The Passage

Re-releases for undeservedly forgotten post-punk Mancunians

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Led by former TV presenter Dick Witts, The Passage were never properly accommodated within the vaguely portentous context of Factory Records. Lyrically, they were bluntly polemical (“Troops Out” from Pindrop, for example). More explicitly than Joy Division, they caught the strange mood-cocktail of hedonism and mortal fear of the early ’80s (“We’re dancing through dark times”) while their elaborate, Moog-driven, segmented musical backdrops reflected Witts’ classical background. That they deliberately went out of their way to make listeners feel uncomfortable didn’t help their commercial prospects, which petered out shortly after 1982’s Degenerates.

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