Back Home News
Biting Tongues Facebook Page Graham Massey's Twitter Page Graham Massey's Mixcloud Channel Graham Massey's Soundcloud Channel Biting Tongues YouTube Channel

July 10th 2020

New Biting Tongues Live Compilation - Clear Your Screens - Out Now

Biting Tongues - Clear Your Screens

Wormhole have released a new live compilation CD/Download, entitled "Clear Your Screens", of Biting Tongues tracks taken from live performances between 2003 and 2009.

The CD is limited to 250 copies only and is available to order via the Wormhole bandcamp page.

““Clear Your Screens” is a series of battle re-enactments from Manchester’s least celebrated post-punk group Biting Tongues. Their tritone tribalism, mixed with intense language flow and layers of tape concrète, was perhaps a bit too much for the early 1980s when they released records with New Hormones, Factory and Beggars Banquet.

Always an astonishing experience live, the classic early line-up returned to the stage near the start of the 21st century with the musical and performance experience accumulated over another twenty years working apart. Applying modern digital mixing techniques ten years later to these live recordings reveals the rare blood chemistry of a team of specialists who have only grown more passionate over time.

Surely a worthy part the 20th century musical canon even if they have handed in their homework late.

“Clear Your Screens” features Biting Tongues in performance at: ICA, London, 29 May 2003; Islington Mill, Salford, 23 February 2007; Shunt Vaults 1, London, 19 November 2008; Shunt Vaults 2, London, 20 November 2008; The Moon Landing, Salford, 19 July 2009; Plan K, Brussels, 12 December 2009.

Biting Tongues were: Ken Hollings: celebrated author, academic and broadcaster #exorcist #cut_up_oracle. Graham Massey: electronic music pioneer, 808 State, music producer and broadcaster #pre_and_post_guitar_landscapes #weird_woodwind #shit_trumpet. Colin Seddon: band leader and music educator #biblical_bass lines #lord_of_the_trichord. Howard Walmsley: film director/producer #muscular_beef_sax #transistor_organ_fist. Eddie Sherwood: music educator and band leader #reverse-wired-bespoke_voodoo_drumming

released July 10, 2020

Ken Hollings: text and voice. Colin Seddon: bass guitar. Eddie Sherwood: drums. Howard Walmsley: tenor sax, organ and Moog. Graham Massey: guitar, trumpet, woodwind, electric violin.

All songs written by Hollings, Massey, Seddon, Sherwood and Walmsley. Tapes remixed and produced by Graham Massey. Compiled by Ken Hollings. In memory of Barry Seddon, 1938 – 2019.

Mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung Mastering, June 2019.




1. First Use All The Gs (Moon Landing)
2. Evening State (ICA)
3. Iyahbhoone (Plan K)
4. The Reflector (Shunt Vaults 2)
5. Denture Beach (Moon Landing)
6. Glorious Stranger (Moon Landing)
7. Heart Disease (Shunt Vaults 1)
8. Where The Birdlands (Moon Landing)
9. Unhook That Boy (Islington Mill)
10. Everywhere But Here (ICA)
11. Aair Care (Islington Mill)
12. When It Breaks On You (Islington Mill)

November 8th 2019

Cache Cache / Finders Keepers: Biting Tongues "Live It (Reissue)"

available to order

Biting Tongues - Live It Reissue

Cache Cache / Finders Keepers are now taking pre-orders for a vinyl reissue of Biting Tongues "long lost 3rd album", "Live It". Available in two different sleeves - one is available in a limited edition of 100 copies only (in a stitched sleeve), as well as a standard sleeve variant.

Released on 29th November 2019.

