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Play hard

Dave Haslam, 20 October 1994

The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings on Rock Music 1972-93 
by Nick Kent.
Penguin, 338 pp., £9.99, May 1994, 0 14 023046 7
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... Nick Kent is described on the cover of The Dark Stuff as ‘the living legend of rock journalism’. His status as legend is less to do with the quality of his writing than with his wilful mirroring of the self-destructive, drug-centred lives led by the rock stars he writes about. Kent made his name in the mid and late Seventies as a strung-out stringer, the suburban boy getting high with Keith Richards, hanging out at backstage drug binges, and – on one memorable occasion – being beaten about the body by Sid Vicious wielding a rusty bicycle chain ...

Diary

Dave Haslam: Post-Madchester, 25 February 1993

... Friedrich Engels described the scene in the centre of Manchester on a Saturday night: ‘Intemperance may be seen in all its brutality. I have rarely come out of Manchester on such an evening without meeting numbers of people staggering and seeing others lying in the gutter.’ The habits of the citizens of Manchester are unchanged. Going out is still a high priority; so is intemperance ...

Punk-U-Like

Dave Haslam, 20 July 1995

The Black Album 
by Hanif Kureishi.
Faber, 230 pp., £14.99, March 1995, 0 571 15086 1
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The Faber Book of Pop 
edited by Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage.
Faber, 813 pp., £16.99, May 1995, 0 571 16992 9
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... Pop music in Britain is almost forty years old. By 1957 ‘Rock around the Clock’ had opened a generation gap, London-based record labels like EMI, Decca and Pye had started to refine the art of hit-making, and Manchester had an import record shop bringing American rhythm and blues direct to Northern youth. By the mid-Sixties Jamaican sound systems in South London, Birmingham and the North of England were playing the bluebeat and ska records that marked the ripening of reggae ...

Strangeways Here We Come

Dave Haslam: Ecstasy, 23 January 2003

The Promised Land: Travels in Search of the Perfect E 
by Decca Aitkenhead.
Fourth Estate, 206 pp., £12.99, January 2002, 1 84115 337 0
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... The 1990s were characterised by the astonishing market penetration of products such as mobile phones, Microsoft Windows and Starbucks coffee shops, but an even more remarkable example of booming sales and global spread is the massive rise in the consumption of Ecstasy. In 1988 Ecstasy was a secret; now it’s a cliché. In the first few months of 1988 the number of Ecstasy tablets taken during a weekend in Britain was probably something like three or four thousand ...

Hard Beats and Spacey Bleeps

Dave Haslam, 23 September 1993

Will Pop Eat Itself? Pop Music in the Soundbite Era 
by Jeremy J. Beadle.
Faber, 269 pp., £7.99, June 1993, 9780571162413
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Present Tense: Rock & Roll and Culture 
edited by Anthony DeCurtis.
Duke, 317 pp., £11.95, October 1992, 0 8223 1265 4
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... In October 1991 Moby baffled Top of the Pops with a performance of ‘Go’, a dance record – a techno dance record – and solo composition by Richard ‘Moby’ Hall, created on his computer at home in New York. During its almost lyric-less six minutes and 30 seconds of fast beats, atonal bleeps and melodic keyboard lines, you hear ‘go’ shouted 37 times, ‘yeah’ 23 times, and ‘hold tight’ (I think) seven times; these words have been recorded from various sound sources, manipulated, edited and spat out again by a digital sampler ...

77 Barton Street

Dave Haslam: Joy Division, 3 January 2008

Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs of Kevin Cummins 
To Hell with Publishing, 189 pp., £200, December 2007Show More
Joy Division: Piece by Piece 
by Paul Morley.
Plexus, 384 pp., £14.99, December 2007, 978 0 85965 404 3
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Control 
directed by Anton Corbijn.
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... In the 1970s and 1980s, journalists and TV producers looking to capture the full extent of Britain’s industrial and manufacturing decline would go to Manchester in search of empty warehouses, derelict workshops and canals clogged with debris. During the same period of post-industrial ruin, several influential bands formed in the city – The Fall and Joy Division in the late 1970s, The Smiths a few years later – and although they differed greatly in their sound and their ways of seeing the world, in each case it seemed as if the bleakness of the failed landscape around them was seeping into their music ...

What the Twist Did for the Peppermint Lounge

Dave Haslam: Club culture, 6 January 2000

Adventures in Wonderland: A Decade of Club Culture 
by Sheryl Garratt.
Headline, 335 pp., £7.99, May 1999, 0 7472 7680 3
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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey 
by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton.
Headline, 408 pp., £14.99, November 1999, 0 7472 7573 4
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Saturday Night For Ever: The Story of Disco 
by Alan Jones and Jussi Kantonen.
Mainstream, 223 pp., £9.99, April 1999, 9781840181777
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DJ Culture 
by Ulf Poschardt.
Quartet, 473 pp., £13, January 1999, 0 7043 8098 6
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Energy Flash: A Journey through Rave Music and Dance Culture 
by Simon Reynolds.
Picador, 493 pp., £12.99, July 1998, 0 330 35056 0
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More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction 
by Kodwo Eshun.
Quartet, 208 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 7043 8025 0
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... The artistic and creative importance of hip hop, house and techno has been clear for over a decade, but its more recent commercial strength has made dance music unignorable. Money talks. Hip hop was recently the subject of a three-part TV series which made much not just of the creativity and longevity of the music – it had its origins in New York in the late Seventies – but also its current position as the highest grossing music genre in the world ...

Bringing Down Chunks of the Ceiling

Andy Beckett: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City by Dave Haslam, 17 February 2000

Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City 
by Dave Haslam.
Fourth Estate, 319 pp., £12.99, September 1999, 1 84115 145 9
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... precincts. It is hard to see this as entirely bad, but it might be making these cities blander. Dave Haslam sometimes thinks it is. Towards the end of Manchester, England, a history of the city’s popular culture when it still could be described as unruly and unique, before it became comfortably Europeanised, before the delicatessens took ...

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