2-Day ACR Festival at Yes in Manchester 24th and 25th May with Section 25, Sink Ya Teeth, Gabe Gurnsey, Shadowparty, Eric Random and DJ sets from The Orielles, The Other Two, Jon Dasilva, Daniel Miller, Andrew Robinson, Martin Brew, (J-Walk), Chips With Everything and their very own ACR Soundsystem.
A CERTAIN RATIO – celebrate their 40th anniversary this year, the 24 May being the anniversary of the original release date of the ‘All Night Party’ 7” and will play 3 different sets at the festival, one on Friday and 2 on Saturday, which will feature very special guests and past members of the band.
There is also a new box set, ACR:BOX, out on Mute on 3 May 2019 on vinyl, CD and digitally. ACR:BOX includes a brand new acoustic version of the classic ‘Won’t Stop Loving You’ (AKA The Big E) here titled ‘W.S.L.U.’, a recent collaboration with Parent’s Sarah Brandwood-Spencer (string arrangement) and Jason Brown (additional guitars).
ACR:BOX was remastered by Martin Moscrop at Abbey Road studios. Featuring over 20 unreleased tracks, the box set will be available as a 7 x coloured vinyl set, 4 x CD set and digitally and its release will coincide with a series of dates.
Following on from 2018’s compilation, acr:set, the box showcases the diversity of the singles, B-sides and alternative versions of tracks that A Certain Ratio have released, but without repeating tracks recently made available. ACR:BOX collates everything that fans had been missing from the recent reissue campaign, and compliments that with a selection found after a deep delve into the archive to find all the hidden gems that had been talked about over the years, but never heard – even a few releases the band had forgotten about!
Looking to make the box set as comprehensive as possible, even the original tapes from the session they recorded for a collaboration with Grace Jones were uncovered and reworked. This session includes the cover version of Talking Heads’ ‘Houses In Motion’, using Jez Kerr’s guide vocals (pre to him becoming the band’s singer). Grace Jones never completed her vocal take, after attending one of the recording sessions with the band.
The box set, which marks the 40th anniversary of A Certain Ratio’s debut release, the Martin Hannett produced ‘All Night Party’ (Factory Records’ first single release) was described recently by Record Collector as “a statement of future intentions: to set funk off against nervous angst.” They went on to be hailed universally as pioneers of what became known as “punk funk” thanks to the success of their second single, ‘Shack Up’, represented here via a radio edit from Electronic, featuring Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr.
A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late seventies post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in. Highlighted recently by FACT, who said: “Their dub-infused punk-funk recordings have proved massively influential over the past thirty years, and Andy Weatherall has called them his favourite ever band (a prestigious accolade in our estimation)”, the band have influenced generations of musicians – from LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor and Sink Ya Teeth.
Five albums were released on Factory – The Graveyard and the Ballroom (1979), To Each…(1981), Sextet (1982), I’d Like To See You Again (1982) and Force (1986). Following the release of Force, the band moved to A&M for two releases – Good Together (1989) and acr:mcr (1990) and, after the leaving the major, released Up In Downsville (1992) and Change the Station (1997) on Robs Records, the label set up by New Order’s manager and Factory’s director, Rob Gretton, an important catalyst in the Manchester scene.
Their sound is not easily pigeon holed and their influence can never be understated. The band introduced the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic, adding great clothes and the coolest haircuts.
A CERTAIN RATIO – LIVE
27 April – Barrow-in-Furness, Barrow Underground Music Society
4 May – London, Islington Assembly Hall
10 May – Wolverhampton, Newhampton Arts Centre
11 May – Belfast, Cathedral Quarter Festival
23 May – Liverpool, Phase One
24 – 25 May – Manchester, Yes
30 May – Sheffield, The Leadmill (Steel Bar)
31 May – Newcastle, Riverside
1 June – Edinburgh, The Voodoo Rooms
2 June – Leamington Spa, Zephr Lounge
16 Aug – We Out Here Festival
17 Aug – Green Man Festival
18 Aug – County Durham, Hardwick Live Festival
2 Nov – Dublin, The Sugar Club
8 Nov – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
9 Nov – Birmingham, The Crossing
15 Nov – Stoke-on-Trent, The Sugarmill
16 Nov – Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
17 Nov – Huddersfield, The Parish
6 Dec – Stockton on Tees, The Georgian Theatre
7 Dec – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
ACR live is Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson, Martin Moscrop, Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley and recent addition on keyboards, Matt Steele.
A CERTAIN RATIO – ACR:BOX tracklisting
Singles and B-sides
1 All Night Party
2 The Thin Boys
3 Blown Away
4 Son And Heir
9 Guess Who? (12″
10 Tumba Rumba
11 Knife Slits Water (12″ version)
12 Kether Hot Knives (Mix In Special)
13 I Need Someone Tonight
14 Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing
15 Life’s a Scream
16 There’s Only This
17 Si Fermir O Grido (Touch Cassette Version)
18 Brazilia 6.10
19 Sounds Like Something Dirty
20 The Runner (Greetings Four Version)
21 Inside (Greetings Four Version)
22 Bootsy (Greetings Four Version)
23 Fever 103 (Greetings Four Version)
24 Loosen Up Your Mind
25 The Planet
26 Turn Me on (7″ Edit)
27 27 Forever (Jon Dasilva’s Testimonial Mix)
28 Shack up (Electronic Radio Edit)
29 Houses In Motion (Demo Version 1)
30 Houses In Motion (Demo Version 2)
31 And Then Again (Another version)
32 Piu Lento (John Peel Session)
33 Nostromo A Go Go (Demo)
34 Force (Demo)
35 Backs to The Wall (Demo)
36 The Big E (Demo)
37 Every Pleasure (Demo)
38 Rivers Edge (Demo)
39 Stadium (Demo)
40 Thin Grey Line (Demo)
41 Repercussions (African Mix)
42 BTTW 90 (Demo)
43 Spirit Dance (Demo)
44 Bitter Pill (Never Released)
45 It’s Trippin When I’m Fine (Previously Unreleased)
46 Mello (JD 800 Perc Mix)
47 Tekno 4 an Answer (120bpm)
48 Samba 123 (Demo)
49 Some Day (ACR rework)
50 Happy Meal (Working Title)
51 Flight Won’t Stop (Unfinished Demo)
52 Fruit Song (Unfinished Demo)
53 Say What You Mean (Unfinished Demo)
Back sharing a label with Factory label-mates New Order, A Certain Ratio’s collaboration with Mute has seen their full studio album catalogue made available again and a new compliation, acr:set, featuring two brand new tracks, ‘Dirty Boy’ (with vocals from Barry Adamson and Tony Wilson) and ‘Make It Happen’.
The Guardian’s Dave Simpson paid tribute to the band, once described as “James Brown on acid” in a recent Cult Heroes piece: “Once you start listening to A Certain Ratio, it’s difficult to stop”.
Pre-order ACR:BOX – http://smarturl.it/ACR-Box-Set