Believe In Magic Hour #24

On the 40th anniversary of his death, as well as the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, we remember Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.

Photo by Kevin Cummins

Joy Division: Darkness and Light by Bernie Connor

I saw Joy Division many times, they were the revelation of my eighteenth year, they stole everything I had and knew then re-arranged them in an order I may have been able to understand. I was very fortunate to collide with them in that very important part of my life, that difficult period between 17 and 18 when the receptors are looking out for new things to thrill and bend your mind and are working a double shift to find them. 

I met the guitarist by the cigarette machine in Eric’s one night in early 1979 after they’d just played. I told him my name was Bernard too, he gave me his phone number and told me if I wanted to go and see them to give him a call, he’d put me on the guest list. Thus started a year of disappearing from Liverpool and turning up wherever they were playing, hitching and jumping trains to wherever I needed to be. It was magical time of wonder and unshakeable possibilities. 

An entire generation later, it’s really difficult to convey what Joy division did to music during 1979. They had gone through a seismic shift in what they were all about, almost overnight. Gone was the punky thrash of the Stooges and the Pistols, in its place were soundscapes of otherworldly future-punk. A whole new music, with a whole new set of rules. And, without even thinking in that way, they were beginning to alter not only how people were perceiving music but how music would be played and performed in the future. 

Aah, the future. That’s where Joy Division lived, in this science fiction greyness which reflected the dark satanic mills status that Manchester was still locked into, nearing the end of the 20th century. They seemed inextricably linked, the drab greyness of their surroundings informing the music they created and the new environment they were inventing. 

And here are the young men, indeed. That sound. In the post punk universe where anything was possible, joy division took a route that set them out on their own, with no competitors in a field of one. Those four young men created a sound that resonates in my head to this very moment, it’s difficult to even think for a moment how life would be without that awe inspiring wall of sculptured noise. 

I saw Joy division many times, things spring up from place to place, I get confused as to which gig was which. One of the greatest spectacles in it all was the matinee performance at Eric’s in Liverpool in august of 1979. It was one of the greatest because they were utterly magnificent and more importantly there were children as young as 12, 13 years old in that audience getting a first hand account of the miracle properties of music and giving them signposts as to what to do and where to go later. 

Getting very towards the end they played at the original factory club, the PSV, Royce Road, Hulme. They organised a coach from Liverpool, the place was packed. I have a vague memory that they began with The Sound Of Music and finished with Atrocity Exhibition (possibly the other way round). In between was one of the most ferocious sets I ever heard them play. Everything that was to be loved about this band was there, ramped up to the power of a billion. The power, the unbending light, the sheer force of where music can and will take you if you just let go. 

Towards the end, even during the encore, Ian Curtis was a spent person, the energy of the performance completely draining him, the steam drifting in wisps fro his red short sleeved shirt. It was a truly astonishing performance, the creation of a new and viable world, right before your very eyes. 

Five weeks later it was all over, forever. Joy Division were no more. Yet, for a year in my formative story they were –and still remain- an uplifting wondrous force that gave me an understanding of an incomplete universe that had to be cracked so I could move forward. The members of Joy Division themselves were at odds with all that, of course. They still wanted to be the Stooges. 

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Moving Through The Silence: Celebrating The Life and Legacy of Ian Curtis


Tonight at 8PM UK time a livestream will be taking place to raise money for Manchester Mind. The livestream will host Joy Division members Bernard Sumner & Stephen Morris in conversation with Dave Haslam as well as live sets including a collaboration between Mark Lanegan and Wes Eisold of Cold Cave.


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Read about what mental health charity Mind do here, and consider donating to their cause during Mental Health Awareness Week.

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#Believe In Magic Hour 23


21 years ago today New Order’s manager – and a dear friend of Jeff Barrett’s – Rob Gretton passed away.

This piece was put up on Caught by the River back in 2009. Words from Jeff, Doves and a few from Bobby Langley.



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Flashback is an archive capturing the oral histories of acid house parties in Blackburn. It looks at the time between 1988 and 1991, with 7 hours of recollections from 33 participants.



