Icon Joy Division Shadowplay
Live Performances

Part One: May 1977 to August 1979

This page lists Joy Division's live concert performances in chronological order. The concert dates and venues are listed by month, followed by notes on those performances which were significant in terms of the band's career, and those which were recorded.

When you have finished, click on the picture of Ian Curtis to return to the index.


Warsaw concerts in 1977

Icon I was there in the backstage
May 1977
29th:The Electric Circus, Manchester
Warsaw's first public performance was at The Electric Circus, with an under-rehearsed Tony Tabac on drums. They were billed as the Stiff Kittens, although the band never used this name themselves. The gig was reviewed favourably by Paul Morley for the NME.
31st:Rafters, Manchester
June 1977
3rd:The Squat, Manchester
6th:Guildhall, Newcastle
16th:The Squat, Manchester
25th:The Squat, Manchester
30th:Rafters, Manchester
Warsaw may have played on other occasions at The Squat and/or Rafters during June and July in addition to the dates listed above. At The Squat on 3rd June, John the Postman joined the band on stage to sing Louie Louie. The Rafters gig on 30th June was the first with Steve Brotherdale on drums, replacing Tony Tabac. Steve Brotherdale continued during July, participating in the band's first recording session.
August 1977
27th:Eric's, Mathew Street, Liverpool (date uncertain)
27th:The Electric Circus, Manchester (date uncertain)
The gig at Eric's was the first with Steve Morris on drums. The date is usually listed as the 27th, but this is wrong. Some listings show an Electric Circus gig on that day, but this too is unconfirmed. The band may also have played at Rafters in August.
September 1977
14th:Rock Garden, Middlesbrough
24th:The Electric Circus, Manchester
The Middlesbrough concert was the source of an early bootleg recording which did not surface for many years. Warsaw supported the Rezillos at the Electric Circus. Some accounts incorrectly give the date of this gig as 27th August.
October 1977
2nd:The Electric Circus, Manchester
A number of Manchester bands played at the Electric Circus closing concert, which was recorded for the Short Circuit compilation album. Warsaw contributed At A Later Date to the album.
7th:Salford College of Technology
The Salford gig is believed to be where Martin Hannett saw the band live for the first time.
8th:Manchester Polytechnic
13th:Rafters, Manchester
19th:Pipers Disco, Manchester (venue uncertain)
November 1977
24th:Rafters, Manchester
December 1977
31st:The Swinging Apple, Liverpool
The New Years Eve performance was the band's last under the name Warsaw. They may also have appeared again at Rafters earlier in December.


Joy Division concerts in 1978

Icon When figures from the past stand tall
And mocking voices ring the hall
January 1978
25th:Pips, Manchester
The band's first gig as Joy Division was marked by a certain amount of fighting and chaos.
March 1978
14th:Bowdon Vale Youth Club (probably confused with 14th March 1979)
28th:Rafters, Manchester (date uncertain)
April 1978
7th:Good Mood, Halifax
14th:Rafters, Manchester
Rafters hosted the Stiff Records/Chiswick Challenge, billed as a "Battle of the Bands". Joy Division performed last at about 2am, after most of the audience had left. Fortunately Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton were still there to see them and were impressed by their performance. During the evening Ian took the opportunity to harangue Tony Wilson (in very strong language) for not giving Joy Division a slot on his TV show.
25th:Eric's, Liverpool (date uncertain)
May 1978
20th:The Mayflower Club, Manchester
June 1978
9th:The Factory, Manchester
Joy Division performed at one of four evenings which marked the opening of Tony Wilson's club The Factory. The poster designed by Peter Saville for the four events was the first item in the legendary Factory catalogue, FAC 1. The Tiller Boys shared the billing with Joy Division.
Band on the Wall, Manchester (dates unknown)
Joy Division probably played several times at the Band on the Wall during this period, but so far there are only a few confirmed dates.
July 1978
13th:Eric's, Liverpool
15th:Eric's, Liverpool
27th:Roots Club, Leeds
28th:The Factory, Manchester
Joy Division appeared twice at Eric's. Some listings show two performances on the 15th, but this is probably wrong.
August 1978
29th:Band on the Wall, Manchester
September 1978
4th:Band on the Wall, Manchester
9th:Eric's, Liverpool
10th:Royal Standard, Bradford
22nd:Coach House, Huddersfield
26th:Band on the Wall, Manchester
October 1978
2nd:Institute of Technology, Bolton
12th:Kelly's, Manchester
20th:The Factory, Manchester
At The Factory, Joy Division played support for Cabaret Voltaire and The Tiller Boys, and impressed everybody present. This event, and the poster which publicised it, were catalogued as FAC 3.
24th:Fan Club, Brannigans, Leeds
26th:Band on the Wall, Manchester (date uncertain)
27th:Apollo Theatre, Manchester (confused with 27th October 1979)
November 1978
4th:Eric's, Liverpool
14th:The Odeon, Canterbury
15th:Brunel University, Uxbridge
15th:Top Rank, Reading (cancelled)
19th:Locarno, Bristol (cancelled)
Several other dates and venues (cancelled)
November marked Joy Division's first venture away from the North of England as support for the Rezillos and the Undertones. Unfortunately most of the planned concerts were cancelled, including several other university visits.
20th:Check Inn Club, Altrincham
26th:The Venue, Electric Circus, Manchester
The Electric Circus re-opened briefly in late 1978 with a new name. It was also billed as the New Electric Circus.
December 1978
1st:Salford College of Technology
Some accounts incorrectly give the venue of the Salford gig as The Factory.
22nd:Revolution Club, York
27th:Hope and Anchor, Islington, London
At Joy Division's first appearance in London, only 30 people paid to get in even though the price was only 60 pence.


