A Certain Ratio
A Certain Ratio
"Cult punk funkateers" - UNCUT
"...mould-breakers" - MOJO
A Certain Ratio, known for their carnival atmosphere live performances have been playing blistering shows throughout 2017 and 2018 and will be touring their 40th anniversary shows next year and beyond.
ACR live is Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson, Martin Moscrop, Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley and recent addition on keyboards, Matt Steele.
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. Formed in Manchester in 1978, the band has had various members throughout their career, with a core line-up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson that remains today.
An influence on generations of musicians - from LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor, Sink Ya Teeth and Andrew Weatherall - the band's involvement in cultural touchpoints is sometimes unexpected: a recent exhibition centred on Stockport's Strawberry Studios uncovered the tape box, but not the tapes, from a recording session with Grace Jones back in 1980 and Madonna's live debut was supporting A Certain Ratio at the infamous Danceteria in New York in 1982 (where she was working as a hatcheck girl), and sometimes expected, given the unique time and place that they formed - Manchester in 1978, one of the first acts to sign to the newly formed Factory Records.
The band released their first, Martin Hannett produced, single for Factory in 1979 and 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', on both sides of the Atlantic.
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 released their first new music since 2008's 'Mind Made Up' and on the new compilation 'ACR:set', a career spanning compilation.
'Dirty Boy' is a classic slice of A Certain Ratio pop funk and features the voice of Tony Wilson preparing the band for 'The Fox' recording session in his own inimitable fashion, plus vocals from Barry Adamson, who returns a favour to the band after they reworked 2017's 'I Got Clothes'.
The two new tracks, 'Dirty Boy' and 'Make It Happen' were recorded at Oxygene in Manchester, and both appear on the new best of compilation, 'ACR:set'. The album is made up of tracks that feature in the band's incendiary live show (hence the title), and includes rare 7" and 12" mixes alongside the two new recordings and sleeve notes by DJ and writer Dave Haslam.
'Do The Du (Casse)' (1979)
'Wild Party' - 12" version (1985)
'Flight' - 12" version (1980)
'And Then Again' - 12" version (1980)
'Forced Laugh' (1981)
'Wonder Y' (1992)
'Mickey Way' 12" version, (1986)
'27 Forever' - 7" version (1991)
'Won't Stop Loving You' - Bernard Sumner mix (1990)
'Good Together' - 12" version (1990)
'Be What You Wanna Be' - 12" version (1990)
'Shack Up' - 7"> version (1980)
'The Fox' - US 12" version (1980)
'Knife Slits Water' - 7" version (1982)
'Si Firmir O Grido' (1986)
'Dirty Boy Extended' - featuring Barry Adamson (2018)
'Make It Happen' (2018)
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 ahead of this introductory style compilation, tying up loose ends of the band's history before next year's 40th anniversary, when a new box set of rare and unreleased material will see the light of day.
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".
31 Jan, 2019
The Hardwick Live Festival takes place on the 17th - 18th August, and features Primary Talent International artists:
...A Certain Ratio
...Cattle & Cane
30 Jan, 2019
A Certain Ratio are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. Along with a new box set, 'ACR:BOX' (released 3rd may). The band are touring the UK from May through till August.