Even though there are now numerous official live Joy Division releases from which to choose, this is still a very commendable title culled from one excellent tape and one very good (albeit hissy) tape, both audience recordings. The former, from 1980, has been booted frequently, including the super-limited The Moonlight Club (which included the April 2 show as well) and a couple of vinyl releases, Heart Of Darkness and the 2-LP Factory By The Moonlight (which featured April 2, 3 and 4 – the latter from the Rainbow Theatre).. It’s always been a highly rated performance even though it’s only about 35 minutes.
The second half of the boot, from 1979, drops a couple of notches in sound and the hiss, unfortunately, is a constant that you have to deal with. It’s also pretty brief, less than a half hour (at this show the band was touring as the opening band for the Buzzcocks), and it also omits the final song from the set, “Transmission,” most likely due to it cutting off prematurely on the only known circulating tape. It. too, has been booted before, including as an LP titled Shadowplay. (Gee, aren’t there, like, 100 JD boots called that?) Personally I would have chosen to pair both of the Moonlight Club shows – they had different setlists – but this one is still a very dynamic performance, and it’s illuminating to listen back-to-back to the band at somewhat different time periods.
Nice art job on the disc, by the way, a 4-panel insert with closeups of electrical gear (to go with the “transmissions” theme of the title) rather than yet another recycled photo of the late Ian Curtis. -- OSWALD