‘Joy Division weren’t cold. They were down-to-earth and funny’

By Interview: Hannah Booth

Matthew Higgs watches Joy Division rehearse, Manchester, August 1979

In late 1978, when I was 13, I started a fanzine called Photophobia, about the independent music scene. It was photocopied and stapled together, and all written by me to begin with. I was a few years too young for punk, but fascinated by what followed, particularly bands from the north, where I lived: the Fall, Human League and Joy Division. The fanzine was a way to get closer to them, and articulate my feelings about this music I loved.

My friends and I used to go into Manchester at weekends. The addresses of our favourite labels were on the backs of their LPs, so we'd go and find the buildings; at weekend, they were always shut, but we didn't care. We also went to TJ Davidson's, where all the great bands rehearsed. It was an industrial building with no lift; the more successful the band, the lower down they played. We'd knock on the door and walk in. We saw the Fall, and Mick Hucknall with his first band, Frantic Elevators, and Joy Division (here, I'm sat at the back on the right, looking straight ahead).

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Source: ‘Joy Division weren’t cold. They were down-to-earth and funny’