The Passage

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ahhh! the Passage.what a band!..good to here you are still doing it Andy..one of Britains finest unsung bands..first heard the band on Peel and through a desire to find out more on this intriging character on ORS by the name of DW..finest moment without doubt was "for all and none"..but others were up there too..who can forget "the half of it..twats/cissies"..both twisted tales of hatred and deviancey (sp?)..never got on with "pindrop" due to its wilful obscure mix. what we wanted was to read DW's "texts".. saw them live and was shocked by the fact that DW's main keyboards were Casio..at the time asssociated with home keyboards but in retro- spect perfect for the "natural sounds that the songs needed... (strings,piano,horns,etc..)get those reissues sorted ASAP.all classic LPs (and include the texts..I had to send off for those back in the 80s and well worth a read! I also remember going to my first job in 1982 wearing a home made passage t-shirt..a stencil I made from the siluoetttes on the lyricsheet from "for all & none" featuring Andys magnificent "oakey" fringe!!! hope you guys still get something out of the cherry red deal,tho' I doubt it..Seedy had a bad choice of tunes, i think..where was "The Great Refusal" fer christs sake!!:-). finally last time I saw DW was in a fetish club in Brighton..(1993) (shades of the Taboos cover..)where he had since written some books, was now Richard,sporting a fetching grey "tintin" haircut and his "partner" for the night was an mid change transexual!!! although I didn't have the front to ask him about the Passage..I felt this just summed up the pent up angst and sexually politics that the passage ALWAYS used in their material.... Good work Andy,Dick and Joey!!! Andy,if you can remember and/or want to elaborate..I'd love to hear what happened in those "Dark Times!;-) seeya! JA

james anderton, Sunday, 21 July 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dr. C - we never got to the bottom of that 'A Certain Way To Go' = ACR issue?

Ray Manston, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
Does anyone have a cassette/Mp3 file of "All or nothing"That i could beg/steal/borrow. Fave Passage gig"The Beach Club"1981 with the girl singer.Brilliant Gig!

Iain, Saturday, 10 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"For All and None"I meant. The "Joey Holts" has kicked in

IAIN., Saturday, 10 August 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
If anyone's still listening, go here:
http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/passage

Keith Nuttall, Thursday, 24 October 2002 07:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm there! Waiting for the rest.

Rezmole, Thursday, 24 October 2002 10:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Details of forthcoming The Passage re-issues, Source:
Darla Coming Soon

PASSAGE, THE BBC Sessions cd $13.50
LTM (UK)
COMING 3/3/03
One of the most undervalued of the post-punk bands to emerge from Manchester, The Passage were active between 1978 and 1983, producing four cult albums and a slew of singles. BBC Sessions traces the convoluted history of The Passage through their several radio broadcasts. The first John Peel Session, from November 1980, features short-stay vocalist Lizzy Johnson, and catches the band in transition. The second and third Peel sets, from October 1981 and May 1982 respectively, feature two otherwise unrecorded tracks in Rod of Iron and Form and Void. The collection also includes the very last studio recordings made by The Passage, in the shape of a Janice Long session recorded in February 1983 with their aid of a brass section and harp player. Included is another unrecorded song, Sing the Praise. The Passage recorded a total of four albums: Pindrop (1980), For All and None (1981), Degenerates (1982) and Enflame (1983), as well as the several BBC Sessions. All will be reissued on CD format for the first time by LTM over the next few months. The discs have been digitally remastered with extra tracks and the sleevenotes feature a detailed history of the band.


