Joy Division concert

7th February 1980: The Factory II (New Osborne Club), 255 Oldham Road, Manchester


Supported by A Certain Ratio and Section 25.

This was a benefit concert arranged by Factory for the "City Fun" fanzine. 

Probable set list: Atmosphere, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Decades, Atrocity Exhibition, Transmission

Iggy Pop was playing the Manchester Apollo the same night so attendance was poor. It's also said that A Certain Ratio and Section 25 sounded "too much like Joy Division". Some sources incorrectly spell the venue "Osbourne Club"
Advert from the Manchester Evening News
     

Click for larger image

Thanks to Bill
for the photo

Review by Paul H for City Fun magazine: "A few bars into the first Joy Division song and it's immediately noticeable that the sound is vastly improved. Most of the set comprised new songs only old favourites like 'Atrocity Exhibition' and 'Transmission' being reserved for the encore. 

The new songs show Joy Division moving further and further away from the standard rock'n roll format and more into experimentation with synthesizers. As with Public Image Ltd. the synthesizer is used very sparingly, yet most effectively giving the songs both depth and texture. All of the songs are still great dance tunes I hadn't danced so much since I saw The Clash in 77. After 'Transmission' the audience stood shouting for more for about ten minutes but the band did not reappear. I was glad because after such a stunning set any more would have been anti-climatic". 
     
KF was there:

We faced a real dilemma with this one. A group of 5/6 of us all students at Manchester Poly wanted to go to both the Iggy Pop Gig at Manchester Apollo and the Joy Division City Fun Benefit gig which (by unfortunate circumstance) was on the same night at the Osborne Club on Oldham Road.

In the end we decided to get the Iggy Pop tickets which required advance purchase and then leave for the Osborne as soon as the Apollo gig finished which we figured would be 10.30 - 11pm (due to local by-laws regarding noise etc.) and pay on the door depending on the time of arrival. One of our contingent (Simon), had promised that Iggy would indulge in self-mutilation, genital exposure and stage diving. These activities were thankfully absent on the night although it would have livened up an otherwise so-so gig.

In the event the Iggy gig finished around 10.45pm and being poor students we had no other choice than to walk the 3 miles between the venues. On arrival we were told Joy Division had 'just come on'. After handing over our £1.25 (cheap even then), I remember a lot of people milling in a noisy foyer area and could discern a mesmerising synth sound wafting over from the main room. The place was very busy and it turned out these were the opening bars to Atmosphere (a track which was new to me that night). In my eyes it was a triumphant sensation and in hindsight a pointer to the direction the band were heading for on the Closer album. To my astonishment the crowd reaction was mixed. I sensed a large portion of the crowd were wanting the more uptempo numbers. Their wish was soon to be realised although if my memory serves me correctly, I am sure they also performed Decades before Atrocity Exhibition and Transmission.

I sensed this was a landmark gig. The best description of the atmosphere was 'tense'. ACR and Section 25 had also been on the bill and Factory nights were never really known for diligent planning or smooth organisation. Tony Wilson always lurked at gigs by Factory bands and as soon as he was spotted, cries of "Wa**er" would usually emanate from the crowd. In spite of the (for us) brevity of this gig, it still goes down as one of my all time favourites.
 
     
  MN was there:

I have since become friends with the guy who was managing the Osborne at the time. He told me that Wilson's initial approach to him was something along the lines of "I'll fill the place for you and you can take the Beer money". In view of Wilson's self confessed non-frugality this seams a pretty astute move on his part but as the gig was advertised as a City Fun benefit gig it was likely that the money was given over to them in true Wilson style.

Some of our friends were half dragged along and were complaining about the long walk from the Apollo. We were trying to hurry and in the end this paid off as we arrived just as JD came on stage. I remember lots of synthesizer numbers that were unknown at the time and it was the first time that I had seen IC use the oddly shaped white guitar that later featured in the Love Will Tear Us Apart video.