A Certain Brilliance

23 years ago this summer, I went to the best concert of my life.

The Festival of the Tenth Summer marked 10 years on from the Sex Pistols seminal debut in Manchester at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. 

It was quite simply the perfect line up. The Smiths touring the Queen is Dead album with the classic five piece line-up (Craig Gannon, where are you now?) New Order co-headlining and the Fall kicking up a fuss. I’ll always remember Paul Morley introducing OMD as ”two rich bastards from LA” and Derek Hatton getting bottled and booed off stage by 10,000 Mancs (we were all Mancs that day.)

But stuck right at the beginning at 1pm was my favourite band – A Certain Ratio.

In the Tony Wilson biopic ’24 Hour Party People,’ ACR were portrayed as constantly living in the shadow of Joy Division. But their industrual left-field punk funk had a huge influence on bands such as LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture. 

This week I missed the chance to see them up at Dingwalls in Camden – they very rarely tour these days – because of my new childcare commitments. Theyr’e playing at a festival in Chiswick in September so hopefully I’ll get to see them then.

But for the time being, I’ve consoled myself with some recently uploaded performances of ACR in their prime.

Here’s them performing a medley of Wild Party (from the soundtrack of Letter to Brezhnev!) Si Firmi o Grido and Mickey Way on Japanese TV in 1987.

Dig those cerrrazy graphics.


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