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“In the summer of 1994, in a small town in central Scotland, best mates Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) head out for one last night of raving together before Johnno’s family move away. Shot partly on gritty black and white, Beats effortlessly taps into a youthful nostalgia for an endless party, and the counterculture movement of the 90s.”

The film is directed by Brian Welsh, Beats is adapted from Kieran Hurley’s acclaimed one-man stage show. Its soundtrack was compiled by Optimo’s JD Twitch, and features music from Model 500 (Juan Atkins), Liquid Liquid, 69 (Carl Craig), Sextant, LFO, LUMA, Plastikman and Leftfield.


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That’s all for this week! Back again on Monday x


Believe In Magic Hour #22

Liverpool new music and culture magazine Bido Lito! is celebrating 10 years in existence this month. So they’re giving us their three favourite things of the moment:


This issue came out on 27th February, which feels like an eternity ago! It was the last magazine that we published before lockdown, so it’s taken on a strange poignance for us. We’ve put out a magazine every month since May 2010 – in fact, we’ve just passed the 10-year anniversary of the first issue while in lockdown. It feels really strange as we were never set up to be a digital magazine. But you have to roll with the times! Hopefully we’ll be back in the usual groove soon enough.
The Orielles spoke to us in the run-up to the release of Disco Volador, and it was the second time they’d featured on our front cover. The previous time, in February 2017, they were just babies! They’ve really advanced since then, rocking out their own modern ESG vibe; they’ve obviously got so many strings to their bow, they’re a multi-dimensional band. The interview also came around the time of news of the passing of Andrew Weatherall – his dub version of Sugar Tastes Like Salt really opened up how much was going on in that Orielles sound. It’s hard to imagine them exploring the outer reaches of space that they have without this piece of insight from the Guvnor.

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A fellow Brasilophile and podcast nerd alerted me to this series on Twitter recently. It was recorded in 2006 with Brahma and took Gilles Peterson’s love of Brazilian music and threw him in to the middle of the culture to see how the music manifests itself. It’s really light and dynamic, built around the rhythms of samba, bossa nova and bailey funk. There are some great interviews that help bring out a real insight into the Brazilian way of live through there connection with music; it’s also not heavy on crate-digging, with lots of emphasis given to the music of contemporary Rio and Sāo Paulo. Even if you don’t have an existing love for Brazilian music, you can groove along and tap in to the Brazilian psyche with ease. It was done before the podcast boom, so it’s hard to find them all in one place – but the prkusuction is still great and feels as fresh as anything you’ll find today.


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While almost everything about this lockdown situation sucks, one bright spot has been the role creativity has played. People have turned to creating for distraction, expression, mental health benefits and communication. This Channel Four series will be a fantastic time capsule of people’s ingenuity in lockdown and the importance of art in a crisis. Seeing a variety of people getting creative in all manners of ways with limited resources is really heartening. It also remind us of the great work The Convenience Gallery with The Open Door Centre are doing here on Merseyside.


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That’s all from us. It would be remiss for us not to mention our Membership. As a free monthly magazine relying on advertising from festival, promoters, venues, bars and cafes, like for many people, this is a very trying time for Bido Lito!. We’re keeping on with regular stories on the website and a weekly e-newsletter with the best bits but we really need people to join our community of members to keep us going and ensure we survive to get back in print as soon as possible. If you can spare £7 a month and want some goodies – including a cool tote bag, end of year journal and an exclusive copy of our forthcoming Lockdown Zine (not to mention a wonderful magazine on your door step once a month – please considering becoming a Bido Lito! member


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Same time, same place tomorrow…


Believe In Magic Hour #21

The World According To Sly & Lovechild

The first ever Heavenly release, featuring this Andrew Weatherall remix, was released 30 years ago.

A Heavenly classic!

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4 To The Floor Records – Faith Fanzine Takeover

On a similar tip, Jeff recommends this playlist from Defected Records and the newly relaunched Faith fanzine.

