During the Autumn of 2010, work began on another HiddenMasters project, centered around one of the truly great ‘lost’ Manchester bands of the early 80s – The Distractions.
If the name doesn’t readily spring to mind, a brief aide-memoire: The Distractions’ first releases were on the TJM label before they signed to Factory. One single later and Nick Stewart (the man who inked the pact with U2) signed them to Island.
The Distractions one and only Island album, Nobody’s Perfect, was released to sales that singularly failed to match the lavish critical praise heaped upon the band or the record. Thus, after the obligatory singles and weeks spent touring the length and breadth of Britain as well as playing dates in New York, the group were promptly dropped when label cutbacks dictated that tough A&R choices had to be made.
The Distractions reappeared on Rough Trade and Bronze before grinding to a halt at no real fixed point in time during the middle of the decade.
And there the tale would probably have ended… were it not for Occultation’s Nick Halliwell who reunited co-founders Steve Perrin (writer & guitars / at that point, a lecturer in Auckland, NZ) and Mike Finney (singer of songs / a Customs Officer in Hull) at a studio in Liverpool during the summer of 2009.
Occultation released the resulting two EPs to rave critiques. The shell on the egg of Distractions #2 had been pierced and, although geographically challenged, vague plans were made to record a second album… 30+ years after their first.
With better than anticipated sales of these two EPs coupled to renewed media interest in The Distractions as the backdrop, HiddenMasters began the research process that would lead to assembling a database of all known recordings. Because, other than their Factory single, none of The Distractions’ recordings has ever been reissued in any form let alone be made digitally available.
Meantime, those imprecise new-LP plans turned to reality during the Summer of 2011 when messrs Perrin (now living in Australia) and Finney landed up at a small studio in Exeter armed with a clutch of new compositions. Accompanied by Halliwell (guitars), Arash Torabi (bass) and veteran drum-major Mike Kellie, the 2nd Distractions album – The End Of The Pier – was recorded in four days.
On something of a roll, the group recorded a third LP – Kindly Leave The Stage – which was issued on April 5, 2017.
Now, finally, (and after a great deal of stop/start/stop/start etc) we’re in the home straight for our long-in-development Distractions retrospective.
Age+Geography will be issued late 2017 as a limited 1st edition casebound book-set of just 1,000 copies worldwide.
Further details – including the full track listing and pre-ordering details – will be announced shortly.
For more… visit The Distractions website