1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | Complete list of concerts | List of bands that played with Joy Division



Date: Wednesday 27 December 1978

Venue: Hope and Anchor London (Islington) (UK)



Line-up: Ian Curtis | Peter Hook | Stephen Morris | Bernard Sumner

Audience: about 20 people

First London concert by Joy Division

On their way back to Manchester, the band members saw Ian Curtis having his first recognizable epileptic fit



Ticket price: 60p



Joy Division were to play their London debut at the Hope and Anchor, but Bernard was in bed with flu. After some discussion it was decided that the gig had to come first, so Bernard was bundled into the back of the car wrapped up in a sleeping bag. As a first London gig, the Hope and Anchor was a disappointment. Expecting the glamour of the capital city, Joy Division hadn't realized they would be playing in a pub cellar and that all the equipment would have to be lowered in through a trap-door. The small audience was not enough to spark the exhilaration needed to spur the band on. Disappointment turned to turmoil on the way home. Bernard remembers that Ian's conversation about the gig had taken a rather negative turn and Ian had told me when he came home that there was even talk of him leaving the band. As Bernard tried to keep himself warm, Ian began to tug at his sleeping bag. A struggle followed and once Ian had the bag he wrapped it around his head so tight that Bernard couldn't wrestle it from him. Eventually, Ian's seizure surfaced and he lashed out, seeming to punch at the windows. Steve pulled over to the side of the road and when the fit was over they took him to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital
(Source: Deborah Curtis Touching from a distance)

I was really ill with flu, and they had to come and drag me out of bed. Every time Steve hit the cymbals the whole room turned upside down: literally, in my head, my eyes turned upside down. It was horrible. There were only about 20 people there. We were driving back home in Steve's car: I was really ill, shivering, covered in a sleeping bag. Ian just grabbed the sleeping bag and pulled it off. He'd been moaning about the gig, the audience, the sound: he was in a really negative mood. So I grab the sleeping bag back, and he grabbed it back again and covered himself with it, and started growling like a dog. It was scary. He suddenly starts lashing out, punching the windscreen, and then he just went into a full overblown red state fit, in the car. We pulled over on to the hard shoulder, dragged him out of the car, held him down. Then we did about a hundred miles an hour to the nearest hospital, somewhere near Luton. We were in this horrible casualty ward and the doctor said, You've had a fit; you'd better go and see a doctor when you get back
(Source: Bernard Sumner)



Sounds (UK) (Saturday 13 January 1979) review written by Nick Tester