A Certain Ratio

I first saw ACR in Feb 1981 at Fagins in Manchester with my cousin Digger After bus fare and entrance fees, we had enough money for half a pint of lager between us. They were a mysterious band who played weird rhythms that I found alien but exciting. They were part of the Factory scene which I loved so I guess I tried a little harder to like them than I would most bands, but it paid off. A series of classic 12″ singles and albums that started as avant garde then mutated into funk/acid/disco/hard to pin down. When they were accused of making Thinking mans dance music they countered “We’d rather people dance than think”.

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I followed them through thick and thin. The Hacienda days (Theyre pictured in its Gay Traitor cocktail bar on the cover of Id like to see you again) were my favourite times with the awesome slapping bass of I need someone tonite and the dreamy dance of Knife slits water. These photos are fom Fac 51 in June 84.

Fac51

I was dancing at the front of one of their gigs at the Tropicana club (19/12/84) with a couple of other blokes everyone else was standing on the periphery of the dance floor. A few weeks later, I went to see New Order and one of the guys Id been dancing with was the singer of the support band Happy Mondays fellow Little Hultonian Saun Ryder.

I’d go to see them religiously and they never let me down. Their stuff just got better and better with ‘Life’s a scream’ and ‘Wild Party’.
The last time I saw them was at the cities in the park gig (1991). Theyd got into the acid rave scene and I was less enamoured with there sound. Still the odd wonderful track like The Big E and the 4 for the floor EP but I lost touch. An LP of remixes had a great reworking of Shack up but Im not into all that Give my song to someone trendy and let them make it sound like one of their songs remix type stuff.

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So when Dr P informed me they were coming to Leeds I snapped up a ticket and we had a 7 strong posse up for it..which on the night turned out to be just John Tony and I. You others REALLY missed out! They were on blistering form mixing up a heady cocktail of old and new tunes. Listening to the old stuff, you realised just how funky the bass and drums combo was – Don Johnsons drumming is like a steam train coming at ya. Do the du and Flight were note perfect, Mickey Way had new samples in it and to my great surprise, they did a cover of JDs Heart and Soul (not for the 1st time) which was blissful. This band should be headlining festivals and filling stadiums. The jam on Si Firmi O Grido was amazing. Such a privilege to see them at everyones favoutite little venue – the BSC

acr setlist

Some more photos from Tony…….

acr leeds

acr leeds

acr leeds

acr leeds

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