Factory Reborn

Factory Records relaunched this weekend with a showcase of fresh talent. Friday night saw music bods, press and the public descend on Manchester’s Ruby Lounge to celebrate this new tribute to former label boss and major music player Tony Wilson.

Factory Foundation Recordings, as the fresh arm of the legendary organisation has been christened, hopes to recapture the glory years of the 1980s and early 1990s, a period that saw acts like New Order, The Happy Mondays and A Certain Ratio experience meteoric ascensions to fame from the camp. The Hacienda nightclub, now a residential development, was also owned by Factory, cementing links between Manchester’s indie scene, Madchester and the formative years of acid house and rave culture.

Silverclub and Suzuki Method, the first two acts to emerge from FFR, were on hand to entertain, though the decision to opt for acoustic sets may have surprised those familiar with the usual sound of both these groups of electro-poppers. Still, if the lack of Korgs and Casios in the venue was disappointing then the music video previews more than made up for it. With enough synthesized groove to make Soft Cell a little jealous, the only things better than the imagery were the backing tracks that suggest big things for the future.

A launch tour will now take the acts and management around the UK promoting the new venture, which offers artists 50 per cent of all record sales, a guaranteed 50 per cent ownership of their material and, in true Factory style, the option to”f*c! off whenever they feel like it”, as contracts are drawn up on a release by release basis. The Mancunians descend on the Smoke this Wednesday for a second event at Lockstock in Camden, and will return to the capital with a live date late in October.