The oddest, most endearing cover we’ve heard in ages

The boys in Joy Division grew up in postindustrial Manchester and took their name from the term for brothels in German concentration camps. They broke up when their singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide. They were not full of joie de vivre. So why does this cover of their best-known song make us so happy?

The performance took place a few years ago, at a Manchester festival organized by a Turner Prize–winning artist named Jeremy Deller. According to the Guardian, it was Deller who found the band you’ll see here (did we mention that it’s a steel band?!) and asked them to perform Joy Division’s songs (as well as songs by that other great Manchester band, the Buzzcocks). Nice one, Jeremy! But VSL’s Grand Jury Prize goes to Nick Abrahams, who thought to capture the whole thing on film.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

The oddest, most endearing cover we’ve heard in ages