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The Powers That Be

The Powers That Be were a Punk/Alternative Rock band based in Didsbury and were active from 1991 - 1994. While it seemed that many of the UK record labels were still searching in Manchester for the next Stone Roses, in 1992 The Powers That Be were given the opportunity to release their first single 'Crude Sound' on the cult American indie, Amphetamine Reptile Records, probably best known for releases by Melvins and Helmet. They became the first UK act to release a record on Amphetamine Reptile, and remain one of only two acts to have done so (the other being Billy Childish). 'Crude Sound' was produced by Iain Burgess, a mentor of Steve Albini and a key architect in the Chicago post-punk scene. Later that year The Powers That Be recorded their debut live radio session for Mark Radcliffe's Hit The North on the BBC. Some might say it's interesting that the following week a little-known band called Oasis had their first ever live session broadcast on the same programme. The continued support of Mark Radcliffe, and also Craig Cash (who at the time was a DJ on KFM Radio), helped The Powers That Be to become a regular fixture on the North West live circuit, mostly as the support to American underground acts such as The Jesus Lizard, Tar and Alice Donut. In 1993 they went into the studio with producer/engineer Chris Nagle (Joy Division, Magazine, Killing Joke, Inspiral Carpets etc) and laid down tracks for his Stockport-based Wobble Records label. One of these tracks, 'Dizzy', also featured on the 'When Cotton Was King' 7"; an E.P. featuring 4 local bands released on Chorlton's Dipsomania Records in 1994. "They play loud and fast, hooking around the guitarist's sneering, search-and-destroy workouts, and they avoid total nihilism by working in some killer melodies" (John Robb, Melody Maker) "They music they play is loud and simplistic, with a large dash of '70s punk, and they are in possession of a few very good songs and a fat, full-bodied sound which occasionally rattled my rib-cage" (Paul Travers, Kerrang!)