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the official distractions website

Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Unfinished business

The official release date of 12th May is still a month away, but 'Kindly Leave The Stage' (order direct from Occultation here) has already been garnering some lovely press. Here's a piece at Flight of Pegasus - Full Metal Radio:


    New album "Kindly Leave The Stage" out on May 12th!

    After achieving some sort of world record by leaving a 32-year gap between the release of their first and second albums – 1980’s 'Nobody’s Perfect' and 2012’s 'The End Of The Pier' – The Distractions have sped things up and now, after a gap of less than five years, release their third (and final) album, 'Kindly Leave The Stage'.

    The story of The Distractions – from Manchester punk era legends to critically-rated pop geniuses to a quarter century of silence, and then a more-than-slight return with a 21st century album of grown-up, wise, elegiac guitar music – is also the story of Mike Finney, one of the great blue-eyed soul voices, and Steve Perrin, a guitarist whose sense of melody and lightness is the perfect counterfoil to Finney’s emotional grit. Mike and Steve have been the core of The Distractions for 40 years, from the thrash of 'It Doesn’t Bother Me' and the Factory Records classic 'Time Goes By So Slow' to the maturity of 'The End Of The Pier' and, now, the superb 'Kindly Leave The Stage'.

    It’s been a long, strange trip. Not every band gets a third act. “The classic narrative structure is beginning-middle-end so three seemed like the right number,” says Steve. “Also I thought it was important to formally say 'goodbye', both to the fans and to each other.”

    Mike agrees. “It’s a fond farewell to each other, which had me in tears a few times. I hope it isn’t a deathbed confession, I’ve gotta whole lotta livin’ to do yet.”

    With the assistance of new(ish) Distraction Nick Halliwell, the band’s sound may be more introspective and stripped-down, but The Distractions are still The Distractions. “The Distractions have always been an unalloyed delight,” says Nick, and that sense of a band who are also a group of friends shines through here. From the Buzzcocks-via-Scott Walker wistfulness of 'Wake Up And Kiss Me Goodbye' to the gorgeous, Ray Davies-y 'The End Of The Pier', this is a record which mixes thoughtfulness with throwaway brilliance and melancholy with melody.

    “Nick asked me what the key word for the album was,” says Steve, “And I said 'resignation', in both senses. Although there's a real sadness in saying 'goodbye' to something that has been a hugely significant part of our lives I don't think it's all doom and gloom.”

    Mike adds, “I think that there was a lot of unfinished business after the first album, and I feel lucky that we got the chance to complete it properly.”

    The Distractions, not so much a great lost band as a great found band, are taking a final bow. Time to appreciate what they were and what they are.

    Thursday, April 6, 2017

    Heartaches will eventually pass

    Here's a lovely early review of 'Kindly Leave The Stage' from RareBird in the US:

    The Distractions - 'Kindly Leave The Stage' (2017)

    March 15, 2017

    The Distractions were an unjustly overlooked band from Manchester, England, who recorded only one full-length album, 1980's 'Nobody's Perfect', during their original run. They broke up in 1981 after failing to achieve commercial success, but there have been a number of Distractions reunions in recent years, featuring original singer Mike Finney and original guitarist Steve Perrin. A new lineup released a second Distractions album, titled 'The End Of The Pier', in 2012 -- 32 years after the debut album. And now, the Distractions are about to issue their third -- and, they say, final -- album, titled 'Kindly Leave The Stage', on May 12, 2017.

    Although the album’s official release date is two months away, the album can be pre-ordered from the Occultation Recordings website. Some of the packages offered also include a 10-inch vinyl EP called 'Go Dark', which is limited to 250 copies. There might still be time to obtain one!

    'Kindly Leave The Stage' was recorded over the course of three days in September of 2015. It was produced by Nick Halliwell, the head of Occultation Recordings, who also played guitar. The rhythm section consisted of Arash Torabi from Granite Shore on bass, and Ian Henderson from The Puddle on drums.

