Manchester, England's Manicured Noise formed in 1978, but the very early days of the band remain a mystery. Given their name by prime Manchester scenester Linder, the group peddled a form of spiky and angular jazz/punk. Jeff Noon, acclaimed sci-fi, cyberpunk writer ("Vurt", "Nymphomation") was an early member of the group, adding to the group's retro-futurist edge. Inspired by Television, Talking Heads, August Darnell's Machine, French Soundtracks and Disco Chic along with a nod to Northern Soul and Moroder, the band cut a singular groove. Early hours inspiration from 70’s cop and Kung-Fu soundtracks were incorporated, a good 10 years or more before Massive Attack and Portishead did the same. In doing so, Manicured Noise created a sound that’s still difficult to pin down.
Guitarist and later period frontman Steven Walsh was an ex member of the Flowers of Romance, pre-Pistols vehicle for Sid Vicious, and various members of the Slits and Banshees. Steven brought an experimental and funky ethos to the band.
"Faith" (Pre/Charisma, 1980) was acclaimed on release, its Northern backbeat acknowledging the Manchester debt. A BBC session followed. Then, nothing. As Steven Walsh suggests: “Had we stayed together that little bit longer, who knows what might have been?"
"Northern Stories 1978/80", a Manicured Noise retrospective, will be released October 30th on Caroline True Records. The album collects for the first time almost all of their recordings including their two singles for Pre/Charisma Records, a BBC session and unreleased material.
Manicured Noise was:
Steve Walsh - Vocals and Guitar
Stephanie Nuttall - Drums
Jodie Taylor - Bass
Peter Bannister - Clarinet/Sax
Owen Gavin - Vocalist
Jeff Noon - Guitar
Go to the download page to get Manicured Noise - "Faith"