Joy Division concerts in spring and summer 1979

Icon For entertainment they watch his body twist
January 1979
12th:Wythenshawe College, Manchester
26th:The Factory, Manchester
February 1979
10th:Bolton (venue uncertain)
16th:Eric's, Liverpool
28th:Playhouse, Nottingham
March 1979
1st:Hope and Anchor, Islington, London
The band's second appearance in London brought an increase in the admission price to 75 pence!
4th:The Marquee, Soho, London
At the Marquee Joy Division provided support for The Cure.
13th:Band on the Wall, Manchester
14th:Bowdon Vale Youth Club, Altrincham
The Bowdon Vale concert was probably the first to be captured on bootleg recordings. It was also filmed, the film featuring in the Factory Flick. Apparently this gig was arranged to repay Bob Jefferson, the promoter, who had helped Joy Division to buy out their original recording contract.
17th:University of Kent, Canterbury (date uncertain)
30th:Youth Centre, Walthamstow, London
May 1979
3rd:Eric's, Liverpool
Joy Division led an Amnesty International benefit concert at Eric's with two Manchester bands as support. Ian Wood gave them an extended review in the NME and described them as "an important band".
11th:The Factory, Manchester
17th:Acklam Hall, Kensington, London
23rd:Bowdon Vale Youth Club, Altrincham
June 1979
7th:Fan Club, Brannigans, Leeds
13th:The Factory, Manchester (probably confused with 13th July 1979)
16th:The Odeon, Canterbury
Joy Division again played support for The Cure in another rare venture south. On other June dates they shared the bill with John Cooper Clarke.
17th:Royalty Theatre, Holborn, London
19th:Nuffield Theatre, University of Lancaster
22nd:Good Mood, Halifax
25th:Free Trade Hall, Manchester
28th:The Factory, Manchester (probably confused with 28th July 1978)
Many lists show the band appearing at the Russell Club on 13th and 28th June. These were not regular Factory nights and the dates have probably been confused with other genuine Factory concerts.
Band on the Wall, Manchester (date unknown)
July 1979
3rd:Free Trade Hall, Manchester
5th:Limit Club, West Street, Sheffield
11th:Roots Club, Leeds
13th:The Factory, Manchester
After the release of Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division were able to attract larger audiences. Over 400 attended the Factory concert, almost as many as for the Buzzcocks the night before. Most of their performance here appears on the Heart and Soul boxed set, as well as on bootleg recordings.
27th:Imperial Hotel, Blackpool
The Imperial Hotel concert was organised by Blackpool band Section 25, and also featured Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.
28th:The Mayflower Club, Manchester
The Funhouse Festival "Stuff the Superstars" event at the Mayflower Club featured ten bands, including The Fall, Ludus and The Distractions as well as Joy Division.
August 1979
2nd:YMCA, Tottenham Court Road, London
August was an eventful month! Joy Division played at the first of a four-night alternative rock festival at the YMCA's Prince of Wales Conference Centre. Adrian Thrills was ecstatic about Joy Division in his NME review, describing them as "phenomenal".
3rd:Albany Empire, Deptford, London
8th:Romulus Club, Birmingham
11th:Eric's, Liverpool (two performances)
The band played two Saturday sessions at Eric's, a few tracks from here appearing on bootleg recordings.
13th:Nashville Rooms, Earls Court, London
24th:Youth Centre, Walthamstow, London (date uncertain)
27th:Leigh Festival, Plank Lane, Leigh
The Leigh Festival was arranged with help from Factory and Zoo Records to showcase the best bands from Manchester and Liverpool over a bank holiday weekend. Those playing included OMD, A Certain Ratio, The Teardrop Explodes, Echo And The Bunnymen and Joy Division. At least part of the festival, including Joy Division's performance, was recorded. Despite the high quality of the performers, the event was poorly attended.
31st:The Electric Ballroom, Camden, London
There were no problems with the attendance at the Electric Ballroom, when Joy Division headlined their own show and played in front of 1,200 people, their largest audience.

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