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Graveyard Studios
(1978-1984)

I have included links to tracks that are found on Spotify (31 Tracks) or Youtube (68 rarer tracks) throughout the page, and collected them into these playlists. These represent the tracks confirmed as recorded/produced at Graveyard Studios, though may include some variations, e.g. radio broadcasts or other versions, and there are plenty of tracks suspected as being from Graveyard but not confirmed, so not included...yet...if you know better then get in touch through the contact menu on the left.

Graveyard Studios
(1979- May 1980)


[Jump to 1980]

A Certain Ration Recording Session,Graveyard Studios(?)

With thanks to Stewart Pickering, Colin Robinson, now of Jumble Hole Clough and with Ref to the MDM Archive thread here and Discogs.com plus other links below.

Musician and producer Stewart Pickering, lived in a house on Church Lane, Prestwich, not far from the Church Inn, the Church of St Mary's and of course, its graveyard. Stewart originally played lead guitar/vocal in duo he set up at school, with Desi Friel (father of Anna), that expanded to include Desi's brother Gerry, and Roger Scaife, into a band called Pegasus. Stew then set up Graveyard Studios in the basement of his house on Church Lane.

Stew Pickering appearing at the Lesser Freetrade Hall (1978)

AquaAqua later split to form Crispy Ambulance - see below

The Fall Psychomafia and Industrial Estate - filmed at Graveyard Studios.

Ref AnnotatedFall website

This is one of the earliest Fall songs, Mick Middles calls it a "tale of late night violence and terror," whereas The Story of the Fall hears a "condemnation of mental hospital staff." According to MES, courtesy of Reformation:

This song started out as a tribute to a local street-gang, but on completion of the lyrics, it took on a sinister aura - an aura of oppression, a sort of subconscious manifestation of events which were happening around the author at the time. The music, strangely enough, is a sort of tribute to the new RnB bands which were the only thing happening at the time of writing, i.e. early 1976.

The street gang may have been called "Sedgley Park Psychomafia," as Danny reports: Tony Friel's short lived website included an mp3 of Psycho Mafia annotated with "Sedgley Park Psychomafia (bus stop graffiti)", suggesting the phrase was something they saw - presumably the street gang wrote it.

Alternatively: From New Manchester Review, #53, dated 24 March 1978 to 6 April 1978, p8, interview with MES:

Both Mark and Una have attended Mental Patients' Union meetings at the local hospital, and have occasionally invited patients back to the flat.

On the lyric sheet which Mark copied out he wrote: "N.B. Psycho Mafia is about chemical straitjackets":

"No soul in the discos/No rock in the clubs/Won't let us into the pubs/And the city joys/Spitting on the streets/Shot heads and teeth/Our eyes are red/Our brains are dead/'Cos we know about chemicals and the Psycho Mafia/I'm talking about electrodes and the Psycho Mafia."

The Teardrops, a punk/new wave band, were set up in 1978, and initially recorded at Cargo Studios (Rochdale) and Arrows Studios (Manchester). But switched to Graveyard Studios shortly after it opened (1979-80).

The Teardrops

Steve Garvey (Bassist with Buzzcocks from 1977) formed the band around Trevor Wain, John Key, Dave Brisbane and John Donnelly, adding Tony Friel (TheFall, and of Heys Rd School,Prestwich) shortly after their first release, a 12" EP In And Out of Fashion .

There were also uncredited contributions from Martin Brahmah & Karl Burns (The Fall). The band's second release was a 7" single Seeing Double.

The FallThe Fall were a post-punk band set up by Mark E Smith in Prestwich in 1976. Mark had been born in Broughton in 1957, andhis family moved to Prestwich when he was 6 months old. The Fall produced 32 studio albums between 1979 and 2017. Mark died in Prestwich in 2018, and a mural of him can be found on Clifton Road. The video to There's a Ghost In My House, was filmed in The Woodthorpe, Prestwich.




The members of The Teardrops varied over the few years they were active before they stopped recording in 1980, after their third release, a 9 track album called Final Vinyl. Find a few of the tracks below.