About the relaunch, co-creator Terry Farley said:

Without roots a tree dies and if you can educate different generations on the foundations and roots of what we do, what we all are, then it’s a role worth having. This thing of ours goes back way back – back before any of us were clubbing and every DJ, every club whether that’s in New york or Newcastle leaves a legacy – it’s great to be able to give praise to that legacy.”

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Crack Cloud – Ouster Stew

Crack Cloud feature regularly on the Heavenly office stereo and on Token Girl DJs mixes, and we’re massively looking forward to their debut album proper, Pain Olympics.

Today they’ve released this new single and apocalyptic video, and put the album up for preorder. We’ve been eying up this particularly tasty looking Dinked Edition.

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Believe In Magic Hour #20

Songs For The Swinging Subversives (Andrew Weatherall Mixtape 1982)

Paul Mckee has shared a mixtape that Andrew Weatherall made for him personally in 1982 (Which would make Andrew 18 or 19 years old). It features lots of Vivian Stanshall spoken word pieces amongst great songs by Aztec Camera, Brian Eno, Orange Juice and more.

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Lazarus Kane – Night Walking

“”Night Walking” was originally written as a Bond theme for ‘Live And Let Die’ back in 1973, however it lost out to Paul McCartney and Wings, whose ingenious use of the surprise reggae section was the cherry on top for Sir Roger Moore. Although 47 years has passed, Kane has not let go of ‘Night Walking’ stating ‘I think I actually wrote this for Saturday Night Fever, but I ended up sending it to the wrong studio. My bad’. Now, with the wonders of modern technology, the song has been re-recorded and updated with the latest specs. Strap in people, it’s about to get weird.”

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London Underground in the 70s & 80s

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We love these classic Bob Mazzer photos of the London Underground. Check out more of them here.

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Believe In Magic Hour #19

We’re back with your 3pm dose of magic.

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We love these photos by Yuto Kudo and the interview with CHAI on SSENSE.

Mana: “I want this face to be famous. I can’t imagine a face like mine being famous, but if faces like ours can get to the top, then even Japan can change.”

Read the full interview here.

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From The Archive: Heavenly x Pete Fowler Monsterism Figure

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There’s Heavenly fans all across the world, even on Monsterism Island. Less than 100 of these Pete Fowler designed Heavenly Woodland Rangers were made, so it’s no surprise they’ve become somewhat of a collectors item, with one spotted on eBay for £180!

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Stranger Than Paradise Records on Morning Glory


Our friend James invited Sonny from Stranger Than Paradise Records to play some music on his Morning Glory show on Soho Radio last Friday.

Listen back here, with Sonny’s mix starting at 1:15:00.

The shop is still doing online business and offering free bike delivery within a 3 mile radius of the shop.

Read the shop’s entry on the Love Record Store Blog here.

Support your local record shop!

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Believe In Magic Hour #18

#BelieveInMagicHour is back!


Not strictly instrumental or ambient but you get the idea.

How does she sing like that? What is she actually saying?

It’s the pitchfork generation’s version of Vic and Bob’s club singer routine that they used to do on Shooting stars, but in reverse.

(Dan McEvoy)

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‘More In Common’ a poster by Jody McDowell-Barnes

Blue A3 Riso, Printed by Hato Press

All proceeds from the sale of this print will go directly to The Cares Family & CALM, two front line charities fighting lonliness and anxiety during COVID-19.



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The French House has hit the halfway mark!

“The French House has been the beating heart of Soho for over a hundred years. History has been made here.” And we can’t imagine a Soho without it.


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Same time, same place tomorrow…


Believe In Magic Hour #17

The clock strikes 3, and we return with three things we’ve been enjoying so far this week


Not only is Caio Wheelhouse a wonderful and extremely talented artist, he is also a dear friend of ours. He has created a beautiful playlist that will lift your spirits and give you a glimpse into his magical world. (Daisy)

Check out his work here

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Above The Line have created an online film club, discussing two films a week on instagram live video. So far they’ve had an incredible line-up for us with Maxine Peake and Dr Lisa Mckenzie.

