Joy Division

5th November 1979: Pavilion, Hemel Hempstead
On tour with the Buzzcocks

Poster (C) @Psychofish65 and used here with permission

Songs known to have been performed:

01. Dead Souls
02. Wilderness
03. Twenty Four Hours
04. New Dawn Fades
05. Digital
06. Disorder
07. Interzone (incomplete - fades out on the bootleg tape recording)
(the above were all taped - Appx. duration: 25 mins. Sound quality: 7-8/9)

Another song that is known to have been performed that night is Colony, either near the end of the set, or possibly as en encore.

Colony does not appear on the tape but we know that it was performed - and that the band made a complete mess of it. "About a minute into the song they had to start it again from the top" remembers Jon who was at the concert. He also tells us that Joy Division played an amazing set and blew the Buzzcocks off the stage.

Mark Refoy remembers Transmission too - see his recollections below

* Pavilion, Hemel Hempstead: soundcheck
Songs: 01. New Dawn Fades (4 takes, 3 incomplete)
02. Dead Souls
03. The Only Mistake
04. Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Appx. duration: 19 mins. Sound quality: 7-8/9

The full concert and soundcheck appear on the following bootleg:

Incubation LP

The Only Mistake appears on the following bootleg:

Out Of The room LP

Ticket stub with Buzzcocks autographs (C) @Slipmark and used here with permission

"On Bonfire Night 1979 myself my brother and a few school mates got the train from Northampton to Hemel Hempstead to see Buzzcocks and Joy Division. I was 17 and utterly obsessed with bands and music. When we got in the venue I noticed Genesis P Orridge queueing for a drink about half an hour before Joy Division went onstage. We'd seen Throbbing Gristle at Northampton Guildhall in May and during the gig he'd stubbed out cigarettes on his hands to show the morons in the crowd who were taunting him that nothing could hurt him. Or something like that. I tentatively approached him and said "how's your hand after the Northampton gig?" and he just shrugged and said something like "It was nothing, they can't hurt me".

(When I was in Spiritualized many years later he turned up to see us play in Brighton. I asked again about the scars and he showed me his hand and said "I covered them with tattoos.")

He then proceeded to ask all about me and my friends and he then hung out with us, chatting and answering all our questions about music and what it was like “being in a band.” I asked him if he was here to see The Buzzcocks and he looked at me as if to say “are you mad?!” and he said “no, I'm here for Joy Division.” Over the years I since found out that he'd been in contact with Ian Curtis and there was a mutual respect and admiration between them both.

I'd seen Joy Division on TV on Something Else the previous September, anyone who saw it will never forget it. So when they supported The Buzzcocks it wasn't your usual "let's see if the support band are any good" atmosphere. They were a major draw on their own. Some of my brother’s friends had come down particularly for Joy Division, which really impressed me. The only songs I knew were Transmission and New Dawn Fades that I'd heard on the John Peel show. I also remember them playing Digital and my brother turning round and mouthing the words “this is great” to me. Someone knuckled me on the back of the head because I was showing my appreciation by moving around a bit though not really "dancing" and he said "These lot are shit."

But Joy Division did not give a shit what Hertfordshire folk thought of them, they were totally amazing - which sounds so obvious now because it’s been said a trillion times before but it was the truth. I was totally blown away by the power of the performance and how great the music was. In those days we’d try and meet the bands after the gig so we went to the back of the venue and Hooky came out and gave us loads of massive posters of Fact 10 Unknown Pleasures which was on my bedroom wall for years.

Anyway, The Buzzcocks were the main draw on that tour and contrary to rock mythology they were not blown offstage by Joy Division, they were amazing in their own right although not as otherwordly or futuristic as Joy Division. A big fight broke out in the audience between rival skinhead gangs halfway through the gig (always fights at gigs in those days) and The Buzzcocks walked offstage and the house lights came on. A man came onstage and said the band won’t come back if people are fighting. After about 10 minutes they came back on and finished the gig, it seemed normal back then!

We spoke to Pete Shelley afterwards and he was very friendly and talkative. He said Joy Division were mates of theirs who started around about the same time and I said “why don’t you do Times Up anymore”, and he said “They’re Howard’s lyrics, I can’t remember them.”

Mark Refoy May 2019                   


Buzzcocks / Joy Division Autumn Tour 1979 Gig Schedule