Emergency were booked to play The Swinging Apple in Liverpool on this same night, however, due to 'political' reasons, we pulled of the gig as soon as we arrived. As we were in gig mode, and knowing that Joy Division were playing across the City at Eric's, we decided to see if we could blag a support spot, just a couple of numbers (no charge)
We met the lads from Joy Division inside the club and asked if we could use their gear, it turned out that, due to the size of The Rich Kids rig, Joy Division weren't allowed to use their own amps, instead were having to play thru The Rich Kids equipment, the lads advised us to have a word with The Rich Kids road manager, when found, he said that we would have to speak to the band, presenting ourselves to them in the dressing room, we didn't know what reception we would receive, it turned out that they we're OK and had no objection to our band using their amps, Glen Matlock sticking out in my mind as being particularly pleasant, however, they said that the last word was with their road manager, who, when we relayed this update to him, decided that it wasn't worth his while, which was no big deal, no harm in asking (note: rarely does the road crew converse with the 'talent', mainly because the 'talent' hasn't a clue what's going on)
Big In Japan played first, although not on the main stage, instead they had set up at ground level, to the left of the stage. Big In Japan were a well
known outfit in both Liverpool and Manchester, playing a number of supports in both areas, the band contained future 'stars', the boiler suited, shaven headed bass player, Holly Johnson, and on guitar the future KLF man Bill Drummond, I must admit a soft spot for their singer, Jayne Casey, always a pleasure to watch, Big In Japan played their usual frantic set
Joy Division appeared on the main stage, playing a short set in comparison to their recent gigs, and to a diverse crowd, made up of regular Eric's attendees and Rich Kids devotees. Joy Division received a mixed reception (though the 6 of us we're very vociferous in our support). I recall they weren't at all happy with their sound.
Having to use this unfamiliar equipment (although Stephen did use his own kit), this didn't go down well with them, I believe their management thought this would be a prestigious gig for Joy Division to be associated with
I was interested to see The Rich Kids play for a couple of reasons, to see the now Pistol’less Matlock, and I'd also heard of their recent involvement with Mick Ronson, Ronno having produced their solitary album. The Rich Kids were ultra tight, playing straight pop/rock, looking very 'colorful' under their full lighting rig (the luxury of the full lighting rig not being afforded to Joy Division, and in my opinion, they faired better without), they performed a well rehearsed set (benefiting from large financial backing certainly helped with the rehearsal venue/time). I must admit though, they did look a little incongruous in what was a predominately New Wave venue
(Source: Colin Blades, of Emergency)