Joy Division – The Youth Club (Godfather GR 209)

The  Youth Club (Godfather Records G.R. 209)

Tracks 1-13: Bowden Youth Club, Altrincham, Cheshire, UK March 14, 1979

Tracks 14-21: Prince Of Wales, Confidence Centre, YMCA, London, UK August 2, 1979

01. Exercise One, 02. She’s Lost Control, 03. Shadowplay, 04: Leaders Of Men, 05. Insight, 06. Disorder, 07. Glass, 08. Digital, 09. Ice-Age, 10. Warsaw, 11. Transmission, 12. I remember Nothing, 13. No Love Lost, 14. Dead Souls, 15. Wilderness, 16. Transmission, 17. Day Of The Lords, 18. She’s Lost Control, 19. Shadowplay, 20. Atrocity Exhibition, 21. Insight

Haunting is the one word that sums up the Joy Division experience. Listening to Ian Curtis one can’t help but wonder about all of the pain corsing through his soul and the inner turmoil he felt due to his trying to hide his condition from everyone. He was succesful in hiding his epilepsy for a very long time until he had a fit on stage during a show. This was a big factor in his suicide in 1980.

Godfather Records has done us all a favor in releasing the entire soundboard recording of the March 14th, 1979 show. There is an alternate incomplete Audience source for this show which does not include the first track “Exercise One”. This track is cut on the Soundboard release. No one is quite sure why it’s cut. It almost sounds as if it was recorded over but there is a slight pitch difference between it and the next track “She’s Lost Control”. It’s quite possible that “Exercise One” is from a different date. For the sake of Argument let’s just go with it being from the same date. The final track of this date “No Love Lost” is cut as well. This is likely due to running out of tape. The source used on this release did not surface until 2004. The Audience source was released on the following Bootleg Titles:

Lost Control LP (JD-Lost-7): Released 2004. Heavy White Vinyl, Clear Vinyl, Green Vinyl (Rel. 2006)

Live! Bowden Vale Youth Club, Altringham 14/3/79 LP (JD-1): West-German bootleg, released October 1983. Photocopied glued-on single sheet insert cover.

Death LP (P1): Italian LP. Black & White cover. Limited to 500 copies

All or some of this gig was filmed by Malcolm Whitehead, songs 02-04 were used in the “Joy Division 8MM Film”, produced by none other than M. Whitehead, and premiered on 13 September 1979. This is according to Mark Johnson’s book “An Ideal For Living”, page 42.

The 2nd half of this release features the August 2, 1979 show. This was the first of the 4 night alternative rock festival at the Prince of Wales Conference Centre in London, besides Joy Division also Teardrop Explodes and Echo And The Bunnymen played. Godfather gives us only part of this show. They chose to ommit “Disorder” and “Auto-Suggestion”. This is due to the limited space on a CD. There is a possible Alternate Source floating around but there’s no definite info available at this time. NME’s own Adrian Thrills had this to say about Joy Division’s performance. “If I had a flair for understatement, I could say that Joy Division were good too. The truth is they were phenomenal – the most physical hard rock group I’ve seen since Gang Of Four. This Manchester band have been allowed to grow at their own pace, uncramped by commercial pressures. The result is that they’ve created a totally distinctive, cohesive sound over the last two years…They have the spirit and the feeling.” The complete source appears on many different Bootleg LP releases. For additional info on these please visit:

The sound quality of both shows on this release is quite exceptional considering the time period and the primitive audio equipment available. The August 2nd show sounds slightly better than the March 14th show but I must stress that both shows are a pleasure to listen to. There is not a lot of hiss present and the recordings sound full and quite nice. Godfather has chosen to go with a Black & White color scheme for the artwork. Maybe Grey & White would be more like it. The cover features a composite of a live shot of Ian Curtis over the “Unknown Pleasures” album cover. The “Unknown Pleasures image is found in the book, the “Cambridge Encyclopaedia Of Astronomy.” Often called the “dying star” logo it’s a printout of the flashes produced by the CP1919 pulsar. The inside gatefold of this Godfather release contains many great Black & White shots of the band Live and just hanging out. This release is packaged in Godfather’s signature “Tri-Fold” packaging. There are no liner notes included other than the dates and tracklisting printed on the back cover.

I’ve listened to this release numerous times since receiving it a few weeks ago. Although it’s been out over a year I took a chance in getting it and it’s paid off. I’m extremely happy to have it in my collection and it’s something I’ll definitely be revisiting for years to come. Thanks again to Godfather Records.

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