Foreign Press - Downpour

Title: Downpour
Format: 7"
Label: Streets Ahead
Year: 1979

Side A - Downpour
Side B - Crossfire / Behind The Glass


So HMV's going under and shops that sell records on what's left of our high streets are now pretty much a thing of the past. It got me thinking about what's lost and the places I hung around as a kid in a South Manchester town called Altrincham.

Seventies places like White and Swales by the old bus station where I picked up the latest by Suzi Quatro or the split level Boots where I flicked through album racks and backtracked through The Beatles. Later there was an outpost of Discount Records with its wall of single sleeves that edged into the Eighties before becoming Ames. Record shops came and went but were always there.

Most significantly in about 1978 a shop called Streets Ahead opened on Lloyd Street in a delapidated old block long since demolished and replaced by the big Sainsbury's on the edge of town. I think it may have been called Pop Inn prior to that but either way It became a focus for those of us fired up by punk and owner Bob Jefferson was fairly relaxed about the distinction between listening and buying.

Iíve mentioned the gigs he put on including legendary shows by Joy Division, The Fall and Scritti Politti before but Streets Ahead also launched a short lived label that released just three singles including this by Foreign Press, Rejection by Pure Product and The Kids Just Wanna Dance by Fast Cars.

Downpour was the new direction debut from a group formerly known as Manchester pop punks Emergency and was co-produced by old Rafters friend Rob Gretton and packaged by a young Trevor Johnson who probably also designed this Factory flyer too.

There were obvious shades of Television and The Only Ones but Foreign Press were most conspicuous for having a full colour palette on a predominantly monochrome scene. Three further singles followed for as many labels each stepping up from the last and now compiled on LTMs comprehensive The Whole Story retrospective. You'll probably have to order it online...

The raining it follows me around