Joy Division > Joy Division by Kevin Cummins (Polite Cards) > Review > Competition
"A look at one of the most iconic rock bands of all time. Joy Division pioneered a genre of music and defined the look and sound of the post-punk era, and thirty years after the suicide of their lead singer Ian Curtis, they remain one of the most influential rock bands to have come out of England. Between their infamous live performances and two studio albums in the late 1970s, Joy Division set the Manchester scene alight, established Factory Records as the most influential label in pop music, and recorded some of the most enduring songs of the era. Kevin Cummins began his career just as the band formed, and for the few short years of their career was given closer access to them than any other photographer. This postcard box set collects 20 of his images of the band - sensitive photographs that capture their quiet introspection offstage, their close relationships as bandmates, and Curtis's legendary energy in live performances.
"Kevin Cummins is the definitive chronicler of Manchester music. His photographs have appeared in the NME, Melody Maker, The Face, Mojo, and Rolling Stone, and is work has been exhibited at galleries around the world.
"This postcard box set features 20 of these classic images, presented in a hand finished box - made in Manchester."
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!
How to buy
Joy Division by Kevin Cummins is available to buy now online from the Polite Cards Shop.
Postcard Box Set Special Boxed Edition