Still with Optic Nerve recordings, listeners and record buyers of a certain vintage will no doubt recall a Cherry Red set entitled ‘pillows and prayers’ becoming an ever present in the independent charts in that golden year 1983, one of the stand out tracks, and there where many, was Jane’s ‘a fine day’ – a wind torn frailly fragile haunting beauty whose eerie detached mystique was all at once prone to chill and charm in equal measure. The track, a poem written by Edward Barton and sung by his girlfriend Jane Lancaster was picked up by Peel, interest in pursuance leading to the duo being signed and releasing an album as Jane and Barton. Via optic nerve the album gets a repackaging where it’ll arrive pressed on white vinyl replete with an eight-page booklet. In the finest tradition of what did they do next – here some – well ten – facts about Edward Barton that you probably already knew but smugly kept to yourself awaiting an all important tie breaking pub quiz question……incidentally we plucked these directly from the press gubbins……
- Edward invented and patented a knitted woollen radiator cover that is designed to stop radiators looking cold.
- Edward wrote “It’s a Fine Day” (which long before it charted at number 4 for Opus 3 and subsequentlhatched a hundred versions) was an indie hit in 1983 Incidentally it still holds the record for the highest ever chart placing of an unaccompanied poem. The last line “we will have salad” is the only unsampled line left.
- Edward co-wrote Kylie Minogues “Confide in Me”.
- Edward has a room containing over 300 teddy bears: non of them worth anything, other than love. They were rescued from kerbs, skips and back alleys in the 1980’s when it seems the whole of Manchester chucked out it’s childhood.
He also has a large collection of childrens shoes, babies dummies and over a thousand mugs which he re-arranges instead of being a Buddhist.
- Edward appeared twice on “The Tube”. If you say the words “I’ve Got No Chickens but I’ve Got Five Wooden Chairs” to a boy over 40 there is a strong chance of a big smile.
Despite the lack of swearing or sexy stuff his performances attracted more complaints from the public than any other act.
He refused to appear a third time after being asked to emerge from a cake with Samantha Fox.
6.Edward was arrested for displaying his installation “Stolen”, a large cage containing household objects shop-lifted from various supermarkets.
As a result he is probably the only person to appear ( topless or otherwise) on page 3 of “The Sun”, and “The Star” and page 5 of “The Mirror”.The Sun described him amusingly as ‘Manchesters very own Leonardo Da Pinchi.’
Sadly his “Oblong Art Gallery” on the top floor of “Afflecks Palace” in Manchester was, also at the police’s request, shut down.
7.In the 90’s Edward was the unofficial “trance laureate” he wrote 6 top 30 tracks and many dance chart hits with among others Norman Cook as “Pizza Man”, Paul Oakenfold, ATB, LOST WITNESS, Justin Robertson, Way Out West and Orbital.
8.Edward played guitar on “Sowing the Seeds of Love” for Tears for Fears on the Wogan Show. It’s on you -Tube
- Probably because he was cheap, polite and didn’t mind sleeping the night in the back of a van parked on a hill, Edward was the tour support for many bands in the 80’s.He particularly enjoyed the company of Stump, Microdisney and James. Less fun were the The Proclaimers who refused to share a dressing room
10.Edward was strangely prominent during Manchester’s early rave years. He wrote “Born in the North” by a Guy Called Gerald which was one of the Hacienda’s biggest floor undulatory.