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Friday 28 September 1979 concert review

Fanzine: City Fun (UK)

Publication date: September 1979

Reviewer: Stephen Doyle



Get to Russel about 9-o-clock and was surprised to see it fairly empty. Wait for Foreign Press to come on. A group comes on. Various comments. "Who's this?", "Thats not Foreign Press", "Innit?", "Dunno" etc. "Hello we're Teardrop Explodes and we're playing here tonight to try out our new keyboard player", says the bass player. Great. Lots of people move forward. Very clear, bopping sound. Songs, the familiar mixed the unfamiliar. I'm drowning, Sleeping gas, Camera camera and others. Hold your attention. Do Bouncing babies last then go off. Great. Lots of applause
Upstairs when the Foreign Press come on, no rush to see them. Never seemed particularly inspiring when I've seen them before, although brought out great debt single. Standing, watching, drinking, listening. Hey, better than ever, powerful stuff. Singer moves for a change. Very tight clear sound. A few people dancing, crowd enjoying it. Play tracks off great debut single, go off to great applause
Now for stars on TV and radio, Joy Division. By now the club is very full.
Ian Curtis comes on with guitar, Bernard Albrecht [= Bernard Sumner] on keyboards. They do this boring long, slow song [= Atmosphere]. No reaction from crowd. "Boring", I comment, a girl agrees with me. Then a total transformation and they blast into some classics from their brilliant album [= Unknown Pleasures]. The crowd began to move, clapping, cheering loudly. Then it goes downhill. Play new song. Seems boring, play another new song, then another, then another. Don't hold my attention like the EP [= An Ideal For Living] songs. Unfamiliarity something to do with it but not the whole story. At the Stuff The Superstars [on Saturday 28 July 1979] they stole the show for me with a truncated half-hour set. The LP [= Unknown Pleasures] songs were then to me unfamiliar but they set into the brain whereas the new ones don't seem to. It might just be me though because most people seemed to be enjoying the new songs. It might be my concentration that was being distracted. Also the clear PA sound of the other two bands went wrong for Joy Division
Near the end of the set they blast
She's lost control and I'm excited again. Brilliant high spot of set. Finish with new song, I think. Anyway while they were playing little scuffles happened, didn't seem serious though, although bouncers came in. I went for a pee when I heard Joy Division come back for an encore Transmission. I come back and stand on a chair near the side. They mess it up so start the song again. All of a sudden something happens and Peter Hook jumps into the crowd and smashes his bass into someones head. Crowd disperse. "What happened?", "Dunno". Anyway WHAT HAPPENED?
Lights turned on. Joy Division start playing again minus
Hook. Play a strange song bass-less. Intense stuff, Fall-like. Great. Go off. We go home