Saturday, 16 January 2010

Joy Division - Newcastle - 4 Oct 1979 - 128kb (repost)

Reposted concert - does anyone
have a better version?

And if anyone attended any of the Joy Division concerts, would they consider writing down their memories? I would love to publish them here...

"Joy Division in concert were simply astonishing. I've never again experienced anything like it. I was 15 years old and into the post punk type of thing. I'd known for a while that Joy Division were coming to Newcastle and wanted to see them- I'd heard a few things on John Peel and caught the end of a TV appearance on Something Else some time earlier. The Buzzcocks were generally viewed as a pop band by this point, who often had good support bands. The previous year I'd went to see Subway Sect support them at the City Hall- unfortunately they were not very good in comparison with their John Peel session and singles. 

"My friends and I got to the City Hall late and had just got to our seats as the hall lights went down. The stage was very dark I recall and as they began to play I wondered when the lights were going to come on properly (they never did!). The first thing that struck me was the power of the drums- I'd never felt such deep bassy drums at a concert, one's whole body felt the beat. Ian Curtis was at the front of the stage, what seemed like the very edge- he appeared to be on a brink of a cliff. He couldnt have been much more than 25 feet from where I was sitting. The others were just figures in subdued light- maybe it was blue, I cannot recall. 

When Ian Curtis started singing it was loud and even deeper than the drums and it caught you right in the diaphragm- incredible feeling. I dont think he did "the dance" until a few tracks into the short set, but when he did, staring into the audience, it sent shivers down my spine and I realised that I was witnessing something extraordinary. 

A few of us stood up out of our seats (we had been told to remain seated) at that point and bouncers attacked many of us, including my friend about three rows in front of us- the memory of a boucer leaping over rows of seated people to attack my friend, while Ian Curtis did his dance above on the stage during "She's Lost Control", is something that will stay fixed in my visual memory forever. 

Hooky was pretty animated on a few tracks and I recall a broken bass string hanging down from his guitar- not something you usually saw at concerts. "Colony" also stood out as fantastic and alien sounding. The set seemed to be over very quickly and there was a feeling of ..well I suppose it was "shock" more than anything at watching Joy Division perform. 

The Buzzcocks seemed to come on almost immediately to play their pop songs. When audience members stood up, unchallenged by the boucers this time, I just walked out of the hall into the rain- it was October and sleety- down to the bus station. It didnt seem right watching any other band, especially the poppy Buzzcocks, after what I'd just seen.

"Those are my memories of the night- the first time I've ever wrote it down in the 30 years since. I know I cannot really convey what it was like and wish I could recall more, but that is about all I can really remember now."

Thanks to Adrian for the remeniscences.

Link: here


  1. Interessantes vom Konzert im Basement,Köln:
    Gruß Martin

  2. Danke, ich hatte ja vergessen, die schlechteste Konzertaufnahme aller Zeiten zu posten!

  3. Would love to have seen these guys live thanks for this. John Robb's written a great piece about the Manchester music scene on his blog at Rivmixx.

  4. Thanks for the memories. It brings to mind that while the 70's was a time for great fwd-looking music, the venues were anything but...seated, with audiences not allowed stand up and actually enjoy themselves. Thankfully by the early 80's this was largely a thing of the past...or maybe the bands I wanted to see just didn't play in those sort of venues.

  5. I was at this concert as well, it was the one and only time they came to Newcastle. Loads of people walked out after JD's set... it was very compressed... There was a great version this night of Shadowplay.

    The Buzzcocks were in their full power-pop moment and this was truly a night of two separate concerts.