A1 Everythings O.K.
A2 No One Is Innocent
A3 Count De BokBok
A4 Teenage Vice
B1 Meet The Teardrops
B2 Some People
B3 Slow Glass
B4 Fackin Kant
B5 Time To Go

The Teardrops

Bok BokGarvey went on to record with Karl Burns as Bok Bok releasing the 7" single: Come Back To Me/ Misfit

Also in 1979 was the release of a collection LP of 24 experimental tracks Dubious Collaberations recorded between 1974-76, but mastered at Graveyard Studios. This was a collaberation by The Noyes Brothers, aka The Two Stevens, Steve Solamar(Scrivener) and Steve Miro (Escott) and Chris Bribble, Martin Fruhstuck, Alan Robinson (manager of Electric Circus - where Warsaw first played before becoming Joy Division) and Keith Davis.Described as "A collage of improvisations full frequency claustrophobic sound"

Electric CircusPeter Hook remembers the gig in his book, Unknown Pleasures:
"On 29 May 1977, at the Electric Circus, the band played their first-ever gig, supporting Penetration and the Buzzcocks. Tony Wilson was in the audience, as well as Paul Morley, who by this time was writing for the NME and was impressed by Warsaw’s ‘twinkling evil charm’. ‘The bass player had a moustache,’ he later wrote. ‘I like them and will like them more in six months’ time.’ Photographer Kevin Cummins was also there, as well as Steve Shy of local fanzine Shy Talk; John the Postman, who led the crowd in a rendition of ‘Louie Louie’ at the end of the night; and punk poet John Cooper Clarke, who performed after Warsaw."


The Noyes Brothers

Steve Solamar discussing sessions at Graveyard Studios - LTM

Factory Records Blog

December 1979 saw the debut release The Graveyard And The Ballroom, from A Certain Ratio, recorded in Graveyard Studios and produced by Martin Hannett (of Factory Records).

The Graveyard And The Ballroom

The Graveyard And The Ballroom release (FACT16) was originally a 14-track cassette album, featuring studio demos one side, engineered at the Graveyard's 4 track studio, the other a concert recording from The Electric Ballroom, London, opening for Joy Division). Limited editions were released in orange, green, blue, and red "clutch bags", with varying inserts and the artists name emblazened in gold. The Track Flight, was released as FAC22

A Certain Ratio Recording Session

Interview - levisiteuronline

Factory the Story of the Record Label



The Cover of the FAC20 movie script - To Young To Know, Too Wild To Care (working title) shows an image of A Certain Ratio in a recording session (stood in front of a Durutti Column Poster) ...could this be the Graveyard Studio?

You can view FACT16 & FAC20 (and much more) at the "Use Hearing Protection" exhibition at Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester ( until January 2022)

Martin Moscrop discussing their debut recording - TheQuietus.com

A Certain Ratio - The Double Twelve Inch ‎(2x12", Comp) FAC42 & Do The Du (Casse) FACUS4 is also credited as being recorded at Graveyard, as was the breakthrough Indie hit Shack Up (1980)



2009 Jez Kerr Interview - Pennyblack Music

Shack Up video, (in front of the Durutti Column poster- is this Graveyard?)

2020 Jez Kerr Interview - Yorkshire Post

In 1979 a band called the Tiller Boys, featuring Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks) recorded a session at Graveyard, this was combined with a live recording (which Pete didn't attend (they called themselves the Freelancers for the gig) and released as a 12" LP -Big noise from the Jungle

The Tiller Boys

The Tiller Boys

[A1: Big Noise From the Jungle B1 : Slaves and Pyramids B2 : What Me Worry ?]

Pete Shelley described The Tiller Boys:

'More of a solo project by Francis Cookson. One side features live recording from Tiller Boys gig at YMCA London Barry Adamson, Eric Random, Francis Cookson. Other side studio recordings done at Graveyard Studio, Prestwich. Doodles by Francis.'

Tiller Boys at the Russel Club (June 1978), with bus routes listed ( by Linder)

Crispy Ambulance Debut Single

The school band Aqua (mentioned in 1978 above) split, and in 1979, some of its members went on to form Crispy Ambulance who recorded Motorway Boys, which later appeared on The Blue and Yellow of the Yacht Club, a cassette-only compilation of their early material. In January 1980 they released their debut single, From the Cradle to the Grave and Four Minutes From the Frontline.

Crispy Ambulance

The 7" was released in April 1980 as a double a-side on their own Aural Assault label, after Factory and Rough Trade had turned them down, but Rob Gretton (Manager of Joy Division & New Order) had encouraged frontman Alan Hempsall to set up his own label. The single quickly sold 1000 copies, but only sold half of a second pressing of 4000.

Alan Hempsall discussing their second release [ Ref

Their second single (10 inch FAC32) was recorded at Graveyard, released in 1981, titled Unsightly & Serene and contained Deaf/Not What I Expected and was released in 1982.



