AN exhibition of photographs taken of one of Joy Division’s earliest gigs launched at The Met, in Bury, on Saturday.

The pictures were taken by Martin O’Neill, and feature shots taken of the band’s infamous live performances.

Joy Division performed at The Met on April 8, 1980, just one month before lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide.

The gig, which resulted in a riot after Curtis walked off stage, cost the venue thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The exhibition will run until March and show the band playing live at Bowdon Vale Youth Club in February 1979, over a year before they reached Bury.

They capture the intimacy of the gig, which took place on a tiny stage barely a foot off the floor in front of around 150 teenagers.

Photographer O'Neill is himself an ardent Joy Division fan and is proud to have the photographs in a place where Joy Division once performed.

He said: “The band played a lot of gigs in the area before Curtis died and its nice to think that these photographs will be displayed in a place where such an amazing piece of their history took place.”

The launch event will run from 2pm to 4pm. For more information, visit