Distractions "Black Velvet" EP (2010)

The Distractions were a band from Manchester, England who recorded only one full-length album called Nobody’s Perfect in 1980. In my view, that album is one of rock’s long-lost treasures. It was technically a “new wave” album which drew inspiration from three decades of music history before it, and had many moments of genuine emotional poignancy. For those of us who lament the fact that the Distractions had such a short and overlooked lifespan, it is exciting to learn that new and unearthed Distractions recordings are coming soon from the U.K. music label Occultation.

Here is what the Occultation site says about it all:

It is with enormous pleasure that Occultation Recordings would like to welcome Manchester's most unsung heroes, The Distractions. The band's first release for us will be the Black Velvet EP. This will be a digital download only but, as with other Occultation releases, we will be pressing a limited number of promo CDs and those of you who prefer to own a physical copy will have the chance to purchase these highly collectible items from us. The EP features three tracks recorded back in the mid 1990s by original core members Mike Finney (vocals) and Steve Perrin (guitar), with Nick Garside on bass and Bernard van den Berg (drums).

All tracks have been freshly restored, remixed and mastered by Nick Garside and sound simply stunning. Previews will appear on this website over the next few weeks and we'll start taking orders for the promo CDs once we have a definite date for their delivery. If that weren't enough - and frankly it's not - this EP will be followed by a new Distractions release, recorded in Liverpool in June 2010, again featuring Messrs. Finney, Perrin and Garside, this time working with Nick Halliwell from fellow Occultation artists The Granite Shore, aided and abetted by Richard Turvey of The Wild Swans - who also engineered the session - on keyboards and drummer Stuart Mann. We hope to release this on 12" vinyl around early November. The final part of the initial triptych of Distraction will be an archive album entitled Nothing. Precise content is still being finalised but we plan to include the band's first two singles, including both sides of the classic Factory (FAC12) Time Goes By So Slow / Pillow Fight '45 plus more of the mid-1990s material.

The official Occultation site now has streaming audio of the three complete songs from the Black Velvet EP, and also offers the three mp3s for sale. Also, limited edition promo CDs are available while supplies last.


The three songs on the Black Velvet EP were recorded in or around 1995, and have a surprising American country music feel to them. The six-minute title track (not to be confused with the Alannah Myles song of the same name) and the five-minute “If You Were Mine” are quietly powerful pieces of melancholy pop, both written by guitarist Steve Perrin. The other track, “Still It Doesn’t Ring”, is a remake of a song from Nobody's Perfect. The song has matured into a touching adult-alternative work, with a more country-influenced flavor than the original. The EP makes for a cogent 15-minute listening experience.

The Distractions “Black Velvet” EP (Occultation YMIR7DA007) 2010

Track Listing:

1. Black Velvet
2. Still It Doesn’t Ring
3. If You Were Mine

A previous blog post on the mid-'90's recordings:


The official Distractions website:



granata said…
Cheers for the blog, your support is much appreciated!