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"
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"
Jon Savage was the DJ.
Poster by Jon
Thanks to Bill
for the photo
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.