They say never meet your heroes, but yesterday Anna and I did and it was one of the best days we’ve ever had. The day New Order came to town.
New Order have gotten back together after an approximate 6 year hiatus – this time without Peter Hook on bass, as he left the band a while ago, but back again is Gillian Gilbert (having looked after her family for the past 10 years or so) – and let me tell you they are in cracking form.
The band got together late last year to do 2 benefit gigs in Belgium and France for their good (and unfortunately seriously ill) friend and collaborator Michael Shamberg (the director). They obviously enjoyed themselves and are currently on a fairly busy touring schedule around the world; Aus/NZ included, and last night they played at the Future Music festival in Brisbane at the Doomben Racecourse.
I’ve been involved in documenting the band’s (and label’s) discographic history since about 1992 – see http://www.niagara.edu/neworder/ and http://www.factoryrecords.info
Through this and our label’s activity (e.g. with the Silhouette Series), I’ve had the opportunity to communicate with the band’s management, people like Tony Wilson (RIP), and lots of people in and around the Factory scene and New Order fandom.
Last year through SoundCloud – at about the time the benefit shows were announced – I touched base with Andy Robinson, New Order’s co-manager since Rob Gretton passed away – with the upshot being that yesterday we were able to spend part of the day with them while they were in Brisbane.
In particular Anna & I had the great pleasure of taking Andy, and band-members/partners Gillian and Steve Morris out for lunch at the Brisbane Powerhouse. They are the *nicest* people – and we talked about all sorts of stuff; music naturally, country living, family, futures, pasts, rumours, truths, etc… Just brilliant. Turns out they use the discographies all the time.
At lunch Andy was very kind to invite us to join the band after the gig.
So anyway… the gig. We’re not big on festivals any more – you know being 40-something & all that, but this was special. *Pissing down* rain it was – and only the stage was covered :-) . Never let such a minor thing as torrential weather detract you…
The set was fantastic; Crystal, Regret, Ceremony, Bizarre Love Triangle, True Faith, 586, Perfect Kiss, Blue Monday, Temptation, Love Will Tear Us Apart. Not long (being a festival set) but sublime nonetheless. Great visuals, and brilliantly reworked versions of their songs; 586 and Temptation being particularly superb. Did I mention it was pissing down…? Even the band got rained on, but Bernard went with it.
So after the set, Andy calls us and we join the band in their hospitality suite at Doomben. Gillian graciously offers us a beer and we spend the next hour and a bit just chatting away about the gig, the day we had, the tour, Australia, England, gear, etc. Again, just totally chilled out and relaxed. Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman – the newest members – are great guys, and in my opinion very worthy members of the New Order continuum. Bernard left early for their hotel but the rest were happy to relax for a bit.
I think we got home about midnight, with the band leaving for Perth at 11am the next day. We drove home in the rain, knowing full well that 3rd March 2012 was going to be a day that we would never forget.
… the best band in the world, and the inspiration behind everything we’ve ever done with TransCom and our music.
Thanks to Andy, Gillian, Stephen and the rest of New Order for a great day. All the best with the tour and the future.
Dennis & Anna