manchester – kevin cummins

November 11, 2010

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Al Ewing asked recently what the earliest  music people could remember was. I can’t remember much from the 1970s, but the output of Factory Records resonates more strongly, measuring out my teenage years (perhaps because listening to music was all we could do). From Joy Division, when I was perhaps 11 or 12, to The Smiths in the fifth form, to the Happy Mondays as a young student and The Fall later, Manchester was everywhere. As architecture students at the Bartlett, we used the cherished annual trip to tour the north and sampled the bars, clubs and chip shops of Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, for research purposes. I was gutted when a talented friend went to work for Ben Kelly (who designed the famous Factory interior). Joy Division accompanied me to college and played… a lot, while I drew and drew. New Order went with me on my walkman on midnight visits to the darkrooms of central London. And here these bands are again, in the photographs of Kevin Cummins. Ian Curtis will be missed, but his music lives on, inspiring and accompanying another generation.

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