Andy McCluskey Recalls The Joy Division Show That Nobody Showed Up

Deniz Kivilcim

Record producer Andy McCluskey shared his top songs with NME under the title ‘Soundtracks Of My Life.’ McCluskey named many different pieces from various artists. He shared Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’ under ‘The Song I Want Played at My Funeral’ while recalling the one show no one showed up to.

McCluskey shared about the times he worked with the band and the record company and shared the story of the mentioned show:

“That song is the definition of melancholic beauty. I never, ever get tired of hearing it. We were on Factory Records [like Joy Division]. We played probably about 10 gigs with them. One of the greatest gigs we ever did was the gig that nobody came to.”

Apparently, not even half of the expected audience showed up to the show, which his band Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark was also a part of. The producer revealed the reason with the following words:

“Zoo Records and Factory Records put on a festival in Leigh, between Manchester and Liverpool. They were expecting 5,000 people to turn up, and I think 150 did. It was a bank holiday, and the buses weren’t running, which didn’t help. The line-up was Joy Division, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes and A Certain Ratio.”

The festival was held on 25, 26, and 27 August 1979. Despite the poor attendance, a bootleg recording was released on a 2 CD set in 2006 by Interstate Records and later on digital streaming platforms.

Below, you can give ‘Atmosphere’ a listen.

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