Heart And Soul Box Set Notes

Riot in BuryIn April 1980 Alan Hempsall along with Simon Topping of a Certain Ratio, appeared on stage with Joy Division at Derby Hall (TheMet), Bury, standing in for Ian Curtis. Ian had previously suffered an epileptic fit at a previus gig, and was now on medication. He had been dicharged from a psychiatric hospital for the gig, but he couldn't go on satge, the stand-in performance ultimately descended into a riot - an was portrayed in the Anton Corbijn film Control



The 1997 CD box set release by Joy Division, Heart And Soul contains a CD of rarities, the last two tracks, Ceremony/Little Boy (14 May 1980) and In A Lonely Place (April 1980) are credited in the box set to have been recorded in Graveyard Studios. (Ref: Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook, also House of Dolls), but other sources say the recording is from T.J. Davidson’s studio in Manchester.


Ceremony by New Order (1982)These two demo tracks recorded at Graveyard were later recorded by New Order and released as a 7" and 12" single in 1981, (FAC33) Ceremony/In a Lonely Place.



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- On the 18th May 1980, just 4 days after the recording at Graveyard Studios, Ian Curtis took his own life -

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Graveyard Studios
(May 1980-1984)



[Jump to 1979]

Factory Records continued to use Graveyard Studios during 1980, with the recording of FACT24 - A Factory Quartet, a casette release containing tracks from The Durutti Column ( see below) Kevin Hewick, Blurt, and The Royal Family And The Poor. Kevin, fresh out of University, had sent a demo tape to Factory Records. A month after Ian's passing, what was left of Joy Division (the JD's) were looking for a lead singer, Kevin's tape had impressed Tony Wilson sufficiently for him to offer Hewick the chance to record for the label, and a session took place on the 19th & 20th of June 1980. The resulting track, Haystack is attributed to "Kevin Hewit with New Order"

FACT24



Kevin Hewick discussing FACT24



Kevin Hewick discussing FACT24 - Uncut



You can watch an interview with Kevin about the recording session Here



LC - The Durutti Column



Another Factory artist was also at work in Graveyard during 1979/80, The Durutti Column. Founded in 1978, and the first artists to sign for Factory Records, soon became a solo project of Vini Reilly, and they stayed with the Factory label until 1992. After their first album "The Return of the Durutti Column", recorded with Martin Hannett, Vini Reilly purchased a TEAC four-track recorder from Bill Nelson and started to produce his own material. These demos were perfected by Reilly at Graveyard Studios with co-producer Stewart Pickering, with additional drums and percussion from the Gonzo Drum Master Bruce Mitchell.Their second album LC (which stands for "Lotta Continua" - the struggle continues) was released in 1981 as FACT44, with three tracks having appeared on FACT24 (see above).

Durutti Column, Vini Reilly, and Tony Wilson


Vini Reilly discussing sessions at Graveyard - LTM

Bruce Mitchell discussing sessions at Graveyard - LTM

Specifically the 5 tracks refered to above are : Danny (originally a 7" produced by Stewart Pickering for Sordide Sentimentale) and Enigma Never Known Jacqueline

and
The Missing Boy. (Tribute to Ian Curtis)

In 1980, Stewart Pickering sold Graveyard Studios and moved to Revolution Studios The Graveyard Studios were bought by Janice Johnston Howie , Andy Hieke and Colin Robinson half of the band Night Visitors. Steve Garvey (Buzzcocks) had produced some works of Night Visitors in Graveyard Studios, and the band used the house as a base for their record lable "Terminal". Steve Garvey of the Buzzcocks went to Heys Road School & lived in one of the houses that faced the Staff of Life pub on Rainsough Brow.

Night Vistors in the ruins of Buckley's Dye works

Buckley's Dye WorksBuckleys' Dye works and nearby clough house, stood at the bottom of Prestwich Clough. Read more Here


Night Vistors on the road bridge in Prestwich Clough

The Night Vistors play the Wilton Arms (1980)

Colin, who now has his own studios at Hebden Bridge Jumble Hole Clough recalls the band's time at Graveyard Studios:

"We decided to buy it, and moved in in June 1981.

We had already been involved in recording, and our initial idea was to continue running it as a studio and record other bands as well as ourselves. However, we soon found that recording other bands was tedious (and they didn't like paying!), so we just concentrated on our own music.

The house is a big outrigger terrace. The basement studio had been professionally designed and built; there was a control room with a window into the main studio area - which was a large room. The passage between the rooms doubled as a vocal booth, and there was a storage room too.

The rooms were all wood-panelled and looked very smart. The studio was a room within a room, with air gaps between the walls for sound proofing.

All the recording gear was taken out when Stewart Pickering left, so we used a variety of gear - mostly 4-track. We had our own recording gear, though we also hired in equipment when needed. We did some work with Martin Hannett, and hired a 4-track and desk from him. We also used to hire equipment from the band Sad Cafe.

