Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Control, about Ian Curtis - the leadsinger of the band Joy Division - is a superb and engrossing film, even if you are like me someone who comes to the film knowing little of Joy Division already. Though hardly an enjoyable movie to watch(themes of depression, illness, etc kind of run throughout), there are moments of lightness and outstanding acting throughout - check it out anyway.

The reason I went to see it I suppose is because one of my minor claims to fame is that I have met Sam Riley, who played Curtis himself, and indeed saw his own band, the now defunct '10,000 things' play a few times live. Listening now back to the single of theirs I bought a while ago, they sounded a bit like the Rolling Stones - and they certainly were quite a lively decent band live. So what, you might well ask.

Well, to cut to the chase, a few years ago one evening I was working part-time behind the Deli counter in Somerfields and Riley wandered up to the counter where I was working and wanted to buy something or other. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: [kind of knowing the answer already] Hi, are you Sam from 10,000 things?
SR: [a bit surprised to be recognised] Yeah...have we met?
Me: Not really [I once had a really brief conversation with him in a crowded bar before one of his gigs about doing something for Love Music Hate Racism but I didn't think he'd have been likely to remember that] but I've seen the band a few times...How's it all going? SR: Well not too good...we have just been dropped from our record label actually.
Me: Shit, sorry to hear that...
SR: Cheers...
Me: What are you going to do now?
SR: Not sure.
Me: [Jokingly] So I'll see you working here next week then...
SR: [Grinning] Yep...probably.

That was it really - he then ordered some olives/cheese/ham or something and left. Sometime later I bought NME one day and saw his face and a little notice saying he had won the part of playing Curtis in a film about the singers life. The rest as they say is history...

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