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MANICURED NOISE – Northern Stories 1978/80 (CD, Caroline True)

Posted: November 13th, 2006, by Crayola

The other night I was sitting in a pub with Rob Lloyd, catching up on news and gossip and discussing a project that we’re getting involved in.
“I got a copy of the Manicured Noise retrospective in the post this morning”, I slurred.
“You know – when I knew those guys back in the late 70’s I thought they were a theoretical band. You know, a bunch of friends who pretended to be in a group cos it sounded cool”, RL replied.
“It wasn’t until I was given a copy of the CD last week that I knew they’d even recorded anything.”

Last night I got round to listening to the album for the first time and it’s a gem.
New label on the block Caroline True have released it in a beautiful 6 panel digipak with lots of lovely photos and words and stuff – in fact it’s almost worth buying for the wrapper alone.

But I’d best talk about the music.

Manicured Noise were a 4 piece from Manchester – they existed between 1978 and 80 and made, I think, 2 EPs and recorded a BBC session.
They played a bunch of gigs at venues like The Factory in it’s Russell Club heyday and had some recordings produced by David Cunningham at This Heat’s studio, Cold Storage.

Now that’s a pretty neat bunch of info right?
Does it make you think “this might be interesting”?
Well it should.

Manicured Noise really liked Talking Heads.
And they really liked Ornette Coleman.
They were also partial to Chic and Northern Soul.

What the 18 songs on this retrospective do – what they certainly did for me – was make me smile.
A huge grinning, stupid-faced smile.
MN were a fantastic band – full of energy, nerve-y as hell, they do bear a remarkable likeness to early Talking Heads but there’s that Manchester violence seeping through.
The sax playing in skronky sex and the tunes stick in your brain.

So why weren’t Manicured Noise huge and famous and revered?
God only knows they should be.

Manicured Noise
Caroline True Records


Crayola's musical heritage stretches way back to having one of the most impressive record collections in Telford. Always on the outer limits of the most independent of independent music, he now co-runs Kabukikore Records and releases more records and CDRs than you can shake an obscure stick a t. And they have some nice packaging, too.

1 Response to MANICURED NOISE – Northern Stories 1978/80 (CD, Caroline True)

  1. Bill Grundy's ghost

    It’s a mystery to me too because the two Manicured Noise singles were superb and definitely deserved a wider audience. I’ll certainly be on the look out for a copy of this CD.