Saturday, January 31, 2009

madchester rave on: Northside

So the Madchester onslaught continues, while I think of the next posts in the variations on a theme or 5 songs memes I've got going. Today we have another largely-forgotten Manchester band, Northside.

Hyped by Factory Records as the next great thing in Manchester in 1990, Northside blazed onto the scene with two stellar singles and an of-its-time LP, then with Factory's ugly collapse in 1992 slowly faded away, ultimately dying in 1996 or so (but they've since resurfaced and are apparently still gigging about in Manchester).

Here be found a very extensive biography, the most extensive I've found on the internets by far....

Northside weren't of the baggy scene per se, they were more guitars than dance (similar to James, in fact they fulfilled the same role on Factory's roster as James did in the mid 80s when they were Factory's folkies) - yet for whatever reason the UK music weeklies insisted on lumping them in with the rest of the Madchester scene. And unfortunately, the inevitable Madchester backlash struck them full-force in the press, whilst other more baggy acts escaped relatively unscathed.

Leaping into view with the jangly double A-side "Shall We Take A Trip" / "Moody Places" (interesting fact: the band wanted "Moody Places" as the A-side with "Shall We Take A Trip" as the flip, but Factory boss Tony Wilson thought the explicit drug vibes of "Shall We Take A Trip" fit more presciently with the burgeoning Madchester scene and should be the A-side, so they compromised, and the sides are described as A and AA on the vinyl), they then released the followup "My Rising Star" before retreating to Wales to record the debut LP. And that's all she wrote, beyond a couple tracks appearing on overseas editions of the album, and an exclusive instrumental "Moody Places" on a compilation cassette.

Since their output was so limited, I give you everything they released below - another in our "Complete Discography" series as begun last week with Paris Angels.


(for the record, LTM has reissued the majority of below on one CD,
Chicken Rhythms + Extras which you can peruse here...)

...postscript: I don't think there's anything missing from below, though I do have (and am loooking at) a live VHS the band released in 1991 (possibly even before the LP was released), entitled simply Live (recorded at the PSV Club, Manchester 8 October 1990). Unfortunately I don't have the capacity to capture the video, and the audio, from what I recall, is pretty ugly. Nevertheless I may yet get the audio captured and uploaded at some future date.


Moody Places: The Complete Discography

FAC 268 "Shall We Take A Trip" / "Moody Places" (single)

01 Moody Places (12" version)
02 Shall We Take A Trip

FAC 298 "My Rising Star" (single)

03 My Rising Star (12" version)
04 My Rising Star (instrumental)

FAC 308 "Take 5" (single)

05 Take 5 (12" version)
06 Take 5 (7" version)
07 Who's To Blame (instrumental)

FACD 310 Chicken Rhythms (LP)

08 Take 5
09 Weight Of Air
10 Funky Munky
11 A Change Is On Its Way
12 Yeah Man
13 Tour De World
14 Wishful Thinking
15 Shall We Take A Trip
16 Who's To Blame
17 Practise Makes Perfect
18 My Rising Star (edit)

(and from overseas editions of Chicken Rhythms)

Tour De World (live)
20 Yeah Man (live)

FAC305c The Factory Tape (special to Select magazine, 1991)

21 Moody Places (instrumental)


And there you have it. I figured since the band wanted "Moody Places" as the debut A-side I'd do the same here, and what better way to close out their Complete Discography collection with the instrumental version of the same (though it is different, besides just lacking vocals...).

Comments, questions, points of order - just drop a note in the comment box!


  1. The video I have (Live), from my hazy memory as I haven't watched it since, say, 1992, would tend to support your contention. But the music was still good!

  2. I adore this band but I have the video and I've heard another audio bootleg, and on the basis of these, I'd say they were really disappointing live.

  3. great sound of the moody places instrumental...the thing is i am not the greatest of cassette to digital transferrers around...i attempted to put the fac 305c onto my pc but was left with a terrible hissing...any pointers how to remove such a hiss.

  4. So sad that I missed this posting. Tears!