PASSAGE, THE Pindrop cd $13.50
LTM (UK)
COMING 3/3/03
One of the most undervalued of the post-punk bands to emerge from Manchester, The Passage were active between 1978 and 1983, producing four cult albums and a slew of singles. Pindrop, their dense first album, originally appeared in 1980 on the Object label and has been unavailable for two decades. Here, Passage mainman Richard ‘Dick’ Witts performs most of the material. Stand-out tracks include Watching You Dance, Troops Out and the powerful 16 Hours. Although Pindrop was recorded in less than a week in an 8 track studio, its rough edges and tense, claustrophobic atmosphere all underpin the central lyrical theme, which is fear. The eight bonus tracks include all material from their first two ultra-rare eps, featuring ex-Fall bassist Tony Friel. The Passage went on to record another three albums, namely For All and None (1981), Degenerates (1982) and Enflame (1983), as well as several BBC Sessions. All will be reissued on CD format by LTM over the next few months. Pindrop has been digitally remastered with extra tracks and the sleevenotes feature a detailed history of the band. Reviews: “With Pindrop, The Passage can be accepted as major. It’s a work of disciplined, intellectual aggression, frantic emotions and powerfully idiomatic musicality. It’s as shocking a beautiful nightmare, as stormy and aware a debut as Unknown Pleasures. It’s the shock of the new – new shades, textures, noises, pulses, atmospheres and energies” (Paul Morley, NME, 1980)

PASSAGE, THE Degenerates cd $13.50
LTM (UK)
COMING 5/12/03
One of the most undervalued of the post-punk bands to emerge from Manchester, The Passage were active between 1978 and 1983, producing four cult albums and a slew of singles. Degenerates, their third album, originally appeared in 1982 on Cherry Red. Here, Passage mainman Richard ‘Dick’ Witts is joined by guitarist Andrew Wilson and short-stay drummer Paul Mahoney. Stand-out tracks include the well-known single XoYo (almost a chart hit!), Born Every Minute and Love Is As. The seven bonus tracks include the non-album singles Wave and Taboos, as well as rare b-side tracks such as Angleland and Animal In Me. Reviews: “Degenerates is the most complete pop record I’ve heard for three years. Dick Witts is the investigative ferret you hope will never turn up if you’ve got something to hide” (Melody Maker, 5.82); “Degenerates isn’t standard pop, but intelligent and radical music” (The Leveller, 5/82); “Witts is in danger of becoming the Chic of the avant-garde, and that’s intended as a compliment” (Time Out, 5/82); “The sophisticated subversion is mostly fabulous, fascinating stuff” (Smash Hits, 5/82) The Passage recorded a total of four albums: Pindrop (1980), For All and None (1981), Degenerates (1982) and Enflame (1983), as well as several BBC Sessions. All will be reissued on CD format for the first time by LTM over the next few months. The discs have been digitally remastered with extra tracks and the sleevenotes feature a detailed history of the band.


PASSAGE, THE Enflame cd $13.50
LTM (UK)
COMING 5/12/03
One of the most undervalued of the post-punk bands to emerge from Manchester, The Passage were active between 1978 and 1983, producing four cult albums and a slew of singles. Enflame, their fourth and final album, originally appeared in 1983 on Cherry Red. Here, Passage mainman Richard ‘Dick’ Witts is joined by guitarist Andrew Wilson and drummer Joe McKechnie. Stand-out tracks include Sharp Tongue (also a single), Horseplay and the powerful Sunburn. The song Drugface was later heavily sampled by Moby for his 1991 single Drug Fits the Face. The six bonus live tracks are taken from a powerful in-concert set recorded for BBC Radio One at the Ritz in Manchester in October 1982 Reviews: “This album exists to provoke questions, and the Passage are capable of composing a melody or two, and catchy ones at that” (NME); “Quite superb – a rumbling drum swing collides with spikey pop electronics. Undoubtedly the most successful fusion of avant-garde and dance styles” (Time Out); “Brilliant and uncompromising” (Masterbag) The Passage recorded a total of four albums: Pindrop (1980), For All and None (1981), Degenerates (1982) and Enflame (1983), as well as several BBC Sessions. All will be reissued on CD format for the first time by LTM over the next few months. The discs have been digitally remastered with extra tracks and the sleevenotes feature a detailed history of the band.


