Review by Zyllah Moranne-Brown and photography by Ken Harrison

And here we are in a rather busy, rather wet Wolverhampton to see one band who just keep on turning up.  In their previous guise they came indie cult legends, with the ultimate sad twist of fate. In their current guise – they started of with one of the iconic dance floor 12 inch classics and after a while, went on to have hit after hit after hit. Lulls and hiatus’s, well they’re back with a shiny new album ‘Music Complete’ in tow. No blue Monday, a very warm welcome Tuesday to New Order.

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Tonight security is higher than the norm, not just bag checks busy everyone is being physically frisked – I guess one outcome from the desperately tragic events at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. And as such no-one minds- we’re all in good spirits for this sold out show. New Order 2015 version are made up of Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman.

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First up we have Jake Evans, one time member of Bad Lieutenant, and offshoot for one Bernard Sumner, during a period of New Order in activity. Evans acknowledges it’s a ‘top room, top town’ as he gives us his indie / alternative rock – sings including ‘Day One’, ‘The Horses’ ‘Glorious’ 0 plus ‘Running Out Of Luck’  for which Sumner takes to the stage. With over a half our set, he goes down well with the punters.

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And while we wait – DJ Tintin blasts dance toones through the speakers to get us in the mood. And it works – a big cheer goes up from the 3,000 or so punters in this sold out final gig of their UK tour, as the lights blanket the stage, and stream through the hall, chants come up from the masses “New Order, New Order, New Order…”

NO-14

To a wall of sound, here we go – first up ‘Singularity.’ Sumner: “Thank you – what a lovely venue” and the crowd recognise the next to a cheer – “ Ceremony.” The front of the stage the forty somethings bounces like their in a young-‘uns mosh pit – time to relive days gone by. ‘Crystal’ starts  off slow – then it’s party time! Okay, so ‘Hooky’ aint here no more (leaving in 2007), replaced with a new model Chapman – and for this he’s in the spotlight. No pressure then. Does a good job as the classic New Order bass beat rolls.

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‘586’ is from newbie and tenth studio album ‘Music Complete’ and up on the screens is Saville’s artwork, intersected, blocked. New album has got fair reviews and is going down well with the punters tonight. Peter Saville, legendary graphic designer, has given New Order their visual image for years.  Back to the newbie – as Sumner says” off new album, available from all good record stores, supermarkets and online…. I think that’s what’s called promotion!”  ‘Tutti Frutti’ be the latest release – all upbeat and dance baby, less of the darker side, far more upbeat from the band.

NO-7

The graphics on the screen give us a glimpse before the track gets going – ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ – all rave baby, as the lighting technician goes mad. They’re playing with the older tracks on the main set tonight, don’t necessarily expect the radio version you know – it could be any version released.

NO-5

‘Waiting for the Siren’s Call’ and light’s switch to lasers, ‘Plastic’ we get to dance baby – clapping and dancing and trancing.

‘The Perfect Kiss’ has the classic New Order bass rhythm all over it… dry ice drenches the crowd, and they’re lapping it up. Sumner indicates there should have been a big ending to that one – but no matter – we don’t care. ‘True Faith’ dance evasion – and we sing “I feel so extraordinary, Something’s got a hold on me……. I used to think that the day would never come, I’d see delight in the shade of the morning sun, My morning sun is the drug that brings me near, To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear….”

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Then the bass kicks in and we’re off again – whatever the colour of your eyes – ‘Temptation’ and we’re singing and chanting and  dancing and the mosh pit of forty somethings are having a blast.

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‘Temptation’ – and the bass kicks in – and woohoo goes up. Back to indie roots.  People singing. Too dance? As the mosh pit of mostly male 40 plus somethings bounce. And the chanting and clapping goes on and the track quite a and speeds up… “Thank you – great audience it’s been a pleasure…”

Sumner tells us – but we know they’ll be back, as the green lasers float on the glitter ball  all above the stage before everything plunges into darkness.

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Someone switched the lights on – Sumner wants them lowered and they do duly oblige… Thump-thump thump thump-thump… And we’re in pre- New Order days to Joy Division ‘ Atmosphere’ – one of the first songs they wrote as a group. And then to the iconic indie legend of a track that is “Love Will Tear Us Apart’ – with Ian Curtis making a fleeting appearance on the screen, an acknowledgement to a life cut so tragically short. On screen ‘ Forever. Joy Division.’ Sumner: “Cheers. Proper 1970s ending….but born then…  it’s been quite a while.”

Before the electronic drum beat, you know how it starts. ‘Blue Monday’ – this classics we remixed and re-issued soon many times, hey we’re happy it rolls and rolls and rolls. They can – it’s allegedly the biggest selling 12” vinyl of all time….

The punters had a field day tonight, it’s been a while since New Order we in full flight, and maybe the set a tad less indie and far more dance but no-one objected. Something got a hold of everyone tonight…

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Set list:
Singularity
Ceremony
Crystal
586
Restless
Lonesome Tonight
Your Silent Face
Trutti Frutti
People on the High Line
Bizarre Love Triangle
Waiting for the Siren’s Call
Plastic
The Perfect Kiss
True Faith
Temptation

Encore:
Atmosphere
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Blue Monday

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