Pontio Theatre would like anyone who attended a Joy Division concert in Bangor on 18th October 1979 to contact them – to share their memories and stories about the gig and the band as part of a special event.

A night of music and film will be held on 17 July with author Jon Savage to discuss his new book ‘This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division: The Oral History’, published by Faber Books.

Jon is one of the UK’s greatest and most well respected writers about pop and rock music and is the author of England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, Teenage: The Creation of Youth, 1875 – 1945 and1966: The Year the Decade Exploded .

His new book is a definitive oral history of Manchester band Joy Division – arguably the most important post-punk band ever and the most exciting and influential band of their generation. Still immensely popular and revered the evening will allow us to revisit their glorious and tragic legacy.

Joy Division emerged in the mid-70s at the start of a two-decades long Manchester scene that was to become much mythologised.

Over the course of two albums, a handful of other seminal releases, and some legendary gigs, Joy Division became the most successful and exciting underground band of their generation. Then, on the brink of a tour to America, Ian Curtis took his own life.

Pontio will also be offering a screening of rare footage of the band playing live at the Manchester Apollo in October 1979. Earlier on in this tour the band played at concert in the refectory at Bangor University. This was their only Welsh concert held at a location only metres away from the present location of the Pontio cinema.

Simon Calkin recalls the gig in Bangor: “I worked on the Joy Division/Buzzcocks gig at Bangor University. Everyone in print says it was 19th October (even Deborah Curtis) but it wasn’t the 19th, but 18th.

“I’ve still got the ticket (see scan) despite not needing it to get in (as I worked on the gig, humping PA and lighting gear around).

“I’d never heard JD (Joy Division) until that night, and they blew me away and the Buzzcocks off-stage. They played with a very simple lighting setup (red wash, blue wash or white wash) because during their set one of the lighting guys was re-patching the lights, as the hall’s electricity supply would not support the full lighting rig, which was designed for use in much larger places.

The hall was used as a cafeteria during the day, and the soundtrack to me having my tea was JD soundchecking. Their soundcheck was a waste of time, as they suffered from a poor sound balance during their live set … This didn’t stop JD blowing the Buzzcocks away though.”

If you attended the concert Please contact e.g.williams@bangor.ac.uk. / Subject line – JOY DIVISION BANGOR UNIVERSITY, OCTOBER 18 1979

Joy Division Concert Photo (Bangor University 18 October 1979) Credit Jeremy Roberts / Paul Hughes
Concert Ticket: Simon Calkin