Not many people, apart from some frighteningly vitriolic bloggers, could really begrudge Peter Hook another go at getting a nightclub right this time. But by trading heavily on the Factory Records days of Madchester, a broad selection of noses have been put out of joint and knives have been sharpened.
“Why do we need another monument to Manchester’s past?” they cry, “The whole city needs to move on!” And, you know, they’re right.
Gazing back obscures the genuinely exciting bands percolating through Manchester now, and even now, a lazy media continue to waste time rooting out tenuous links between the latest Bright Young Manc Band and Those Glorious Hacienda Days.
If I was Delphic and facing my thousandth question about New Order’s influence, I’d be pissed off too.
But there’s still a real need to celebrate that period. Factory is still a bona-fide example of how to upset the current order and – most importantly – do things differently.
And while music execs, in between casting worried glances at their bank accounts, are now falling over themselves to sign artists who play it safe whilst spinning PR-lies about creativity and newness, it’s worth reminding all and sundry that it’s still possible to take a different route.
So how do Scary Mansion fit into all this? They don’t really. Well, they do – a song as soft, accommodating and down-right beautiful as No Law would slide, welcome and slender, into any situation you care to mention.
No Law is as exhilarating as an unexpected, drunken kiss with a stranger in the centre of a nightclub. You’ll similarly mourn its passing, and feel the need to tell all your friends. The song rides, swift and fleet, on the froth its own breathless enthusiasm, skimming, reaching, alive and in love.
No, Scary Mansion do fit into all this: they have made a song that bucks the trend – overtly beautiful, endlessly uplifting and without any cynicism whatsoever. Now that’s how to be different. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Photography by Victoria Jacob