“From the same studio that brought us 48 Chairs (Gerry & The Holograms), The Fall and The Blue Orchids, while following the bona-fide bloodline between Danny And The Dressmakers, Toolshed and 808 State, the “difficult second album" by Biting Tongues (released on a minuscule cassette run by The Buzzcocks vanity label) has since become a near mythical artefact of Mancunian DIY. Cementing the path between the Absurd label’s kitchen sink synth assaults and Factory’s 99 informed downtown aspirations, Biting Tongues' bass-driven, pounding-sounding, schizo-skronking, squat-pop put the emergence of punk-funk under a blinding interrogation bulb then hid round the corner evading secret police. Pouring three letter words like ESG, DAF, PIL and ACR into Ken Hollings Scrabble bag would result in a unique form of wordy dictaphone agit-rap and closed-circuit commentary to Graham Massey’s overqualified punk ensemble, laying foundations of future Manc activity using uncertified sand and gravel tactics, only to be safety checked every 38 years, or thereabout. Live It, the lost Biting Tongues album, still breathes.

Including what the original members of this pioneering post-punk platoon unanimously consider their greatest work, Biting Tongues seldom-heard, second roll of the dice was presented to The Buzzcock’s own label New Hormones to coincide with full-length DIY debuts by Ludus, Dislocation Dance and a distinct tightening of pursestrings. Recorded on half-price studio time (in the midst of a multi-track repair session) and duped on to compact cassettes to keep pressing costs down, the album Live It even entirely bypassed the non-existent art-department before landing in the hands of a small readership of peculiar punk die-hards, instantly slipping into obscurity, evading official band future discographies and reaching an imaginary status in the history of unchartered Manc-manufactured messthetics. Now available, on vinyl, with two sleeve variations and extensive notes from Graham Massey and Ken Hollings, Live It is a welcome misplaced release and an essential addition to Finders Keepers' Cache-Cache catalog. Biting Tongues make wise heads!


releases November 29, 2019"


Evening State (The Wave State)
Reflector (Bootleg Studio)
Denture Beach (Relentless)
After The Click The Dialogue
Or With Eyes Closed (Relentless)
Read This
Unhook That Boy

November 2nd 2016

The Tapeworm Presents: Biting Tongues "Still On Hawaiian Time"

available to pre-order

Biting Tongues - Still On Hawaiian Time

The Touch shop have announced that pre-orders are now being taken for a new Biting Tongues live cassette, "Still On Hawaiian Time" - limited to 150 copies only.

“Still On Hawaiian Time” captures two Biting Tongues performances from between 1982 and 193. The Library Theatre in the centre of Manchester was a large seated venue with an even larger stage, meaning that the group members could spread out more and incorporate additional percussion, tapes and electronic devices. It also shows Biting Tongues cutting up and rearranging themes from different recordings, allowing for the free play of existing material – the performance also anticipates their work on “Feverhouse”: their full-length experimental feature film released in 1984 by Factory Records’ video offshoot IKON, together with a soundtrack album as FAC 105.

“Library Theatre, Manchester 16.6.1983”
A1: Still On Hawaiian Time
A2: Feverhouse (Part II)
A3: Iyahboune End
A4: Dr Restore He Sight (Partially)
A5: When It Breaks On You (Part I)
A6: Lock Up State
A7: When It Breaks On You (Part II)
A8: Dragman II
A9: Dirt For 485
A10: Iyahboune (Front)
A11: First Use All The G’s
A12: Everywhere But Here

In performance – Colin Seddon: bass guitar, drums, percussion. Eddie Sherwood: drums. Ken Hollings: voice, clarinet, percussion, tapes. Graham Massey: guitar, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, drums, Astroban, iguarglaphon, voice, percussion. Howard Walmsley: tenor and soprano sax, glockenspiel, percussion, voice. Barry Seddon: pick-axe handle on “Dirt For 485”.

“Riverside Studios, London 5.6.1982”
B1: The Toucanostra
B2: The Dragman
B3: 44
B4: Big Timing
B5: Live It
B6: 45 47a
B7: Evening State/Lock Up State
B8: Dr Restore He Sight
B9: Aair Care

In performance – Colin Seddon: bass guitar. Eddie Sherwood: drums. Ken Hollings: vocals, Hohner Pianet, percussion. Graham Massey: guitar, clarinet, reed cornet, trumpet, iguarglaphon, Morello loop, diary, percussion. Howard Walmsley: tenor sax, voice, percussion, Hohner Pianet.

