Uncut’s Worst Gigs! – Online Exclusive

Today: Ian Curtis' Jim Morrison impersonation does no favours for Joy Division

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In last month’s UNCUT, our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisced about their favourite gigs.

Well, in this month’s issue we’re looking back on the worst gigs we’ve ever seen – including The Stone Roses, Bob Dylan, Kevin Rowland and David Bowie – with rare photos from the shows too.

We’re also going to publish one of the worst gigs every day, with online exclusives, so feast your eyes on this, and be glad you weren’t there!


Prince Of Wales Conference Centre, London
2 August 1979.

STEVE SUTHERLAND: Me and my mate Nigel had read breathless reviews in NME about these brilliant new bands coming out of Liverpool with psychedelic inclinations and promisingly weird names, so when it was announced that Echo & The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes were both to make their London debuts on the opening night of an avant garde rock festival being held in the basement of the YMCA off Tottenham Court Road, we were there.

The Bunnymen opened, Echo the drum machine ticking away nicely on the backbeat as a young, tousled haired Mac pouted his way through vaguely acoustic renditions of future classics ‘Read It In Books’, ‘The Pictures On My Wall’, ‘Do It Clean’ and an especially intriguing ‘Villiers Terrace’. Me and my mate Nigel agreed that a song that sounded like Neil Young singing about people biting wool, pulling string and rolling around on carpets was very ace indeed.

The Teardrops bounced on next. They seemed very poppy after the Bunnymen but Copey’s fresh-faced enthusiasm and plummy, self-conscious vocals raised a smile and carried the day.

As I recall headliners Essential Logic did us all a favour by pulling out so we were left with this mob called Joy Division. They trooped on looking like disinterested squaddies and then proceeded to make a most godawful racket. This was nothing particularly noteworthy in itself – by 1979 we were well used to being sold noisy old guff and told it was art. Indeed Pil excelled in it. But what was not acceptable to me and my mate Nigel, and what finally send us scurrying off to the pub in exasperation was the geezer at the front who insisted on doing this piss poor Jim Morrison impersonation accompanied by this spaz idiot dancing that had nothing to do with the noise issuing into the tiny room through the tortured speaker stacks. Well, that, and the fact that they sounded like Hawkwind. Still do, as it happens.


Not even UNCUTs war-weary gig-hounds have been to every show in history – but you lot probably have.

Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com to share your memories, of the ones we’ve published or any which we have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!


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