Ticket for New Order, The Wake and James at Brixton Academy, 1983. £3.50!
Poster for A Factory Records Night 1985 featuring New Order, The Wake, The Royal Family & The Poor.
The Wake performing in Europe in the early 1990s.
Indietracks Festival Sunday 28th July
Pleased to announce The Wake are playing at Indietracks Festival on Sunday 28th July. More info here https://www.facebook.com/indietracks?ref=ts here http://indietracksblog.blogspot.co.uk/ and here https://twitter.com/IndietracksFest
Liner notes from Harmony Factory Benelux reissue
The first seven songs on this CD made up the original Harmony vinyl mini album as released by Factory Records in 1982. But that record’s side one actually consisted of tracks 4-7 from this version and side two had tracks 1-3. I can half explain the eventual running order changes shortly.
The idea of a release came about at the suggestion of inspirational nonconformist entrepreneur and New Order manager Rob Gretton after we had played live together a few times. I’d say he was thinking in terms of a single but we wanted to do something lengthier while we had the opportunity, and, characteristically, audaciously, Rob was into it. Now all he had to do was persuade Tony Wilson. If you look back at many of the events in Factory lore, he often managed to do that to the benefit of increased productivity and influence if not the label’s profits.
The soon to follow Factory Benelux version – initially a separate imprint with above-board Factory connections as far as we could tell – added an unfinished outtake ‘Chance’ without our permission but it’s good this try-out is still available to listen to. It’s included here and this time we’re fully in the picture.
The trouble on the day with the aptly named ‘Chance’ was our drummer and founder member Steven Allen (assisted on this one song with some extra percussion from bassist Bobby Gillespie) couldn’t quite get the fast pattern he’d created exactly right. It was first written for a session at The Hellfire Club rehearsal and recording studios in our hometown of Glasgow. It was quite a relentless rhythm and hard to reproduce under first time in a big studio conditions so the planned mini album became slightly more mini…It’s comforting how time can make these hitches seem perfectly all right though.
I’m sure that’s where the track listing first mysteriously transformed – on that first Benelux issue – again without our say-so. It’s persisted to this day. We think it works both ways, especially in the present random play CD (now partly post CD) age.
The recordings took place at Strawberry Studios in Stockport under the calm and heartening supervision of sound engineer Chris Nagle who had previously worked with the likes of Barclay James Harvest and studio owners 10cc. Who knows what he made of the four shy Scottish waifs with tuning and tempo problems who displayed a bizarre mix of cluelessness and self-assurance. But his easy-going manner, super confident technical abilities and natural quiet creativity and musicality really helped us to sometimes get the feel we were aiming at, especially on tracks like ‘The Old Men’ and ‘Heartburn’.
The ‘Something Outside’ and ‘Host’ 12” was recorded soon after at another Factory frequented studio, Revolution, and we were a lot more confident about what we were doing by that point and working closely with our occasional live sound guy Oz. More confident to the extent we thought it was quite the thing to play away for nearly eight minutes per song. This was a genuine belief in the notion of expanding the time limits of whatever sort of music we were making rather than any obtuse desire to test the listener’s patience. Carolyn’s opening keyboard part mixed with Steven’s soft drum barrage provided the compositional starting point for the A-side.
The three Peel show tracks marked the culmination of our recorded work with Bobby. It was a bit disappointing to hear the respected DJ – who was otherwise very supportive – announce as the session went out – and as we were about to take the stage at The Hacienda – that ‘Uniform’ was very depressing. To be fair, it’s certainly no ‘Teenage Kicks’. Maybe it wasn’t helped in that respect by a random playback of voices from some TV show about loss. It was left out when the session was repeated. It really wasn’t meant to be cold-hearted or insensitive though and hopefully that’s a bit clearer now.
This collection ends with our first recordings made at Wilf’s Planet in Edinburgh because The Fire Engines had worked there. I came up with the lyrics, guitar and bass parts the night before the session and taught the bass line to Bobby’s predecessor Joe Donnelly as we waited to start. Steven had to improvise his drumming on the spot. And the studio was little more than a hole in the ground. And you try and tell the young people of today that. And they won’t believe you.
Caesar (for The Wake)
Short video clip of ending from our 12 Stars theatre performance Treatise On The Steppenwolf. The Glasgow shows featured live music by The Durutti Column.