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. 

Jon Savage was the DJ and Joy Division's set list included the following songs, based on the recollections and reviews lower down this page:

Dead Souls
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Atrocity Exhibition

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"
Poster by Jon Savage, thanks to Bill

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". 
A.T. reviewed the Joy Division set in City Fun fanzine #18

There's not much more to be said about JOY DIVISION, that hasn't been said at least twice in past month. After considerable over-exposure in the music press in recent months therough 'Unknown Pleasures', and their diminished impact in large venue appearances on the last Buzzcocks tour (cabaret special), they were back on form tonight. Their own magic formula for dance music worked again, without simply retreading numbers from Th Famous Album. They are not resting on past achievements either. Alongside old favourites auch as 'Digital', 'Disorder' and 'Atrocity Exhibition', there were many new numbers featuring Albrecht on synthesiser, which sounded both stunning and a bit bewildering. A frantic version of 'Transmission' was the encore, and despite considerable demand thet didn't play a second. Still, they had to go off some-time.

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.

John Connor was there:

I went to see JD after the Iggy Pop gig at the Apollo. I had to walk and bumped into another chap who was doing the same. Support for Iggy that night was the Psychedelic Furs and they were already at the New Osborne when we arrived. Just in time to see JD come on stage after paying my 1.25 on the door. Hard to recall the set but I'm pretty sure Dead Souls was in there (first song?) as I still remember "They keep calling me" ringing out as it was my first JD gig. Later saw them at the Factory 11th April.