Joy Division live review Sounds 13/1/79
Live review by Nick Tester

Joy Division
Hope And Anchor

  Joy Division try to be a grim group, but I just grinned. 
  They stutter on-stage wearing sulky, long looks. The vocalist, Ian 
Curtis, seems intensely irritated but he doesn't say anything 
between songs other than to remark the band are going to tune up.
  The music is matt coloured, fast HM, often flat and usually 
undistinguished. Guitarist Bernard Albrecht plays some looping minor
chords but the monotonous rhythm charge of Peter Hooks (bass) and 
Steve Morris (drums) invariably overrides such frills with 
sledgehammer grit. The perfect vehicle, it would appear, for the 
doom-laden slant of the lyric.
  This retracted grimness is alienating, but not for intended 
provocative or creative reasons. I found Joy Division's 'tedium' a 
blunt, hollow medium, comical in it's superfluous angst. 
  Hardly harrowing gloom, but but facile parody of such, illustrated 
by the polite response from the festive few here tonight. Whereas 
say Gang Of Four poke genuine and disturbing bitterness through a 
subtle and refreshing approach, Joy Division communicate little of 
this tenseness or expansion via depression, since their angle is
awkward, contrived and mundane to the point of being ridiculous.
  They may have gathered a tight following in home town Manchester
but they failed to ignite a similar impression in front of a new 
(though not necessarily more objective) audience. An off-night maybe,
but Joy Division's lack of an enlivening approach could be improved 
by an all-round sharper articulate stance and musical method.
  Joy Division could be a good band if they placed more emphasis on
poise than pose.
						       NICK TESTER 

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