Join them on Instagram stories this weekend as they discuss “The Perfect Storm” and “For Those In Peril” with BAFTA award winning director Mark Jenkin (Bait). Sunday, 7pm sharp.

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Directed by Barry Cockcroft, ‘A Romany Summer’ is a documentary on a travelling Romany family. Sir Montague ‘Cocker’ Smith, his wife Ellie and their five children wander around the country lanes of Yorkshire, rarely staying in one place for more than 24 hours.

“With their battered vardo, scruffy kids and assorted horses in tow, Cocker and Ellie are on an “endless odyssey”, visiting Appleby Fair, trying to eke out their own chosen life.”


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Same time, same place tomorrow…


Believe In Magic Hour #16

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Today’s Magic Hour is a Social Gathering special.

Our favourite hangout The Social has uploaded it’s upstairs booths to the world wide web, so we can still gather round and hear mad stories from all the amazing people that hang out there without leaving our homes. So far articles by Lias Saoudi (Fat White Family), Wendy Erskine, Jeremy Deller, Jonny Trunk and more have gone up, with more added every day.

Here are three favourites from the past few days.

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Shaun Ryder & The Salford Sioux


How did a group of Sioux tribe native Americans end up settling in Salford in the late 1800s? Who better to tell the story than Shaun Ryder, of course.

We love this animated film by Glenn Kitson and Will Murphy. Watch and read all about it here.

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Thoughts, connected, on Mayday by Anna Wood


Writer Anna Wood recalls being kettled by military police during an anticapitalist protest in Oxford Circus on May Day 2001, and pissing on a copper’s boot.

Read it here, and see also Brian David Stevens’ photos from that very day here.

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Sounds – Jeff O’Toole


Sadly Sounds From The Other City, Salford’s celebration of new music, performance and art, didn’t happen this year, for reasons obvious. Thankfully our pal Jeff O’Toole stepped in to fill the void somewhat with a fantastic playlist featuring some of the great bands he’s seen and discovered at the festival!

Read and listen here.


Believe In Magic Hour #15

Hello again. We hope you’ve all had a nice weekend and that these little bits of magic can brighten your Monday ✨

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Heavenly Recordings x Soho Radio

43F2678A-6B39-44C9-AD8A-403CA74F129D.jpgDaisy and Jeff represented the Heavenly Jukebox on Soho Radio yesterday, playing brand new music from Katy J Pearson and Unloved alongside recent favourites from Kutiman, Monophonics, Tara Clerkin Trio, Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble and more.

Listen back below.

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Ghost Town by Jeff Young

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Katherine’s been enjoying reading Jeff Young’s ode to Liverpool, Ghost Town. A brilliant review by Ade Blackburn of Clinic has been published on Caught by the River, where you can also read an extract from the book. Their online bookshop is also back open for business!

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Port Sulfur – Exploding Clockwork

Jeff shared this new track by Port Sulfur, an audio collective headed by Douglas MacIntyre (Creeping Bent Records, The Sexual Objects), on twitter. Katherine loved it so much it stayed on repeat even in her dreams!

Jeff: Rejoice part 2: Exploding Clockwork, a new track by Port Sulphur – co-written with James Kirk and sung by the legend that is Davy Henderson plus Katy Lironi. Video by
Grant McPhee. 

Katherine: This is flipping ace 🔥

Jeff: ain’t it great Katherine!

Katherine: I actually woke up thinking about how brilliant this track is 🙏 🔥

Jeff: What a way to start a day! Morning Katherine x

Katherine: I was trying to figure out if I had dreamt the lyrics in my dreams. What a tune! Morning!

Douglas MacIntyre: Thanks Katherine. James Kirk wrote the lyrics in the back of a car when we were travelling down from Glasgow to Salford for a Port Sulphur live session with Marc Riley. They are amazing – ‘I left my heart in Fenerbahce’…

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More again tomorrow…