Limehouse George Tavern
10 Dec 2011
It’s been 5 years since New Order last played England, in that time they’ve lost bass player and focal point Peter Hook. They’ve already played 2 excellent comeback shows in Paris and Brussels which were both attended by a large hardcore of British fans. But how will they go down on more familiar turf?
Text by Alex Staszko & Matthias Schleicher
Live pictures by Matthias Schleicher
Badge picture by Alan Jarvis
Pre gig drinking is made a lot easier by New Order tribute act, Re:Order playing a hastily arranged charity matinee gig at up close to hand East End boozer, The George Tavern. Hastily arranged because they were supposed to have their own gig tonight at The Hope And Anchor. The George is attended by many familiar faces some of whom haven’t been seen at a New Order gig for some considerable time.
Re:Order are not the typical tribute act, as they also play the mistakes New Order used to make when they were drunker and more shambolic than they are now! Re:Order are not drunk though, it takes practice to get the mistakes in the right place.
This afternoon Re:Order have promised to play a set of songs that New Order will not be playing tonight, and they don’t disappoint, starting with a sublime Too Late (a song recorded for John Peel & never played live by New Order). After this song however comes the announcement that the bloke doing the raffle has just set fire to the book of raffle tickets! However Re:Order largely ignore him and power on into Thieves Like Us, which is a little shambolic to start off with but soon recovers. Re:Order are all fans of the band and just do this so their mates can enjoy hearing the old songs that New Order don’t play anymore. They power through such great forgotten classis as The Village, Ultraviolence and Vanishing Point (from Technique),which is a particular highlight. The set this afternoon was old school and for the older fans who like the more obscure side to New Order, and out of the half a dozen or so times I’ve seen Re:Order, it was probably their best.
They end with a medley of Everything’s gone green & Temptation. Before finishing the afternoon off with a charity raffle with prizes donated by New Order, ACR, John Robb, Clash Magazine & O’Genesis Records, Oh & Peter Hook made a charitable donation too. They managed to raise over ÃÂ£880 for charity (see link below) in the end, well done.
No love lost
Thieves like us
Way of life
This time of night
Touched by the hand of god
Ultraviolence / Truth
Everything’s gone green
Shortly after the end of the Re:Order gig, Jake Evans takes to the stage as support at The Troxy, a beautiful 2000 capacity art deco building nearby in the East End. Jake was the other singer with Bernard Sumner in Bad Lieutenant, and before that Rambo & Leroy. First song This Is Life is shows his talents off better than Bad Lieutenant. He played a short powerful rocking set with some songs like Last One Standing known to some of the faithfull, and other newer material from his forthcoming album. Which should be worth hearing.
After a 30 min Tintin DJ Set which have old goodies like Voodoo Ray, New Order hit the stage, now as a 5 piece with Gillian Gilbert back on keyboards & Tom Chapman as a low key Peter Hook replacement.
They open up with a snippet of fan favourite instrumental Elegia, swiftly running into Crystal which quickly gets the crowd moshing. Barney says they’re happy to be back in London, leaving the lovely warm weather & cocktails of South America behind, hmm!
These days New Order are more slick & professional, with a huge video screen with videos synched to the music, some of which have been specially commissioned, like the computer graphics of 586, (given a radical and fantastic re-working mid set, completely re-programmed by Bernard Sumner) and some are more or less the promotional videos, like 1963’s Jane Horrocks short.
The set they play tonight is a greatest hits set with very little material played from after Gillian left the band. It’s great stuff and the crowd love it. Out of the 3 reunion shows I’ve seen so far, they seem a little under-rehearsed tonight, presumably with all the travel they have done to & from South America in the last week. 1963 ends short and an extra keyboard line added to The Perfect Kiss that seemed out of place, but sounded great in the end. The surprise in the set for me is Age Of Consent, a bass driven classic from 1983, and an odd choice to play seeing as how your bass player’s left. But they get it spot on.
I suspect Gillian has a lot to do with choosing the set list, as a lot of these songs haven’t been played for years. The electronic songs have had a re-working, True Faith is similar to the dance version that they’ve been playing live since 2000, & Temptation now has an extra keyboard intro that confuses many & sounds remarkably like Lou Reed’s Street Hassle, but it soon gets the crowd freaking out once more, even though they try to get the fans clapping along like some showband. Next comes the odd point in the evening, Manchester promoter legend Alan Wise comes out to get the crowd going before the encore, he seems more drunk than usual and asks us if we like Happy Lieutenant! & that they’re better than Max By graves & The Beatles. Apparently they are on the khaki having a pony and trap & ones snorting something!
After much jeering at Alan they come back on & launch into everyone’s favorite, Blue Monday, then it’s just left to Love Will Tear Us Apart to see us on our way. There’s a few too many “Whoos”Â in this for many fans liking but, it’s still a good way to end. Barney bids us farewell with “We’ll be back, even without Freddie Mercury”Â. All in all a great way to spend an afternoon & evening.
Re:Order play The Ritz Manchester, early next year with The Smyths & it looks like New Order are continuing to gig into next year, with an Australian tour already announced.
New Order Set
Age of consent
Bizarre love triangle
The perfect kiss
Love will tear us apart