Line Out Music & the City at Night

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Ian Curtis-alike It’s Okay to Like

Posted by on Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

In this article, I bemoaned—among other things—the biters of Ian Curtis’ sepulchral bellow. Let’s amend that to allow for one such Joy Division fanboy singer: Alan Hempsall of Crispy Ambulance.

The Manchester band’s peak came on “The Presence,” a rare example of spectral gothic dub. (Other than Dif Juz, who else sounded like this?) It appears in all of its 13-minute glory on Live on a Hot August Night EP (Factory Benelux, 1981). The video below halves its duration, but you can still get the gist of the song’s brooding splendor (the Martin Hannett production rules).

Thanks to my brother for reminding me of this (mostly) unknown pleasure.

Crispy Ambulance- “The Presence”


Comments (4) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Control features a sequence in which Joy Division attempts to play a show with Hempsall. Here's how Natalie Curtis describes it in The Guardian: "One of my favourite moments was being an extra at the Bury riot gig scene of 1980. It felt strange shouting, 'Fuck off!' at a pretend Alan Hempsall, the Crispy Ambulance singer who stood in for my father when he was too ill to go on stage.." For those who haven't seen the film or heard the story: the gig was cut short.
Posted by Kathy Fennessy on February 2, 2009 at 6:03 PM · Report this
For some reason, I often don't mind when Ian Curtis was imitated by his peers.

It bothers me unbelievably more, though, when people dig up his grave today.
Posted by Fawkes on February 2, 2009 at 8:38 PM · Report this
When's the damned Clock DVA reissues coming out?
Posted by Chris Estey on February 3, 2009 at 8:15 AM · Report this
Sorry Mr Segal, but no allowance made for this guy.
Posted by rk on February 3, 2009 at 9:18 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Most Commented on Line Out


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy