short of being a sell out. Hopefully these excellent photos taken by Steve White will give you an impression of how good it was!
First confirmed show of 2020. A co promotion with the good folk at Tees Music Alliance and The Georgian Theatre, Stockton. The return of the one, the only Pete Wylie on March 27th. Tickets available from The Georgian now and from Fast Forward Ticket links soon.