Joy Division / New Order

Joy Division / New Order

I can’t source the original quote or swear to the memory, so this could be total mis-recall – but years ago there was an interview with members of  Joy Division / New Order, in which they described how they originally looked for gear.  Vox equipment was associated at the time (mid 70s) with the music of the previous generation;  the swinging 60s were just a memory.  Considered the last decade’s fashion, there was now lots of old used Vox gear around going cheap.  Like I said, the memory could just be mixed up with some other band.  I think though it was Joy Division, saying something like how when they’d started off, they looking for something they could afford, but on top of that they were looking for something different;  I think there was a suggestion that ideally they would have liked something with a more industrial/mechanised edge,  and possibly even avoiding having to use guitars and drums, but the technology didn’t really exist at the time.  Again the recall is very hazy,  but I think they described rooting round some shop, and finding buried at the back the metal-front vox amps & gear, and either the counter-fashionable sound and looks of the vox gear won them over, or the cheap price.   Anyway, whatever the original story/motivation was,  Ian Curtis ended up with at least one Vox Phantom; what looks like a Vox  Supreme cabinet is often seen, and then… there are the hybrid Vox heads, with trolleys & cabinets.  These have usually been described as 730s; it does seem they started with a couple – but with the move to New Order, we have discovered there was a 4series head too that was often to be seen, and heard.


A post on geekchat   links to some good early Joy Division photos; these show what appear to be two 730s (could also be 715s, the cabs appear to have microphones placed in front).



Here they are at T J Davidson’s ‘rehearsal rooms’ (an empty factory floor). “..We had an enormous factory floor to the winter we used to just brush all the rubbish to one end of the room and set fire to it to just keep warm”.


 Peter Hook allegedly borrowed a 730 in 2011 for someone else to use in a recording session.


The heads can be seen on the ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart” video (stacked at this point on the two cabs);  here’s a still from the video –



Full video here –

Also it looks like it might be a 730 being used by Bernard Sumner on Transmission, here  –

With the creation of New Order after the death Ian Curtis, the band continued to use the 730;

new order

 At various points though with New Order, we can reveal that Bernard is actually not in front of a 730, but a  430 on a cabinet; it seems some gear was stolen during the first New Order tour to the USA,  so possibly this was a replacement for one of those.  It may be that it was there all along, and was just left in the studio.  You can see/hear the 430 in action here;

Brixton academy,  4th April 1987 (click to enlarge)









– and here doing “Blue Monday” In the studio in 1984 (Bernard doesn’t play the guitar here, can’t say for sure if amp is being used, but it can be seen to be a 430);


 (You can hear/see guitar used at same session on a demo version of ‘Sooner Than You Think’ ,  here ,  released version here )

Here it’s seen at a soundcheck at the Hacienda in 1987; it is blurry, but you can see (despite the reflections from the 2 inputs on the left) the larger 4 switches on each channel, with a reflecting lead in-between .. then the power bulb shining on the far right hand side.


You can hear the amp soundcheck starting at about 7.34 here –

it tends to be drowned out, but carries on here –

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Joy Division / New Order | 2015 | blog