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Friday, 30 October 2020

No Love Lost

Japan, The Associates and Joy Division were the first groups that felt were MY groups.  I couldn't afford to buy loads of vinyl, so I collected The Associates and Japan's stuff on tape- borrowing albums from the local library, but buying all of JD's available stuff. This decision was as much to do with the emotions generated as it was financial. The Associates and Japan had, of course, weight. Their stuff was symphonic poetry... Beauty. But jesus kruschev, man, JD had weight in every chord, word, syllable, and record sleeve. They were art, politics, the working class voice of post industrial, crumbling Britain in many ways. To me.

And Curtis spoke of the inner self like no one else I had heard, as a young teenager. This stuff spoke of - and to- the world.

In a lot of ways, I was seen as a bit wild, out of control, when I was a teenager. I worked 9-5...but disapeared from mainstream life in my room with my records and tapes, and at times, when I needed some kind of way out of here, from Friday evening to Sunday night, physically, and mentally to pubs, clubs, couches, strange beds, floors and other unsuitable places that were not mine.  But I really believed the world should change. I just had no clue how that could be done, and I had a load of baggage I had to wade through before I could think beyond myself. Alcohol really helped me escape my shit, as did other stuff (I had a love hate relationship with alcohol, that sometimes turned to total hate, and I went for bursts without it... Sometimes, replacing it with other addictions like exercise or mary jane). But music really was my drug- an addiction that has never left . And like alcohol and other drugs, it really took me on emotional and physical trips - and like my need for  alcohol to help me escape and be my much more confident alterego, I thought music like Joy Division, shouting to the world, would change it. I really did. Music was my movement. My political rally. My branch meeting.

Unknown Pleasures and Closer, although definately late Joy Division, are very different beasts. I'm not going to review them here. And I'm not sure I ever will, because to do so, would seem like exposing the deepest secrets of my family, or something. My relationship with these albums is so personal, I've never played them when my wife is around. They are mine.

When I was young I couldn't get bootlegs, or back catalogues of Joy Division, in their previous guise of Warsaw. These things were rare, and never in record shops in Banbridge or Belfast. But, I heard this track eventually, in the mid eighties.

I have never heard a decent cover of JD... And I don't think I ever will hear one that will make me think I'll play it instead of the original. Well, until someone posted this earlier, in a JD Facebook group. I've never heard of The Distillers, and have thus far listened to two tracks. This one and another filmed at Reading in 2004, when I was too busy detoxing (eventually) and being dad to an eight year old. For all I know, they were the most famous band in the world. 

Anyone want to recommend me any other Distillers tracks? Because this is a decent cover I'll play more than once (I have already) with the energy of the original, done slightly differently. 

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