February 6th 2016

Biting Tongues "Beware The Cockrell Flying The Kite" on Soundcloud

Graham has uploaded a track to his Soundcloud account - "A Biting Tongues session track for Piccadilly Radio Manchester 'Transmission'" show 25/11/80 with Mark Radcliff"

December 2015

Biting Tongues "Reflector" video uploaded to YouTube

Graham has uploaded the Reflector video to the Biting Tongues YouTube account:

December 2015

New Ken Hollings Cassette Released - "Works For Magnetic Tape"

Ken Hollings - Works For Magnetic Tape

Ken Hollings has released a new cassette entitled "Works For Magnetic Tape" via Tapeworm:

TTW#81 – Ken Hollings – Works For Magnetic Tape

Cassette only – limited edition of 100 copies

Buy in the TouchShop

Track list:

A: There Must Be Something Wrong With This, Sally
B1: Ideas Are One Thing, And What Happens Is Another
B2: Parasitic Infestation

Ken Hollings is a writer based in London. He is the author of the books “Destroy All Monsters” (Marion Boyars), “Welcome to Mars” and “The Bright Labyrinth” (both available from Strange Attractor Press); and his work has appeared in numerous journals, catalogues and anthologies. He has written and presented critically acclaimed programmes for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, NPS in Holland, ABC Australia and Resonance 104.4 FM; and has given readings, lectures and presentations at such venues as the Royal Institution, the British Library, Tate Britain, Wellcome Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Berlin Akademie der Künste and the Venice Biennale. For more information please go to or follow @hollingsville.

Ken Hollings writes: “I have always been, first and foremost, a writer. The three tracks that make up this audiocassette release reflect my interest in how differently the written text operates from spoken word: what separates and makes them distinct from each other – and what happens when one is translated into the other?

A longer version of the text for “There Must Be Something Wrong With This, Sally” appeared in volume 19 issue 4 of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac: “Without Sin: Freedom and Taboo in Digital Media”. It, in turn, is a reworking and expansion of some of the themes that occur in my book “The Bright Labyrinth: Sex, Death and Design in Digital Regime” (Strange Attractor Press, 2014). These particular themes and their development were occasioned by my fascination with a homemade record, identified on the label only as ‘Sal Boo’, featuring two slightly drunk women trying to get the recording device to work properly. This piece of mechanized circular madness remains for me one of the most remarkable recordings ever made – I still listen repeatedly to ‘Sal Boo’ and find new things in it each time. You can download a PDF of my original essay by clicking here. The reading is in several sections, with electronic backgrounds and interludes supplied by Mark O. Pilkington, to whom I am indebted for his patience and care in the final production of this piece.

“Ideas Are One Thing, And What Happens Is Another” was commissioned in 2012 to be read as part of a performance to celebrate the centenary of John Cage’s birth. Subtitled “A Neatly Ordered Sequence of Texts”, its ten parts contain personal memories of the time I spent with Cage working on one of his books, together with thoughts on what constitutes ‘an idea’. The actual title is a line from Cage’s 1961 lecture “Where Are We Going? And What Are We Doing?”. At my request, Graham Massey supplied the backgrounds for this reading: the sounds of a needle stuck in the runoff grooves of various records of his choice – the one brief moment of ‘silence’ certain to be on every release. Graham also very kindly agreed to do the final mix and edit of the track, making its basic components sound more elegant and informal than I could have managed on my own.

The readings for both of these tracks were recorded by Simon James of the Simonsound at the old BBC radio studios in Brighton. This cramped and darkened space might seem too small to be haunted; but the old green baize-covered desk set up with a mike and lectern, together with the thick glass screen separating it from the control room, were definitely speaking from another age. Much more up-to-date was the language school located immediately above where I was sitting; as a result we had to pause frequently as students clattered up and down the stairwell just on the other side of the studio wall. Simon did a fantastic job of editing the various takes together into a smooth whole.

