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REVIEW: NEW ORDER ‘MUSIC COMPLETE’ TOUR [2015]

THIS IS NOT RETRO SAYS...

LONDON, O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON, 16/11/15

This was the first of two sell-out shows by New Order at the O2 Academy Brixton, the auditorium spotlit in tricolor colours to sensitively reflect recent events in Paris. The band opened with new cut 'Singularity' from 'Music Complete', silhouetted by a projected French flag on the backdrop; Bernard Sumner would later dedicate the entire show to Paris.

One of the highlights was an emotional version of the Joy Division classic 'Atmosphere', accompanied by the grainy Anton Corbijn video depicting characters wearing black and white hooded cloaks, signalling the start of a three song encore. This poignant song was issued as a 12” single by the now defunct Factory Records label, three months following Ian Curtis's death in 1980.

While this may sound like the show made for a gloomy affair, it was in fact a celebratory upbeat occasion with trademark New Order and Joy Division tracks aired, some embellished in refreshed form, including a new rendition of their 2005 track 'Waiting For The Sirens' Call'. Gillian Gilbert made the occasional keyboard fluff early on in the set, briefly breaking out into smile before maintaining her seemingly stoic stage presence once the notes were corrected. Drummer Steven Morris was metronome-perfect as ever and occasionally left his drum kit to stand awkwardly playing the keyboards, most notably the infamous 'frog' samples on 'The Perfect Kiss'. That track saw Sumner delivering a blistering guitar riff that positively soared over the song.

Elly Jackson of pop band La Roux could be seen in the wings and was introduced on stage by Bernard Sumner who took joint vocal duties on the new single 'Tutti Frutti', a light and bouncy pop song quite unlike anything else they've ever done. She remained onstage for another new track, 'People On The High Line'. Unfortunately, whether it was the acoustics of the venue or the sound mix, it was a little hard to hear Jackson's vocals over the bass-heavy sound.

Alongside crowd favourites like 'True Faith' and 'Bizarre Love Triangle', another highlight was 'Temptation', an early New Order single from 1982 that was popularised by the film 'Trainspotting'. The track found the crowd singing the typically nondescript chorus back to the band with evident glee.

Appropriately, at the end of the mammoth two hour set the band played 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', garnering huge cheers as images of Ian Curtis were projected. The set concluded with the band's huge hit, 'Blue Monday'.

Post-Paris, this particular Monday gig was resplendent with red and white alongside the usual blue.

WE'LL GIVE IT...

SETLIST

LONDON, O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON, 16/11/15
Singularity / Ceremony / Age of Consent / 586 / Restless / Lonesome Tonight / Your Silent Face / Tutti Frutti / People on the High Line / Bizarre Love Triangle / Waiting for the Sirens' Call / Plastic / The Perfect Kiss / True Faith / Temptation / Atmosphere / Love Will Tear Us Apart / Blue Monday

CREDITS

Review by Andy Sturmey and Mat Smith. Photographs by Andy Sturmey.

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CONTENT ADDED: Nov 20th, 2015

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