Black Monday - The Last Days of FAC251, The Factory Records Office

First things first, this documentary charting the final days of the mighty Factory Records, twenty years ago this very month (the axe fell on November 23rd, in fact), is far, far too long. On the plus side, "Johnny-on-the-spot" Tosh Ryan and film crew - who got a tip-off alerting them to the fact that Factory Records was going into receivership - poke their hand-held camera into every available face coming and going from the office, including Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton and Alan Erasmus.

The film then takes us around the deserted office space and certainly the footage of the empty, detritus strewn rooms looking woefully forlorn, littered with discarded vinyl, includes shots of the infamous 35,000 boardroom table and nicely brings home the speed with which everything collapsed. The film makers then return eighteen years later for the rebirth of the office space as the FAC 251 venue, which opened in 2010, fronted by Peter Hook. With some judicious editing this could have been an indispensible look at the fall from grace of one of the 1980s most innovative labels, but it still captures a moment in time that will be of interest to anyone with a love of the label and the Manchester scene of that era.

The Oracle

Total Music Magazine, December 2012

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