“Parasitic Infestation” was originally written as an introduction to “The Art of Worms”, The Bookworm’s debut publication documenting the cover art for The Tapeworm’s first 25 audiocassette releases. The book was launched at a special event, “Worm Eats Bear”, on 20 October 2011 at the Bear Pit in London, where this reading of the essay took place. I love the raw immediacy of the recording and am very happy to include the track as it is – in memory of a remarkable evening. “The Art of Worms” is currently out of print, but you can find the complete text by clicking here.

I decided to call this collection “Works For Magnetic Tape” primarily for nostalgic reasons. When, as a teenager, I first started exploring avant-garde music, I quickly discovered that listings on albums or in catalogues of any composer’s ‘works for magnetic tape’ – as opposed to those for string quartet or piano trio – usually contained the weirdest and most interesting stuff to my untrained sensibilities. It is a shame that the category appears to have fallen out of favour. The title also refers directly to the audiocassette medium itself and is an expression of my pleasure in contributing to The Tapeworm’s grand designs.” – Ken Hollings. London, 25th July 2015

September 29th 2015

Biting Tongues "You Can Choke Like That" on new Compilation

Plastic Dance Volume One

Plastic Dance Volume One

LP UK 2016 (Cache Cache; CACHE016LP)

4:53 Biting Tongues - You Can Choke Like That


September 2015.


Finders Keepers

Biting Tongues appear on a new compilation album, released by Cache Cache / Finders Keepers):

"Having spent exactly ten years living off the small change and 45 adapters of each others pockets, Finders Keepers/Cache Cache Records co-founders Andy Votel and Doug Shipton spread their wings and pool their DJ bags for a new series of sporadic various artists compilations focussing on the global punk and makeshift electro records that have kept their beer soaked dance floors and distorted sound systems moving in recent years. Meet the younger sarcastic sisters of some of the classic Finders Keepers family and their spotty friends then watch what happens when jazz punk underdogs cock their legs to their overqualified elder brothers.Plastic Dance presents ten unacquainted and elusive slices of synthetic squat pop, angular funk, teapot kosmische and fraudulent disco from self-propelled imprints and global co-ops. Named after Günter Bernas obscure DIY anti-band this ongoing series combines rare, unknown and untravelled wax nuggets of night club punk, art school Zeuhl and quasi-political pop united by soldering irons, C-60s and sarcastic synth tones. Featuring a cross section of unobtainable unreleased unknown and unwanted reluctant punk and snide synth pop with sleeve-notes by respected DJ/Haç hack/Situationist addict John McCready and artwork by airbrush legend Terry Pastor (Ziggy Stardust/Soft Machine/Arthur C. Clarke) Plastic Dance becomes flexible under heat."

June 2015

Ken Hollings "Cutting Up The Cut-Up" on BBC Radio 4 - 11:30am June 25th 2015

Ken Hollings "Cutting Up The Cut-Up" on BBC Radio 4 - 11:30am June 25th 2015

The writer Ken Hollings examines how an artistic device called the 'cut-up' has been employed by artists and satirists to create new meanings from pre-existing recorded words.

Today's digital age has allowed multi-media satirists like Cassetteboy to mock politicians and TV celebrities online by re-editing - or cutting up - their broadcast words. But the roots of this technique go back to the early days of the avant-garde. The intention has always been to amuse, to surprise, and to question.

The founder of the Dadaist movement, the poet Tristan Tzara, proposed in 1920 that a poem could be created simply by pulling random words cut from a newspaper out of a hat. And it was this idea of the random juxtaposition of text, of creating new meanings from pre-existing material, that so appealed to the painter Brion Gysin in the late 1950s when he and his friend, the American writer William S Burroughs, began applying the technique not just to text but to other media too - including words recorded on tape.

From that point on, the recorded spoken word cut-up acquired a voice of its own, with less random, more deliberate, planned forms starting to emerge.

Radio 4's 'On the Hour' used the cut-up to satirise the culture of broadcast news. The producer of that series, Armando Iannucci, is just one of a number of artists who talk to Ken Hollings about the evolution and impact of the technique.