PASSAGE, THE For All and None cd $13.50
LTM (UK)
COMING 5/12/03
One of the most undervalued of the post-punk bands to emerge from Manchester, The Passage were active between 1978 and 1983, producing four cult albums and a slew of singles. For All and None, their rare second album, originally appeared in 1981 on their own Night and Day label. Here, Passage mainman Richard ‘Dick’ Witts is joined by guitarist Andrew Wilson and drummer Joe McKechnie. Stand-out tracks include Dark Times, Hip Rebels and Lon Don. The four bonus tracks comprise all tracks from the two ultra rare Night and Day singles Troops Out and the superb Devils and Angels, the latter featuring short-stay vocalist Lizzy Johnson. Reviews: “Dense and irregular” (NME); “Easily among the front runners for album of the year – a varied collection of melodic songs with both tension and depth plus lyrics that successfully avoid the twin pitfalls of either preaching or propaganda” (The Face); The Passage recorded a total of four albums: Pindrop (1980), For All and None (1981), Degenerates (1982) and Enflame (1983), as well as several BBC Sessions. All will be reissued on CD format for the first time by LTM over the next few months. The discs have been digitally remastered with extra tracks and the sleevenotes feature a detailed history of the band.

DJ Martian (djmartian), Saturday, 11 January 2003 20:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

..is DR C looking forward to these CDs

DJ Martian (djmartian), Monday, 13 January 2003 14:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

when is a succession of more than five singles, say, not considered a "slew"?

mark s (mark s), Monday, 13 January 2003 14:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

is Dr.C looking forward to 'em? does a bear et cet...? *winky face*

Jeff W, Monday, 13 January 2003 14:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hey, he's not the only one y'know.... :)

Snowy Mann (rdmanston), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 02:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

To rephrase....

:)

Snowy Mann (rdmanston), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 02:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

LTM never fail to amaze

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 02:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hurrah for The Passage, back in fashion! Hurrah for the LTM / Darla rereleases, courtesy of that nice man James Neiss! Hurrah for the new website, Dancing Through Dark Times! Hurrah (eventually) for the essay I've promised to write for them! Hurrah that Andy Wilson was on this thread, beaming in from Ibiza! And hurrah for Dick Witts, who, on September 11th 1999, came to a little show I gave in Borders, Oxford Street, London, and posed for a photo with me holding up a decorating book!

http://www.demon.co.uk/momus/momuswitts.jpeg

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 03:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

So how come Dr. C hasn't posted yet? Has he exploded in sheer happiness?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 03:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

HAIRY ARMS

zemko (bob), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 11:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(5/12/03 is this uk style dates, so december yes? or retarded american style?)

zemko (bob), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 11:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dr.C's in DanPerryville at the mo' i think. but i'm sure we can keep this thread going until he gets back

*stares out the window*

zebedee, Tuesday, 14 January 2003 13:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Passage info is taken from the darla website, therefore American !

DJ Martian (djmartian), Tuesday, 14 January 2003 13:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've gone off them now.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 16 January 2003 17:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I figured. I hate MBV now too.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 16 January 2003 18:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm planning to go off them as soon as they become more popular.

Snowy Mann (rdmanston), Thursday, 16 January 2003 18:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yay yay yay!
I'm excited too! I learned about The Passage last semester when I did a synth-pop specialty radio show - but Degenerates is the only thing I've ever heard by them. Clarke B. got me the LP for Christmas so I've been enjoying that, but I'm excited to see all the other albums getting re-released as well (along with bonus tracks!).
Hurrah for LTM/Darla.

Emily (emily), Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I went off them before Dr C.

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I like them again now it's Friday and I'm back home.

