Larry Martin Factory

“It’s so way above anything currently around that it really blows your mind”, wrote a critic around 1976. What smacks you in the face is that La France-then bogged down in the most syrupy kind of musical drivel-had to stomatch the poisonous thrill and the subversive goings on of an amazing Rock’n’Roll group for ten years. Abroad renown grew and their influence expanded beaming back to their homeland a mirror of its past and what it was now wallowing in ! However, at the very moment cult status was confered on the group they had alredy disbanded with a certain noble dignity. Those who were lucky enough to attend one of the Factory’s concerts (never was something more aptly named) where an ambience of sneery sarcasm and threat hung in the air remember the sound of two guitars blended into one, the maniacal virtuosity of the leader’s answering to the scary frenzy of his young acolyte’s. Behind them keeping a weather eye on things were a drummer and multi instrumentalist-kind of unsung heroes-as they had to chanel the deep-throated thrummings unleashed by a delirious bass player barely out short throusers. And topping off all this was an insolent nasal voice foretelling the urban fever to come ; Cassandra-like prophecies to which the epoch tried to shut out. The group never forgot its basic Rock’n’Roll and achieved its aims by including here and there out-of-context passages rife with deliberate double meanings. They also broke the taboos inherent in this type of music by drawing from other sources using uneven scales ; harmonies from contemporary experiments plus the addition of instrument commonly used in serious works. The end result was a mind-shattering noise that plunged hordes of hyper-strung out kids from grey suburbs to gilded concert halls into manic trances from which they emerged spaced out and exhausted. In 1975, the group scored their first succes with “Rocking on the Radio” and feeling too hemmed in in France suddenly left their burrow in Pigalle and spread their wings over Europe. Soon their new cult hit the famous –and deceptively calm- “Sweet Mama Fix” invaded the airwaves from north to south and took its place among the great symbolic songs. In the years that followed songs recorded one after one like “Daimler Benz” and “Law and order” robbed the group of its outlaw image ; institutionalised it in the fact. But this was not their bag. The times they were a changin’ in the way they’d described down to the last detail and they no longer felt it was their problem. Their retreat into silence had already been planned and one fine day they broke up leaving as an ironic farewell their last hit “Mary when the died”. Never to see each other again. And if they did, mum’s the world ! Until those few weeks in 2003 when they met up in a recording studio as they had promised from which emerged a while later amazing “Long Distance Runner”. But that’s another Story...