Other contributors include Cassetteboy, Kevin Foakes (aka DJ Food), artist Vicki Bennett and Coldcut's Matt Black.

Producer: Dan Shepherd
A Far Shoreline production for BBC Radio 4.

Ken also wrote a piece for BBC Magazine (available via BBC News) entitled "What Is The Cut-Up Method?" available here.

Listen via BBC iPlayer here.

An additional podcast of material that couldn't fit the BBC Programme is available via Soundcloud:

September8th 2012

Biting Tongues "Meat Mask Seperatist" on new Fac.Dance 02 Compilation

Fac. Dance 02 - Factory Records 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980-1987

Fac. Dance 02 - Factory Records 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980-1987

2xLP UK 2012 (Strut; STRUT098LP)
2xCD UK 2012 (Strut; STRUT098CD)

04:57 Biting Tongues - Meat Mask Separatist


September 2012.



Biting Tongues appear on a new compilation album, released by Strut, which compiles some of the dance-orientated tracks from Factory artists between 1980 and 1987:

"Strut unleash the second album in the 'Fac. Dance' series bringing together sought after 12" versions and rarities from Manchester's revered Factory Records imprint.
Despite a reputation for austere post-punk modernity and raincoated miserabilism, the label's first decade featured a raft of landmark dance records, primarily brought to the label by Rob Gretton who valued tunes and beats over Situationist dialectic and experiments in popular art. Meanwhile, Tony Wilson dismissed pure dance music as lacking intellectual rigour and, as such, this collection of early Factory dance sides occupies a compelling middle ground.

Revisiting the peerless studio work of Martin Hannett, Peter Hook and BeMusic and DoJo productions by Bernard Sumner and A Certain Ratio's Donald Johnson among others, Fac. Dance 02 explores Factory's unique forays into dance music and widens the spectrum yet further from the first volume."

January 2012

Biting Tongues - Podcast Number 2 - "The Reflectors"

Biting Tongues' "Podcast Number 2" has been released via Graham's Mixcloud:

"Old Cassettes/Reels/Rehearsals /Recordings/Live recordings from from Biting Tongues 1979 84"

December 15th 2011

Ken Hollings' book - "Welcome To Mars" - released via Kindle

Ken Hollings - Works For Magnetic Tape

From Ken's blog:

"I am pleased to announce that Welcome to Mars is Strange Attractor’s first book to be converted to the Kindle e-book format. There are plans to make it available in an e-pub version soon. In the meantime, please remember that Christmas is not just a time for giving things but also a time for buying them as well.

Welcome to Mars is available via Amazon US at $6.99 or from Amazon UK at £5.99."

A remarkable book… quite simply, essential reading.

December 12th 2011

Biting Tongues "Boss Toyota Trouble" on new Fac.Dance Compilation

Fac. Dance - Factory Records 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980-1987

Fac. Dance - Factory Records 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980-1987

2xLP UK 2011 (Strut; STRUT087LP)
2xCD UK 2011 (Strut; STRUT087CD)

5:36 Biting Tongues - Boss Toyota Trouble


December 2011.



Biting Tongues appear on a new compilation album, released by Strut, which compiles some of the dance-orientated tracks from Factory artists between 1980 and 1987:

"Strut present an essential new retrospective of Factory Records, the seminal Manchester club-turned-record label set up by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus.Compiled by Bill Brewster of, the album places the spotlight on some of the label’s early dancefloor-based work across key 12” mixes and rarities, from the unmistakeable productions of Martin Hannett to more unheralded backroom work by New Order’s Bernard Sumner and A Certain Ratio drummer Donald Johnson, under their BeMusic and DoJo monikers."

April 2011

Biting Tongues - Podcast Number 1 - "The Panic Is Here"

Biting Tongues have released "Podcast Number 1" via Graham's Mixcloud:

"First in a series of Podcasts based on the archives of Manchester Post punk group "Biting Tongues".

The Archive covers studio recordings, rehearsals and concert tapes from 1979 until 1989. Biting Tongues recorded for various labels including New Hormones and Factory Records."