01 August 2010Isolation
It was a shame because the rarely-seen Plan K footage was highly gripping in all its fuzzy, raw, primitive glory. With both nights at the Manchester Apollo also on the programme it was just getting going when after about 35 minutes everything drew suddenly to a stop.
We decamped to the cafe downstairs and then to the Joy Division exhibition upstairs. Mark Reeder's stark black and white portrait of Ian Curtis was blown up to gigantic proportions on the far wall, various posters adorned the walls and display cases contained all manner of artefacts including contracts, setlists, invoices, press cuttings, photos, records, tapes, books, artwork and miscellaneous personal items (the best of which was a postcard from Steve Morris to Gillian sent whilst on a European tour which said how bad it was but how he thought it would only get worse!).
The one item which has probably generated the most interest is a handwritten letter from Ian Curtis to Rob Gretton about the release of Closer which reads:
"Judged purely on my own terms, and not to be interpreted as an opinion or reflection of mass media or public taste but a criticism of my own esoteric and elitist mind of which the mysteries of life are very few and beside which the grace of God has deemed to indicate in a vision the true nature of all things, plus the fact that everyone else are a sneaky, japing load of tossers, decree that this LP is a disaster. IK Curtis."
Every item tells a story and a lot of detail is crammed into a relatively small exhibition space and it's all well worth the two pounds entry fee. The exhibition continues at the Heritage Centre in Macclesfield until Sunday 8 August 2010.
Post punk cult band The Names emerged in the winter of 1977-1978 as The Passengers, gathering immediate attention on the local Brussels scene. In 1979, after a series of successful gigs and a crucial step forward opening for Magazine, they recorded their first E.P. ("Spectators Of Life") and attracted the interest of prominent label Factory Records in Manchester.
Their first British studio session (at Stockport's Strawberry Studio) produced the single "Nightshift" / "I Wish I Could Speak Your Language (Fac 29). Receiving enthusiastic reviews in the UK and abroad, it marked the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with producer Martin Hannett. The album "Swimming" followed as well as more singles, including "Calcutta" and "The Astronaut".
- extract from the official website biography