FORTY years on from their early days bringing a whole new sound to the musical landscape, Jez Kerr reveals that A Certain Ratio still love making music.

To mark their landmark year - they were one of the first bands signed to Manchester’s iconic Factory label - ACR will take over Yes in the city for two nights for a special celebration next week.

“On Friday it will just be a regular gig then on Saturday we take over the building and have all sorts of people who love the band getting involved. We want it to be a relaxed atmosphere and for everyone to enjoy themselves,” said Jez.

Enjoying the music is at the heart of everything ACR do.

“We still love doing what we do,” said Jez. “I think we have been very fortunate.”

ACR’s blend of funk, dub and even jazz perfectly fitted the post punk period and their sound has influenced many bands since.

As well as the two-day celebration at Yes, the band have released ACR:Box featuring all their singles and many unreleased tracks.

“It’s very much a release for the fans,” said Jez. “We re-released all our albums last year which was more of an introduction to the band.

“A lot of the stuff on ACR:Box has been in a lock-up for almost 40 years. One of the reasons we are still here is that we have always taken care of ourselves from the early days. Initially Tony Wilson was managing us but once he stopped we took over doing everything.

“We had the luxury of being on a record label, Factory, who would put out the records but otherwise would let us get on with it. I think if we had been on a big label early on, I don’t think we would have had the longevity.”

Bands such as ACR were very much a product of punk.

“A lot of the bands that played in those days after punk were very insular,” said Jez. “And I’m sure a lot of people in those bands wouldn’t have been musicians without punk. It gave them an opportunity to look at a different life for themselves. They saw it as a life not just a quick thing. - that was certainly the case with us.

“We thought this is what we’re going to do and we’ll do whatever it takes to do it.”

After almost 20 years recording and playing live, ACR had a hiatus for several years around 1997.

“We didn’t p[lay for a few years and then we were asked to do a gig to mark the release of a compilation album,” said Jez. “As soon as we got on stage we were all think ‘why have stopped doing this?’ and that was it. We started out again.”

The new box set features a cover version of Talking Heads Houses in Motion which the band were due to record with Grace Jones and which feature Jez on guide vocals.

“That version with my guide vocal is us learning the song in the afternoon,” said Jez. “The bass is so out of time but that’s why I like it – it’s not being precious about things. ACR are at their best when they are not like anyone else or trying to be like anyone else.”

And he revealed that the band are currently working on new material for a new album.

ACR, Yes, Manchester, Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25