Joy Division

15th November 1978: Brunel University Uxbridge

Supporting the Rezillos and the Undertones. This was the last night the three bands played together as the Rezillos had a bust up at the gig at the Odeon Theatre, Canterbury 14th Nov 78.


Martin was there:

I was a big Ruts fan at the time and would travel all over west London to watch punk / new wave bands. On this evening I was going to see the Undertones and the Rezillos and was unaware that Joy Division were playing, in fact to be honest all I knew of them was the name and that they came from up north.

The gig was held in what was known as the Kingdom Room, I was very familiar with the place as I had seen numerous bands play there, it was always very dark inside and had low ceilings which added to the atmosphere. The venue was full that night, about 400+ Iíd say, I was at the very front crushed up against the stage. Joy Division took the stage to a few muffled cheers and a lot of 'who the fuck are they?'.

Without any introduction they went straight into the set. Being unfamiliar with their music I can only be sure of remembering two numbers - Walked In Line and Digital, this was down to the repetition of the chorus. The sound was harsh and disjointed and without any apparent melody, but very loud and furious. I was unsure if I liked the sound but it didnít matter, as I was engrossed in Mr Curtis who was no more than eight feet away from me and going like a fucking train! Never seen anything like it, doubt I ever will again. Ian kept locking onto people in the audience with piercing stares, including me, for a good ten seconds he made me feel quite uncomfortable.

Unfortunately the set was cut very short; there canít have been any more than four or five numbers. The reason being that a part of the audience was still into the spitting thing and took a big dislike to Ian. They covered the poor man from head to foot and shouted ' Rubbish!! ' , ' Off Off Off !! ' At the end of Digital, Ian had clearly had enough and said quite politely to the audience ' I see you are not educated down south ' and promptly walked off. He was quickly followed by Sumner and Hook, Steve Morris realised it was over and scrambled from his drums, unfortunately he had to walk past the front of them to exit the stage and he tripped on a speaker cable, the crowed jeered and heckled him, he picked himself up, hurled some obscenities and walked off.

And that was it, my first introduction to Joy Division. The Undertones played a good set and the Rezillos got two thirds through when the spitting started again and a fight broke out between band and audience to bring it all to a close. That night had a huge effect on me, been a staunch fan since.