Brian Kotz was in support band
Back To Zero. Here are his recollections of the evening,
which was their 20th gig:
We were bottom-of-the-bill to The Cure (headliners) and Joy Division, it was a late agency add on for us. The two
bands' debut albums, "3 Imaginary Boys" and "Unknown Pleasures" respectively, had been released
during the previous weeks. It was the first time that we'd really played with bands who weren't part of our scene
(the 1979 MOD Scene), which made it interesting, and it was the first time we'd played at a seated venue.
We weren't sure how well we were going down after the first number, so I immediately exhorted the punters to get
up and move around a bit, which had an immediate positive reaction, and I really enjoyed our set.
Then came JD. I was sitting right by the side of the stage in the wings (yes, the place really did have old-time
"wings")! watching them, and I have to say that I have never witnessed anything like it before or since.
It may not have totally been what I was into at the time, but Curtis, and in fact the whole band, were mesmerising
to watch and listen to, whole banks of sound washing over me.......and the crowd were mesmerised too. Do you know
something? Not one person in the auditorium applauded after any of their songs, BUT, this was not indifference.
I could see the crowd from where I was positioned, and they were totally agog at the spectacle. I'm sure that those
who were there are still talking about the gig until this very day. Some members of our concern thought that we'd
gone down better because we induced dancing, but that was totally missing the point. Whilst we were packing our
gear away, One or two of the band, (I think Sumner and maybe Ian Curtis himself) complimented us on a good set,
and told us that they were looking forward to playing in London the following night because they'd be supporting
John Cooper Clarke - indeed they did, according to a gig list that I've just found. I must admit that I can't remember
any of the individual songs they played that night - which means that I don't have an immediate recollection of
seeing them do "She's Lost Control", dammit!
I was a voracious collector of ephemera from all of our gigs, whenever I could nab something, but unfortunately
I don't have anything from that night - probably because we weren't mentioned on the flyer or some silly reason
like that - it goes without saying that I wish I had.
We'd seen The Cure soundchecking, but were back in the van heading towards London by the time they were playing
their set. During the recording of the reunion album in 2003, I heard Sam tell a friend of mine that he thought
they were "fantastic" that night, not too sure how he worked that one out, as he didn't see them!