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Blue Monday? Not in Manchester…

July 6, 2011

Monday evening was as perfect a Manchester evening as it could be. Sometimes after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is a schlep into town, but sometimes, some events mean that you just have to.

Joy Division

Joy Division

Now, here’s where we show our age. Joy Division can be credited, in a small way, with bringing us to Manchester. Footage of Ian Curtis, robotic & trance-like, was seminal and the music so different certainly to what I’d been exposed to. Although I didn’t really understand, in 1979, what Joy Division was about, I was a bit drawn to them. I was also a bit bothered by the suicide of somone I didn’t really know, but who was part of a band who’d produced an album like “Closer”. So, when Joy Division morphed into New Order, they’d already won me over – and were one of the influencing factors which saw me moving to Manchester rather than Sheffield.

Cut to circa 1986 and The Hacienda was our club of choice – in the days when future Manchester stars were just “people” who hung out in the Gay Traitor. If only you could turn back the clock and realise that one day, those people you exchanged “hellos” with, shared booths with & sometimes went back to house parties with, would become the kind of people, nearly 20 years later, you’d be waiting to see interviewed.

So, jump to a sultry Monday evening in July in Manchester in 2011 and we’re at Manchester International Festival to hear Dave Haslam interviewing Bernard Sumner. Bernard/Barney was a bit of a hero of mine – and time hasn’t diminshed that. So, it was a real privilege to be part of the audience when Dave introduced Bernard…

True Faith - Manchester International Festival

True Faith - Manchester International Festival

Despite the heat in the Pavilion Theatre, it was totally entrancing. There’s nothing like getting the real (although obviously biased) insight into the character of Ian Curtis, the catastrophic effect of his suicide on the remaining band members, the fall out with Peter Hook, the relationships with Rob Gretton and Tony Wilson – and beautifully & bizzarely, turning up to Liverpool’s training ground, to film “World in Motion” dressed as Elvis, in an open topped car…

Huge praise has to go once again to Dave Haslam, who questioned and probed with incredible skill. So much so, that often you could forget that someone was there, loading  the bullets in very subtle fashion.

Dave Haslam & Bernard Sumner, Manchester International Festival

Dave Haslam & Bernard Sumner, Manchester International Festival

And, to cap it all – guess who was DJing at the after show event? Just check our post about Dave Haslam’s interview with a very Special person

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