Talk to me of… Manchester poet’s ode to Factory Records legend Tony Wilson released

Manchester poet Mike Garry and music composer Joe Duddell, of Elbow and New Order fame, have teamed up to create St Anthony: And Ode to Anthony H Wilson, which is being released today.

A touching tribute to Factory Records legend Tony Wilson, the spoken word masterpiece will be performed live by Mike and Joe at a launch party at Granada Studios tonight.

Tony was a key player in Manchester’s music scene, launching Factory Records in 1978 and going on to sign the likes of Joy Division, New Order, and The Happy Mondays.

He became known as Mr Manchester for his work throughout his career promoting the city.

Mike said: “When Anthony H Wilson died in August 2007, I knew the world would never be the same.  Tony Wilson built the modern Manchester.”

Tony died after a long battle with cancer and the Christie Cancer Hospital – all proceeds from the single and the launch party will go to The Christie Charitable Fund.

Mike – a lifelong Wilson fan – was commissioned by actor, broadcaster and music guru Terry Christian to put pen to paper and write a poem about the legacy Tony left behind, which he then took to Joe.

On the first read, the composer immediately heard elements of New Order’s Your Silent Face and decided to base the music on it – St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson was born

New Order’s Bernard Sumner said: “I first heard St. Anthony the day before our Jodrell Bank gig in July 2013. I thought it sounded fucking great.”

A video to accompany the song, made by Soup Collective and filmed at the Sharp Project, was released on YouTube earlier this week.

Featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators each reciting lines from the poen, it is a testament to the love and respect for Tony that continues after his death.

Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Christopher Eccleston, Iggy Pop, Peter Saville and Steve Coogan are just a few of the famous faces that appear in the video.

Tony was immortalised on film by Coogan in 2003’s 24 Hour Party People and again by Craig Parkinson in the Joy Division biopic Control.

St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson, a Skinny Dog records production, is available to download and buy on CD and white vinyl 12”, all featuring the an Andrew Weatherall remix and artwork by Peter Saville. 

Skinny Dog Records is a label formed by members of I Am Kloot and Elbow.

At the launch party, there will be some very special guest DJs alongside a screening of the video as well as previously unseen, exclusive interview footage from the shoot. 

For more information and to buy tickets click here.

The newly launch website designed by Retro Fuzz at allows you to explore the places, people and stories which make up the lyrics – helping to see the full picture of Tony’s impact.

Playing on the poem’s repeated refrain of ‘Talk to me of…’ the website allows you to send messages from your mobile phone direct into the site to join the conversation.

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