The BBC sessions one looks good, and I'll prolly get Pindrop as don't have it any more. I see LTM are also releasing Crawling Chaos's magnificently stupid 'The Gas Chair'. This was one review :

In the NME Adam Sweeting wrote: “They played so badly for so long that a phone call to McWhirter and his Book of Records would surely have been received favourably. Ineffectual doodlings on guitar and keyboards became ends in themselves. A guest singer stood at the microphone and coughed for several minutes. Nobody danced or even twitched a leg. The bloke at the mixing desk read the Evening Standard and someone next to me asked the time before falling asleep. Anyone who needs this garbage is probably already dead.”

They were great!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 17 January 2003 09:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

May I be the last to say

'FUCK THE NME!!!!'

(if they still exist).

Momus (Momus), Saturday, 18 January 2003 23:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

when the hell did adam sweeting write for the nme?

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 19 January 2003 01:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dunno - but I just cut n pasted this from the LTM site. They might be wrong.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Sunday, 19 January 2003 15:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Good to see the interest in the passage and the upcoming re-releases.
I've enjoyed digging out all the old tapes -radio sessions etc [good job as it took sometime]. It'll be interesting to hear what people make of the less familiar stuff.'whatcha mean that'll be all of it then!'
joe

joe mckechnie, Monday, 20 January 2003 20:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Holy shit - we only need Witts to post and we've got all three!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 20 January 2003 20:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The re-release program should be titled 'This we will repeat for the hard of hearing'.

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 21 January 2003 12:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

What song was that from? Was it Clear as Crystal from Enflame? It's bugging me!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Tuesday, 21 January 2003 14:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes.

Snowy Mann (rdmanston), Tuesday, 21 January 2003 17:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I remember a fantastic gig from my time in Manchester, with The Passage and The Nightingales (another neglected giant of a band) on the same bill. A PR cock-up meant few knew it was on and about 50 of us saw Dick Witts rave on and on about whomsoever made the mistake with advertising - however, the adrenaline pumping through his veins made him a fantastic stage presence that night.

Peter Collins, Friday, 14 February 2003 17:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
Anyone got any of re-releases yet? I bought Pindrop yesterday - 14 extra tracks including the first 2 Object EPs and a 6-track Piccadilly Radio session. Pindrop sounds a lot more accessible than i remembered, but still not like anything else ever. The second Tony Friel-era EP is utter genius. Haven't got onto the radio session yet.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 30 May 2003 12:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I hope to finally get some of these tomorrow at Amoeba...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 30 May 2003 12:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Do so!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 30 May 2003 12:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Assuming Amoeba keeps their LTM rereleases in stock as they usually do, it will be no problem! (After that, I need them early Simple Minds reissues...)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 30 May 2003 14:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

LTM has gone crazy recently. I want him to stop so I can catch up!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 30 May 2003 14:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Okay, so -- I did in fact get all five Passage discs (and the first six Simple Minds, but anyway). And while I have yet to listen to them, I read the accompanying essay reprinted in each CD's booklet and note with delight and amusement that these selections upthread from Momus:

One of the greatest, yet least known of 80s groups. I bought their fantastic debut album, 'Pindrop', on Object Records, in, I think, 1980 after hearing one track on Peel. The album (slightly murkier, more introverted and mysterious sounding than later releases) was like nothing else being made at the time. Totally electronic, spooky, intelligent, political, passionate as hell, like Laurie Anderson crossed with The Fall.

'Degenerates' and 'Enflame' are also great records, Brechtian politics melded to angular, caustic lyrics. The Passage were very unEnglish in their willingness to write about sex and politics. Check out songs like 'Angleland' and 'Wave'.

Witts started as tympanist for the Halle Orchestra, and now writes books (he published a critical survey of the history of tbe Arts Council a couple of years ago). I've met him a couple of times. I saw The Passage live in Edinburgh. Witts performed in a blood-spattered white T shirt. There were about fifteen people in the audience.

I think you'd have to see them as libertarians in a peculiarly Protestant mode, like Quakers or Methodist radicals or something. Witts was obsessed with Manchester police chief James Anderton to an unhealthy degree.

