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Sounds 21/2/81 Live review by Chris Burkham Divide and rule New Order Heaven "Une femme est une femme, mais un Caporal est une cigarette?" - R. Kipling. Which is which? What is what? The doubt of the (un)expected prevails. There seemed to be a certain hype about the whole situation, the fact(ory) that New Order had deliberately left London out until last on their handful of live dates - a punishment for living in the terminally fashionable metropolis? But then again, with venues like Heaven who cares? Heaven is. Heaven with it's comfortable bars, it's videos, it's gentle and covivial atmosphere - perfect for a live band. My type of place. Standing in Heaven my former fanaticism for this (that) group was slowly replaced with a growing cynicism. What type of hype is this? My type of hype - our type of hype, didn't we want/expect this? A lonely band, faltering onwards, striving to find that right rhythm. New Order were not obvious, but obsessive. The first number was an aching and swirling song, 'In A Lonely Place', about memory, about loss, about loneliness. Off the closer edge into new areas. An unfamiliar, tearful sensation. The comparisons are there, don't draw them - difficult. New Order are Albrecht, Hook, Morris and his girlfriend Gillian, they swap and switch instruments, they experiment and deviate. New Order are growing, they are almost foetal at the moment. Playing through their growing pains I feel they are not ready for this - the(ir) growing pains are too strong. Shy and desperate they should be reviewed by the fans - not/never the post-death sycophants. In their incubator stage the sound was not quite right (not their sound, but the sound that the PA emitted), there were frequent squeals of feedback and Hook's bass lead seemed to be faulty. At one point Albrecht lay down (in frustration?) as Hook fiddled with his bass amp to get the right sound. Their sound is the right sound, will be the right sound. New Order are not part of the tired old rock system - they are young, don't predetermine their niche. Hook and Albrecht share the vocals, Albrecht is dark(er), Hook is harsh(er). They are both shy, their voices reflect their careful approach to the problems facing them. The problems that face all of us - of fear, of violence, of indirection, of inhibition, of failure... of whatever it is rooted deep down inside you. Above all though, they still have love. Instinctive and distinctive love. Tact(ful/less). The New Order will be great/big/fabulous, they are heading towards excitement in this new age. As I left Heaven someone told me Bill Haley had died. The old order. Throw away the past and follow your spirit. CHRIS BURKHAM

Last updated on 2005-03-07 10:15:00 PM - 10:15:00 PM
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