July 22, 2009
Of all the artists that Factory managed not to turn into household names (and there are many – Section 25, Kalima, The Wake, Durutti Column, Crispy Ambulance…. ) Stockholm Monsters seemed to suffer the most from the dogged anti-promotion. Maybe that’s unfair to Factory, who else would have taken a chance with a band who didn’t neatly fit into any genres, who were too early for the scally fame of the Mondays and Oasis, too late for the Joy Division bandwagon, too often accused of being New Order imitators. Tony knew, “I loved them and couldn’t sell them”.
My bizarre introduction to them was when I saw them support New Order at the Brixton Ace in the early 80’s. Halfway through a mesmerising set the guitarist unstrapped his instrument and slung it full pelt at a gang of skinheads in the audience, laying one out cold. The band walked off, no explanation, no apologies. So much for the fey image of Factory bands.
I bought Fairy Tales and Happy Ever After, catchy playground tunes, great Mark Farrow sleeves. Next came their finest hour, the stunning Miss Moonlight, Lindsay Anderson’s haunting trumpet giving the band a new melancholy. Other records followed over the years, Militia being the highlight – the Killers 20 years too early. None sold. The Monsters faded away finally giving up in 1987 with a sign off rap/rant at the end of Partyline.
LTM keep the memory alive releasing compilations and rarities. One of Factory’s buried treasures.