Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Over the years, I've been lucky enough to see some wonderful bands performing live and thought I'd share my top 15 with you, plus 'The One That Got Away' (which will be reserved for last).Some of my choices include groups who I've seen on many occasions, while one or two are just based on one performance that blew me away.
I'll be doing one each week, and my first choice are a group that achieved legendary status.
Years after their demise, Joy Division are still attracting new admirers and stirring affectionate memories for those who were there at the time.
My first encounter with JD was at the Derby Assembly Rooms where they played support to The Buzzcocks. Both bands were excellent, but Joy Division shaded it for me, with the icy beauty of their music casting a spell on the audience. The late Ian Curtis was both physically and mentally exhausting to watch, thrashing and contorting to the at times savage rhythms of his colleagues. Months later, I caught them again at Derby's Ajanta Theatre; a gig which would turn out to be their penultimate. I left the concert on a high, full of admiration for a band that had reached new heights before my eyes and ears. The Ajanta was never the best as far as acoustics were concerned but this didn't seem to matter. It was our club. The place where I caught such bands as The Only Ones, Bauhaus, Stiff Little Fingers, The Pop Group, Throbbing Gristle, The Damned and many others. Here, Joy Division excelled and it was the last time I saw them. Later on, I'd witness New Order playing live but that's another story...


  1. Man, you were so lucky to see these guys! What few live clips I've seen certainly reinforces your observations about Ian Curtis. What a magnetic frontman and there seemed to be an air of unpredictability about him that must've been exhilirating to watch.

  2. JD at the Ajanta was such an amazing night. I was just about to turn 17. What an eye opener!

  3. Cheers, JD. He was terrific to watch. Such a sad loss.
    Dave: thanks, mate. Section 25 support as I recall. Spooky we were both there. Probably even stood side by side. Certainly was an amazing night. Be nice to go back, wouldn't it?

    Michael: thanks for your comments which somehow slipped the net. Either blogger's fault or mine.