Since the late 1970’s, Graham Massey has been an ever-present force in Greater Manchester’s music scene. From his ventures of the New Wave era: the short-lived Post Natals and decade-spanning outfit Biting Tongues, to 808 State and all-star electro-acoustic ensemble Toolshed – there’s a wealth of tremendous music owing to his creative endeavour.
Massey first played at Band on the Wall in the late seventies and has made numerous appearances at the venue since. He directed a period of monthly residence with Toolshed during the late nineties, which saw artists such as Jah Wobble, Autechre and Kieran Hebden (better known as Four Tet) among those to join them on stage.
He recently described the venue as ‘a sort of music church’ and having attended as a music-loving onlooker as well as performer, it undoubtedly holds many musical memories for him. We were overjoyed to see that Graham had delved into his archive to assemble a new mix, consisting of live recordings from his Band on the Wall outings between 1983 and 1999. It’s accompanied by a photo of Toolshed at Band on the Wall in November ‘99, featuring the aforementioned Jah Wobble, ex-Gong violinist Graham Clarke, Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford and vocalist Seaming To – who you may incidentally have witnessed perform at Manchester Cathedral on Friday night.
It’s an awe-inspiring piece of musical history and a perfect primer for Denis Jones’ album launch this Wednesday, which sees Toolshed return with Paddy Steer and Skeltr’s Sam Healey and Craig Hanson in tow. Have a listen below and check out the Massonix SoundCloud archive for further listening.