For those into Joy Division and New Order, until Friday 23rd Jan, see the 2007 Grant Gee documentary ‘Joy Division‘ online. You know the one were Annik Honnore is interviewed (this is why Deborah Curtis unusually refused to take part) and interviews with all the band members, Peter Saville, Paul Morley and Tony Wilson – even Genesis P. turns up at one point…and loads of stuff I’ve never seen nor heard of Joy Division.
I don’t think I’ve ever really explained the connection with Joy Division and New Order that well; maybe it’s the roots (I was born in Greater Manchester in the 70’s) and the fact I can remember that atmosphere, that place, that feeling – what Tony Wilson talks about and others about the feel of Manchester in the 70’s is very true, people think it’s exaggeration but concrete and rain is the best thing I can say about it. Grim.
Maybe it’s the time of my life in my 20’s when I revisited and found out more about them, already being a fan of New Order, and for the first time appreciating their darkness as saying something about me.
Or maybe I’ll never know. Certainly I find it hard to hear Closer, partly because of the obvious state of Ian’smind but partly because it is a such a dark album that takes me back to a dark time of my life. Weirdly I see Unknown Pleasures as being quite upbeat and poppy LOL – I own a copy of that. Never owned a copy of Closer; even though I have Love Will Tear Us Apart on 7″. It’s not an album I can totally love, it’s too cold, although I really respect it.
Anyway what this gets over better than Control is the otherworldliness of Ian Curtis and Martin Hannett’s production – the weird noises, the clangs, the echoing squeaks and the wails. It is a little bit like Sci-fi on the Manchester Ship Canal, really. And the ending is far less bleak.
Nice to also see the band and others saying how angry they were at Ian’s suicide, it wasn’t something that was said but everyone just thought ‘you prick’ rather than putting him on a pedestal, which unlike Kurt or Richey shows the fans weren’t buying a brand personality but a person, well four people in fact, someone who broke that barrier – that front – and genuinely, distressingly and destructively meant everything he sang.