New Or­der tri­umph in Manchester, and Su­sanne Sund­før takes to the waves.

Mojo (UK) - - Contents -

New Or­der Old Granada Stu­dios, Manchester

You can see the chim­ney pots of the old Coro­na­tion Street set as you walk into tonight’s venue. Be­fore it closed as a tele­vi­sion fa­cil­ity, the 1,200-ca­pac­ity Old Granada Stu­dios also had a proud tra­di­tion of mu­sic tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion. The Bea­tles’ TV de­but, pop show Lift Off With Ayshea and Tony Wil­son’s short-lived pro­gramme So It Goes were all filmed here, the lat­ter fea­tur­ing the Sex Pis­tols’ first na­tional TV ex­po­sure, as well as liv­ing room-con­vuls­ing per­for­mances from Iggy Pop, Buz­zcocks and Mag­a­zine. Joy Division didn’t play on So It Goes, though their Septem­ber 1978 Granada Re­ports ap­pear­ance is some­times cred­ited as such. So as if to right a psy­chic wrong, the full ti­tle of tonight’s event is ∑(No, 12k, Lg, 17Mif) New Or­der + Liam Gil­lick: So it goes… De­signed to kick off this year’s Manchester In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val, it’s a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the band, in­stal­la­tion artist Liam Gil­lick and a 12-piece “syn­the­sizer en­sem­ble” from the Royal North­ern Col­lege of Mu­sic with their con­duc­tor Joe Dud­dell, string ar­ranger on New Or­der’s 2015 come­back Mu­sic Com­plete. For a group who were once no­to­ri­ous for their tech­nol­ogy break­ing down on-stage, there are few hic­cups tonight. Over two storeys at the rear of the stage, Gil­lick has pre­pared 12 cuboid units for the en­sem­ble mem­bers, each with a vene­tian blind-style ar­range­ment of mov­ing slats. Things com­mence in grave and ma­jes­tic fash­ion with semi-reg­u­lar set opener Ele­gia, the Mor­ri­cone-es­que du­eller’s in­stru­men­tal from 1985’s Low-Life, re­pro­duced on synths alone. What hap­pens next con­forms to no ex­pec­ta­tions. The group an­nounced they would be re-ar­rang­ing songs from the back cat­a­logue, but even so, is Who’s Joe? from 2005’s Wait­ing For The Sirens’ Call a deep cut too far? That said, the ex­tra lay­ers of tech­nol­ogy bring out the drama of this mo­rose “all go­ing wrong” rock song. By the time they play Tech­nique’s som­bre song of Balearic joy, Dream At­tack, un­aired since 1993, it’s clear the prom­ise to re-tool the set was a gen­uine one. Tem­po­rar­ily switch­ing off the key­board re­in­force­ments, what comes next is gob­s­mack­ing. “This is one we haven’t played for a very, very, very long time so for­give us if we get it slightly wrong,” says Bernard Sum­ner, adding af­ter a short pause, “or fail to start it.” It is Joy Division’s Dis­or­der, not played live since 1980 and pre­sented with all its orig­i­nal sense of ur­gent alien­ation. It’s clear we’ve shifted into a mir­ror realm, where lost songs have sud­denly been vig­or­ously re­an­i­mated (Haçienda veter­ans shout­ing for Blue Mon­day and try­ing to get a foot­ball chant go­ing end up sound­ing con­fused). Dusted off from 1984, a weirdly omi­nous, rolling Ul­tra­vi­o­lence is su­per­charged with elec­tric­ity, red flash­ing lights and Stephen Mor­ris’s vin­tage syn­drums. Get­ting its live de­but, Get Ready-era B-side Be­hind Closed Doors is a slow or­ch­house bal­lad-lament with Sum­ner walk­ing the stage like a crooner as the key­boardists pick at their vir­tual vi­o­lins. Un­per­formed since 1989, Broth­er­hood’s piteous All Day Long glis­tens and cas­cades as shut­ters open and close and blue lights flash in time with the mu­sic. Hav­ing moved into the disco arena, the body blows and dou­ble takes start com­ing thick and fast. Is that Shell­shock get­ting its first air­ing since 1987, in some fan­tasy 12-inch remix with its all sonic sub­tleties repli­cated live? How gothic-disco does Sub­cul­ture, un­heard since 1989, sound, boast­ing au­then­tic rhyth­mic stut­ter­ing, scream­ing gui­tars and woops from the danc­ing Sum­ner? At least an orch-dis­cotechno-rock re-ver­sion of Bizarre Love Tri­an­gle and a sweaty, Moroder’d up take on Mu­sic Com­plete’s Plas­tic re­minds you this is not some elab­o­rate dream, but if the key­boards were go­ing to pack up, now would be the time. First en­core Your Silent Face sus­tains the elec­troorches­tral eu­pho­ria, but in clos­ing, Joy Division’s Decades brings strict tempo ofa dif­fer­ent kind, with eerie chill and ham­mer­ing in­ten­sity. It’s a bizarre but strik­ing end to a set like no other, which de­liv­ered fully on the prom­ise to go back in or­der to go for­ward. There’s more thought-pro­vok­ing ret­ro­spec­tive ac­tion over at the Manchester Art Gallery. Run­ning un­til Septem­ber 3, True Faith is a fas­ci­nat­ing New Or­der/Joy Division ex­hi­bi­tion co-cu­rated by Jon Sav­age, Matthew Higgs and Jo­han Kugel­berg. It col­lects rare arte­facts, design, film and art­works, in­clud­ing Henri Fantin-La­tour’s 1890 paint­ing A Bas­ket Of Roses, as used on the sleeve of Power, Cor­rup­tion & Lies. And over the exit there’s a por­trait of the group’s old la­bel boss Tony Wil­son, smil­ing.

The deeper you get: New Or­der’s Granada retro­vi­sion (main pic, from left) Stephen Mor­ris, RNCM syn­the­sizer or­ches­tra­tor and Bernard Sum­ner open the Manchester In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val; (bot­tom, from left) Bernard; that oblique ti­tle; Liam Gil­lick’s dy­namic in­stal­la­tion, with synths be­hind shut­ters.


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