I saw Joy Division play live once and they really were something special. This was in October 1979, supporting The Buzzcocks at Leeds University. I remember being stupidly excited about seeing them – I’d bought “Unknown Pleasures” when it came out a few months earlier and the vinyl was almost worn out by this point – and I pushed my way down the front to get as good a look as I could. Like most people, I was totally mesmerised by Ian Curtis. He put so much of himself into his performance, it was as though there was a little less of him with each passing moment. By the end of the set, he’d nothing left to give. All that remained was a thin, pale, shivering shadow. I still have a very vivid image of him being helped from the stage by a roadie at the close, the roadie’s arm clamped tightly around his shoulders as he steered him off into the wings.
I’ve been reminded of this after coming across the above review of the gig, which appeared in the following week’s Leeds Student newspaper, in a box of dusty cuttings the other day. I have no idea what happened to Casimir Fouldes (nowt on Google), but I reckon the sub editor ended up at The Guardian. The spelling of “wierd” may be excusable as a missed typo, but an apostrophe in “Hundred’s”? And a hyphen in “them-selves”. Now that’s what I call an atrocity exhibition.