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The Factory Discography Exhibition review

Smudge Jones learns to love, to understand, becomes a new man

Published on May 10th 2011.

The Factory Discography Exhibition review

Manchester has often led the world in science, industry, politics and of course, music. The Hollies, Joy Division, The Smiths, New Order, the Stone Roses, Oasis and many others have inspired an army of music lovers across the globe.

In this way the ‘Factory Discography Exhibition’ not only celebrated the company and the sounds it produced but also the record collector and the love and obsession that people have for music.

So as a Mancunian, I’ve found it sad to see this dynasty seemingly dragged through the mud. 

What annoys me most is spying a poster for a club night or an event being used to ‘celebrate’ the Hacienda. This normally means full exploitation of the legend by someone who DJ’d at the old club ‘once or twice’ playing to a grubby room full of tourists and students clutching pound bottles of Carlsberg.

Bitter, maybe, twisted maybe, but I’m not alone in thinking this.

So when I found that a new Factory Records exhibition would be taking place in the Ducie Bridge pub - directly below my flat - our darling editor could not resist the irony of sending the boy with the yellow and black striped chip on his shoulder, to see what was going on in which is practically his living room.

Despite my initial fears I loved the thing.

The ‘Factory Discography Exhibition’ is the brainchild of Colin Gibbins, who after buying his first Factory tune 31 years ago, has been on an endless pursuit through second hand shops, record stores and car boot sales to complete his collection of the Factory Records back catalogue.

Almost every release on every variation from every Factory artist was here and in memory of the late Anthony H all money collected from the event went to Christies Hospital.

What the exhibition did was paint an incredible portrait of Manchester and of a time when being a music collector meant so much more than spending a weekend downloading songs or ripping live tracks off Youtube. It highlighted the way the music industry is going – something which from my age and experience (a tender 23, eh Sam? darling Ed) was fascinating.

Part of this was about how people would cherish not just the music but the artwork itself. How each individual record sleeve could be its own miniature piece of art.

In this way the ‘Factory Discography Exhibition’ not only celebrated the company and the sounds it produced but also the record collector and the love and obsession that people have for music.

“I didn’t invent the Factory wheel but I’m keeping it turning,” said Colin, proudly surveying his wonderful exhibition, of which, in many ways, he's the hero and central figure. 

Picture by Stephen Campbell. 

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Slight CynicMay 12th 2011.

Love Factory And Manchester - you might love this http://bit.ly/fearvid http://bit.ly/mufcfear

AnonymousMay 13th 2011.

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