Distractions official website
There is now an official website for the Distractions, a late-‘70’s, early-‘80’s quintet from Manchester who sadly disappeared after recording only one overlooked album in 1980. That album was Nobody’s Perfect, one of rock’s lost treasures. (My review of the album is here). The official site is still under construction as of this writing, but it already contains a welcome wealth of information about this little-known band. The site is located at this address:
The most amazing feature of the site is the inclusion of sound clips of five demo recordings from 1995. According to the site, original Distractions singer Mike Finney and guitarist Steve Perrin formed a new quintet with the same name at that time, and “played half a dozen gigs in and around Manchester and Liverpool”. They also recorded studio demos, and five of them can be heard on this page:
Surprisingly, these songs sound very much like modern American country music. Still, this description of the original Distractions sound still applies: vintage-sounding pop with a melancholy undertone. The six-minute “Black Velvet” (not the Alannah Myles song) and “Where Were You When I Needed You?” are the most solid tracks among the five, showing that Finney and Perrin were still able to convey musical emotions with subtle power. “Good Girls Don't Get To Paris” was written in 1979 but never recorded until 1995; the demo contains enough guitar feedback to remind us of the Distractions’ new wave origins. The other two tracks, “I Thought You Were Dead Josephine” and “The Land Of Opportunity”, are rougher samples, but both had the potential to be fully developed into strong songs. For those of us (including myself) who never knew that the Distractions ever existed after 1981, these 1995 recordings are a fascination.