    'Kindly Leave The Stage' lies in the same basic mellow pop vein as 'The End Of The Pier', but is even more laid back, suggesting that Finney and Perrin had mellowed even further with age during the few years in between. The first two tracks (A Few Miles More and Last To Leave) have just a minimum of adult-alternative vigor. The rest of the tracks have a mostly understated tone, a middle ground between American country music and indie pop. The instrumentation moves at a relaxed and deliberate pace for most of the album. Aside from one striking side trip into baroque pop territory (Wake Up And Kiss Me Goodbye), most of the songs are of a melancholy nature, which has always been The Distractions' forte. But where vocalist Mike Finney once came across like a heartbroken young man, he now seems to sing from the point of view of an older man who has lived and learned, and who now realizes that heartaches will eventually pass. On songs such as The Fire and Nowhere, Finney sounds calmly accepting of the fact that passion fades away over time. The latter song possibly alludes to one of the early Distractions singles, with the lyrics: “I know we used to think that time went by too slow, Now there’s nothing left to do and there’s nowhere left to go”. Finney comes on like a moody Johnny Cash on The Connection’s Dropped Again, whose title sounds like a modern variation on Still It Doesn’t Ring. The overall tone of the album does support the claim that it is meant to be The Distractions' swan song, but it is not an overly emotional goodbye. Rather, it is painted as a sad but expected part of life. When the opening track contains a line like “I haven’t felt like this since Elvis Presley died”, it would suggest that Finney and Perrin certainly do hate to see The Distractions come to its final end, but they seem grateful to have been given the opportunity to issue a proper farewell. True to its title, 'Kindly Leave The Stage' serves as a quiet and graceful exit.

    Friday, March 24, 2017


    Here's the beautiful deluxe 'Kindly Leave The Stage' and 'Go Dark' package in all its glory:

    Top: 'Kindly Leave The Stage' outer sleeve,  'Kindly Leave The Stage' LP, 'Kindly Leave The Stage' outer and inner CD sleeve, 'Kindly Leave The Stage' poster, 'Go Dark' sleeve.

    Bottom: 'Go Dark' insert with sleeve notes from Steve Perrin,  'Kindly Leave The Stage' outer sleeve, 'Kindly Leave The Stage' CD, 'Kindly Leave The Stage' postcard, 'Go Dark' 10" mini-LP.

    Order quickly, as this is a very limited edition:

    'Kindly Leave The Stage':

    'The Distractions Go Dark':

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

    Poster and postcards

    The limited edition poster and postcards included with the deluxe edition of The Distractions' final LP, Kindly Leave The Stage, which comes with the 10" mini-LP, The Distractions Go Dark:

    Sunday, March 5, 2017

    The Distractions: A Few Miles More

    Here's a video of A few Miles more, the first track on Kindly Leave The Stage

    Incidentally, The Distractions Go Dark, the 10" mini-LP available as part of a very limited edition deluxe edition, includes the first ever release of a lost early Distractions classic, Adrian Wright's Nothing lasts. The mini-LP also features three beautiful acoustic versions of songs recorded at The End of the Pier sessions in June 2011, and two further outtakes from Kindly Leave The Stage.

    Kindly Leave The Stage + Go Dark ordering information.

    Occultation Recordings have just announced ordering details for their latest batch of releases, including The Distractions' Kindly Leave The Stage. Of most interest to fans will be the very limited (250 only) deluxe version which features the album on 180g LP and CD, plus the 10" The Distractions Go Dark mini-LP with an insert featuring sleeve-notes by Steve Perrin, a poster and a postcard. These are already selling fast. Click here for full details.

    We'll post a video of A few Miles more from the album shortly.

    Saturday, January 14, 2017

    Like buses

    The third and final album by The Distractions, 'Kindly Leave The Stage', was mooted last summer, and now it's our pleasure to confirm that not only has the test pressing been cut, but the CDs are now manufactured.

    'Kindly Leave The Stage' (YMIR7E1050; LP/CD/DL)

    A1. A few Miles more 
    A2. Last to leave 
    A3. Talking to myself 
    A4. What the Night does
    A5. The Fire 
    B1. Wake up and kiss me goodbye 
    B2. Nowhere 
    B3. The Connection's dropped again 
    B4. Tell them I'm not here 
    B5. The End of the Pier

    If that's not enough, then how about a test pressing of an exclusive mini-LP that will be available with copies of 'Kindly Leave The Stage' from Occultation Recordings and Fishrider Records? 'The Distractions Go Dark' is a 10" mini-LP comprising alternative versions of tracks from the last two albums. This test pressing will be a rarity as it's actually on 12" vinyl. 

    'The Distractions Go Dark' (YMIR7E1051; 10" mini-LP available as part of Deluxe package with 'KLTS')

    A1. Last to leave (18-string version)
    A2. Nothing lasts 
    A3. Skin 
    B1. Too late to change (acoustic) 
    B2. Girl of the Year (acoustic) 
    B3. Wise (acoustic)

    Ordering details will be announced by Occultation and Fishrider soon...

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