...were quoted almost verbatim. Hurrah for Mr. James Nice of LTM doing some net scrounging/lurking here, but please speak up and tell us more about what you want to reissue on LTM. And mention ILX by name! ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 2 June 2003 03:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

James Nice lurks here? JAMES YOU ARE THE REISSUE GOD

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 2 June 2003 04:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Blimey - no holding back Ned as he hoovers up the Passage's body of work. I shall buy the BBC sessions in a week or so, but will stick with beloved vinyl for the rest.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 2 June 2003 08:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm finally listening to Pindrop. My goodness what a strange (and wonderful) album.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 12 June 2003 21:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It is. I'm playing it constantly at the moment - I'd regarded it as the least essential of their albums, but maybe it's the best? The *sound* of the whole thing is amazing - the atmosphere is so unsettling, yet there is definitely some great pop ideas lurking there - 'Carnal', 'Troops Out'. I first heard Pindrop in the summer of 81 and the opening track 'Fear' still has *exactly* the same effect as it did back then - a stark 'what the f*ck is going on here' feeling as those drums rumble out of the speakers and Witts menaces. The keyboard sounds! I have to get a sample of the opening sound on '2711' for use with my own band! I wonder what keybds he used - no-one has ever come close to most of the tones and textures they came up with. The Tony Friel era stuff on the Cd is also grebt - 'Taking My Time' particularly - I love the way the cello comes out of nowhere at the end. Also the Stuart James session - a much more clean n conventional sound, but really powerful.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Oh I forgot to say - latest from LTM : http://www.ltmpub.freeserve.co.uk/ltmnews.html

Quando Quango and Artery coming up later in the year!! - along with shitloads of other good stuff. A NEW album by LUDUS!! My goodness!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I saw two the Passage LP's in a 2nd hand shop yesterday, v. reasonably priced. Reading this thread I think I'll return to buy them asap.

willem (willem), Friday, 13 June 2003 07:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Quando Quango and Artery coming up later in the year!!"

Artery were brilliant so I'm looking forward to that one.

Quando Quango 'though.... I remember the name but I haven't got anything by them and can't seem to place them. What were they like Dr. C?

Oh and are you going to see Ari Up at Camden Underworld next thursday???

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 13 June 2003 07:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hi Stew! QQ were ace I reckon, although no-one else seems to like them. They featured Mike Pickering and were a sort of more commercial, more electro version of ACR with less gloom. Genius is prob. the best known track - early House, very Hacienda 1983 & so on... I love the album too.

Artery were a wierd bunch - I can't remember the name of the singer. What was it? Ah - Mark Gouldthorpe? I hope LTM will re-release 'One Afternoon In A Hot Air Balloon' too.

Ari-up : I saw the other thread. Probably not, as i have a darts match to play. If it's cancelled then possibly. Enjoy it!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 13 June 2003 07:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i'm quite keen on the upcoming BeMusic productions compilation LTM are doing..

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Friday, 13 June 2003 11:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Pigs and battleships is pretty good, but nothing on it is reaches the splendour of Love tempo. Do LTM reissues have bonus tracks, remixes etc? Cos' then it would be worth investing in a copy.

Incidentally it probably has the worst sleeve for anything released on Factory, Peter Saville must have been on his holiday's.

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Friday, 13 June 2003 16:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Pity, since only a compilation exists as far as I know.

Read upthread, my friend -- everything's been rereleased on CD. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 1 April 2006 13:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
can't remember if i mentioned this already but i've set up a passage page on myspace.
www.myspace.com/thepassageuk
from there, if you so desire, you can find pages for benny profane and buffalo recordings.
be interesting to see if people still look at this here page.

joe

mckechnie (joe profane), Sunday, 12 November 2006 16:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They do indeed!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 12 November 2006 17:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

apart from you ned! you look at everything.

mckechnie (joe profane), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 13:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Heheh

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 13:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Because they're on Facebook don't you know

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 15:30 (eight years ago) Permalink


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