COME with me in my musical Tardis, back some 40 years to this very week in January 1978.

It’s bitterly cold, one of the cruellest winters on record, and a young four-piece band are about to make their debut at a rather grotty club in the bleak, industrial north west of England.

Two years after being inspired by the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, and after a few personnel changes and a rethink of band names along the way, (Stiff Kittens, followed by Warsaw, since you ask…), Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris take to the stage at Pip’s Disco in Manchester on January 25, 1978, for the first time as Joy Division.

Riding the tsunami of post-punk’s explosive energy, the next two years would cement Joy Division as arguably one of the most important, most innovative, most inspirational bands since, well, the last one...

The brutal beauty of their 1979 album Unknown Pleasures was hailed by critics as one of the best debut releases ever, and their live shows were a thing of wonder, particularly the exhaustive and awe-inspiring performance of singer Curtis, which I was fortunate to witness on two occasions in London.

Great things were predicted but, on the verge of their first US tour, Curtis, plagued by health issues, both mental and physical, torn apart by his failing marriage and struggling to cope with the band’s meteoric rise, took his own life in May 1980.

I can still hear John Peel imparting the dreadful news that evening on his radio show.

Their second album, the lusher, more sophisticated Closer, was released after Curtis’s death, and Sumner, Hook and Morris, retreated, rethought and regrouped, along with Gillian Gilbert, to conquer every known galaxy as New Order.

The band’s legacy can still be heard in music today, from rock, through to electro and rap, and their dark, harsh yet hauntingly moving sound has influenced countless musicians, not least Weymouth outfit Komakino, who are reforming after a break of some four years with their personal homage to Joy Division.

“I can’t even remember why we dissolved,” Komakino drummer Kowboy  tells me.

“We kind of drifted apart and all went on to do other things,” he adds.

Original bassist Johnny Fingers and guitarist Glenn Paul are still on board and their upcoming gigs, opening with The Belvedere in Weymouth next Saturday, January 27, will feature Paisley frontman Adam Chevis who has the unenviable task of taking on the vocal duties.

“The sound and the songs are a huge challenge for all of us, but we’re confident we can do it justice,” says Kowboy, who also drums with crack local reggae/ska outfit The Mad Hatters.

“I have to resist dropping in a reggae rimshot and making us Jah Division,” he quips.

Komakino’s set list includes all of Unknown Pleasures, most of Closer, plus early tracks from New Order’s career and tunes from Warsaw’s Ideal for Living debut EP.

“A lot of people won’t know all the songs so will hopefully come with no preconceptions,” says Kowboy.

They’ll be following up the gig at the Belvedere with a date at Finns in Weymouth on Saturday, February 10, with both events likely to be one of those ‘I was there’ nights. Make sure you are, okay?

Moving on, and many musicians and music fans will be saddened to hear of the passing of Margaret Dixon, who, along with husband Terry and son Rob, ran the Three Compasses at Charminster for almost 30 years.

Margaret and Terry always championed live music at their friendly pub, with seasoned pros always welcome and youngsters always given every chance and encouragement.

She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Margaret’s funeral will be on Thursday, February 1 at 1.30pm at St Mary’s Church in the village, with a family service at Weymouth Crematorium afterwards, followed by a suitably raucous and affectionate send-off back at the Compasses.

Till next time…



Surfing Birds, The Hawksmen, Amy Brown (Corn Exchange, Dorchester)

Paprika (Powerstock Hut)

Mad Hatters (Finns, Weymouth)

Nick Sellars (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

TBC (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

The Shakespearos (King’s Arms, Weymouth)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Andy Garnt Trio (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Jolly Boys Outing (Park, Weymouth)

Strings and Reeds (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Toxic Fish (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Farrago (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Sixteen String Jack (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Sheryl Lee (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Leggomen (Britannia, Portland)

Dakota (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Rockin’ Rich (Belvedere, Weymouth)


Fissure of Riddles, Embodiment, Vrona, Terran Spacers, We Come From Ashes (Finns, Weymouth) FoR album launch, from 7.30pm.

Neil Wale (Conservative Club, Weymouth)

Replay (Moonfleet Bowls Club, Weymouth)

Haze (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Leggomen (Red Lion, Beaminster)

The Alibi (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Maiden The Park VI Somewhere Back in Time (Park, Weymouth)

Andy Twyman (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Jon Storey Band (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Usual Suspects (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Just Jon and Son (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

No Fixed Abode (Tom Brown’s, Dorchester)

Prairie Dogs (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Splinter (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Peanut Butter Jelly (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Average Wyke Band (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Darren H (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Jolly Boys Outing (Punchbowl, Portland)

The Mother Ukers (Ropemakers, Bridport)


Minor Fret (Boot, Weymouth) 5pm.

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 3pm, followed by…

Darren H (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

The Rat Pack (Kings Arms, Weymouth) 3pm.

Ricky Solo (Sailor’s Return, Weymouth) From 3pm.

Folk, Country and Blues Session (Old Town Hall, Weymouth) From 7pm.

Johnny Mac (Black Dog, Weymouth) 4-7pm.

Gut and Steel (George, Portland) 4pm.

Scots Dan’s Open Mic (Duke of Albany, Weymouth) 6pm.


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)


Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Open Mic with Martin Freed (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return, Weymouth)


Ricky Solo (Edinburgh HoS, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove, Portland)

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Roger’s Singalong (Gloucester, Weymouth)


Dead Man’s Clique (Finns, Weymouth)

Shooter (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Wiggie (Weymouth Workies Club)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

The Rock Band (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Hot Bacon (Park, Weymouth)

The Mighty Fine (Kings Arms, Weymouth)

The Hawkmen (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Stevie P (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Owen Lister (Tom Brown’s, Dorchester)

Mike Sidaway (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Elmore Goes Electric (Anchor, Burton Bradstock)

Dakota (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)