We had some very good New Year's Eve parties at Graveyard - I remember one where Mark E Smith turned up with his mum and dad, and Nico from the Velvet Underground was there as well."

Mark E Smith Mark E Smith set up a post-punk band called The Fall in Prestwich in 1976. Mark had been born in Broughton in 1957, but his family moved to Prestwich when he was 6 months old. They produced 32 studio albums between 1979 and 2017. Mark died in Prestwich in 2018, and a mural of him can be found on Clifton Road

NicoNico, friend of Andy Warhol and Jim Morrison, sang vocals on the Velvet Underground's debut album, and used to live in the top flat of 22 Prestwich Park Rd South. Listen here: Sunday Morning Spotify or watch BBC's Inside out at Prestwich Park Rd. South


You can listen to some of the tracks from The Night Visitors 8 track casette, "English Electric" below:

A1 Sunshine Grenade
A2 Weigh It Down
A3 Generosity
A4 Metallic Blue
B1 Playing The Fool
B2 Ville & Sterile
B3 VIP Treatment
B4 Showbiz



Night Visitors



Night Visitors at the Band on the Wall (1980)



The band released several cassettes on the Terminal Music label, including: “Sale Ange” (1982):

A1 Sale Ange
A2 The Void
B3 It's Over
B4 Stocking

During 1980 there were several other releases from bands that had recorded at Graveyard prior to the sale of the studios:

The Modernaires

London based band called The Modernaires recorded some tracks for their album Ways of Living

The Passage

The Passage, recorded their album Pindrop Including tracks: Troops Out Locust 16 Hours A Certain Way to Go

(Surely that last title was a play on "A Certain Ratio"?)

The Noyes Brothers

The Noyes Brothers (also including Stewart Pickering) had recorded their double album Sheep From Goats

Artery

Artery recorded a double 7" EP Unbalanced / The Slide



Enigma

Also releasing in 1980 was Enigma, a Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Band. Enigma originally formed in 1978 and played gigs in the Middleton Area of Manchester. In 1980 the band released their one and only 7" EP called "I Aim to Bluff" featuring 4 songs. The title track was recorded at Bootleg Studios, but the other 3, Doctor, She Said and Wolf On The Mountain were recorded and produced at Graveyard Studios.

Enigma (says Graveyard was in Oldham), but we'll forgive that - the ancient Parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham

Enigma - could this be taken at Graveyard Studios?

In 1981 the band also released 3 demo songs that were never officially published, all recorded at Graveyard.(Of The Universe, Rock 'N' Roll Homicide, and Guitar Star).

1981 saw several bands releasing Graveyard material:

The Passage released Devils And Angels / Watching You Dance ‎(7", Single)

Accelerate With The Mercurian

The Mercurian- Accelerate With The Mercurian ‎(LP, Album)

Crispy Ambulance -Unsightly & Serene ‎(10", Single - see FAC32 above)

Gammer And His Familiars - Rocket Ticket ‎(LP, Album) & Won't Look Out... ‎(LP, Album) Including Tracks: Rocket Ticket Market Place Put Me In The Ad on TV No Room in My Head Fingers

Various - Do The Maru ‎(LP, Comp)

Released in 1982, Crosstalk A/V's 7" The Queue contained 3 tracks:

A The Queue
B1
No Earthly Reason
B2 Dear Peter, As You Are A Nice Person...



Sacred Alien

Heavy Metal band, Sacred Alien, formed in Manchester around 1980, and produced a tape of 4 tracks at Graveyard Studios in 1981, released on cassette as promo only (re-released 2021). Watch the link below for a recent performance.

1. Portrait

2. Eternal Flame

3. Energy

4. Both Sides of the Globe

Sacred Alien - Brofest 2020



At this point, use of the Studios seemed to drop off, the owners, The Night Visitors, had played their last gig in July 1981, at the Derby Hall in Bury, but continued recording at Graveyard until they went their own ways in 1984.

Their final release was a casette, Don't Look Out Of The Window, released in 1983, the title track is included here: 7 track samples (1. Don't Look Out Of The Window 2. It's Over 3. Generosity 4. Strategy 5. The Void 6. Showbiz 7. Sunshine Grenade)

Sadly, as other studios succeeded, some declined, the studio suffered from damp and mould due to lack of use and ended up being ripped out. Colin Robinson of The Night Visitors, and the last owners of the studios, recalls:

"Eventually, the band split up. I moved out in June 1984. After that, the studio wasn't being used. As the air wasn't being moved between the false walls, mould started appearing. Eventually, it appeared in a big way and all the studio had to be ripped out - which was a terrible shame, as it was a rather smart set-up. "

A discography listing for Graveyard Studios (with some omissions that I've come across and included above) can be found here