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Sounds 28/7/79

Sounds 28/7/79 Live review by Mick Middles Joy bringers Joy Division Manchester Togetherness is a quality found in very few bands. In these days of inflated ego, most rock outfits tend to thrive on the opposite. The Fall, The Damned and the Sex Pistols have always tended to allow the separate personalities to run rampant. Each band member in search of his own particular goal. Sometimes this produces a healthy internal anarchy which is fine while it lasts but all to often backfires and causes all kinds of problems for the young band. So, it's a very rare sight to see four individuals working harmoniously in search of one unique sound. Any band finding themselves in this position are very lucky indeed. Thay can achieve almost anything (musically, not commercially) that they wish. they are powerful and dangerous. Joy Division are such a band. The music of Joy Division is narrow-minded and stubborn. It is a tight, dominating noise that is introverted but masterful. An implosion of musical ideas. A direct result of four people staring at one fixed point. So it replaces boredom with controlled commitment. It finds it's own perfection. You've heard the album. You must see the band because, as good as that album is, it only hints at the kind of passion this band are usually able to produce onstage. So far this year has given me five out of my ten favourite live gigs of all time. And yet... this gig surpasses the lot. Onstage, Joy Division are silent, moody but not corny. The guitarist doesn't move an inch, his face locked in concentration as he slowly builds up the excitement. His piercing guitar notes sit snugly on top of the moody bass. The drumming is snappy in the new disco style. It adds a touch of light-hearted bounce to the sound. Ian Curtis spits out the vague lyrics. The power level rises and drops in inconsistent patterns. Orgasmic and mind-blowing. During the set's many 'peaks' Ian Curtis often loses control. He'll suddenly jerk sideways and, head in hands, he'll transform into a twitching epileptic-type mass of flesh and bone. Suddenly he'll recover. The guitars will fade away, leaving the lonely drummer to finish the song on his own. Then, with no introduction, the whole feeling will begin again. Another song, another climax. It could be 'She's Lost Control' or 'Shadowplay' or 'Digital'. It doesn't really matter. The effect remains the same. A haunting, hypnotic experience of moving, magical music. They could be compared to The Doors or Hawkwind but even those hefty comparisons can't do any justice to Joy Division. They never fail to amaze me with their morbid genius. Sensuous, seductive and deadly. This band cry real tears. MICK MIDDLES

Last updated on 2005-03-07 10:17:00 PM - 10:17:00 PM
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