29 Oct 2010
A Polite Joy Division postcards competition 
Joy Division, Polite Cards' latest set of postcards featuring the work of Kevin Cummins (following on from the Manchester and Liverpool boxed collections) is also their most impressive. Housed in a dark grey 'hessian'-style box reminiscent of a cut-down-in-size entry in the Factory Records cassette box series, the 20 black and white A6-sized postcards on quality card stock are presented in suitably reverential fashion. A simple black ribbon poking out to facilitate the easy removal of the cards is a lovely touch.

Understandably, half of the cards feature Ian Curtis and the most iconic shots we know and love are all present and correct (Ian dancing on stage at the Leigh Rock Festival, Ian seated and smoking a cigarette, Ian close-up smoking a cigarette and looking into the lens) but we also get several less familiar shots, both in performance and rehearsal.

The other half of the collection includes various group shots of Joy Division in rehearsal at TJ Davidson's and several of the classic shots from the famous snowbound Hulme 'Joy Division footbridge' shoot.

However, perhaps the most interesting is of a relaxed looking Joy Division sitting together and looking relaxed (and decidedly normal) at Art & Furniture in Manchester in January 1979. This was on the same day as the Hulme shoot but after the snow, as Kevin Cummins explained to Cerysmatic Factory:

"It was after the snow. I wanted to be safe and get some indoor shots in case they [the NME] wouldn't use the snow pics. It was a shop in town. Art & Furniture was owned by Jonathan Silver who owned a couple of, er, boutiques in Manchester. I'd bought a suit off him and Ian bought his wedding suit. It was all very-anti rock 'n' roll - that shot looks like it's shot in a gentleman's club or something...."

If you didn't have the cash to splash out on one (or all) of Kevin's large prints from his Arca exhibition or the Juvenes coffee table art book, then this box set is a highly recommended medium budget option.

We have one copy of Joy Division by Kevin Cummins courtesy of those lovely people at Polite Cards. All you have to do is answer this simple question, which in time-honoured tradition is set by none other than Kevin Cummins:

Which of the four members of Joy Division was the last to join the band?

Answers please by email to reach us no later than 22:00 GMT on Sunday 14 November 2010. Usual Cerysmatic Factory competition rules apply - only one entry per person and the winner will be pulled out the Cerysmatic hat shortly after the closing deadline. Good luck!

Joy Division by Kevin Cummins is available to buy now online from the Polite Cards Shop for delivery from 1 November 2010.


Postcard Box Set Special Boxed Edition
20 Postcards
148 x 105 mm / A6
Hand Made Box
Printed in England
RRP £25

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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