Saturday 1988-12-17 12:00:00 AM
  Manchester, England, United Kingdom
  N/A, Capacity: N/A
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Saturday 1988-12-17 12:00:00 AM, Manchester, England, United Kingdom

1Touched by the Hand of God 
3True Faith 
4Vanishing Point 
5Every Little Counts 
6Dream Attack 
8Bizarre Love Triangle 
9Age of Consent 
11The Perfect Kiss 
12Fine Time 

From Paul Lester (Melody Maker 7/1/89)

"Ladies and gentlemen, Joy Division!" announces the compere. From
restorative, prostrate desolation to unassailable dancendental alchemy,
the Joy Division/New Order continuum is 12 years of mystical, blessed
bliss and baffling, paradisial perfection. The substance of the
critical vernacular is suspended in the faultless face of the New Order
embrace. Songs, chorus, sound demonstrate the difficulty in
communicating and expressing the ineffable, charged rapture experienced
when exposed to the electric caress of New Order's sonic sorcery.
Earthbound belief is swept aside in a collaboration between music and
language that attempts to transcend the trammels of the two.
"Touched By The Hand Of God" activates operations and liberates the
senses with automatic intensity. Suddenly, we are in magical motion
through the miracle of rock's most immaculate mystery maze, a
stainless, steel-hard sequence of superior summits and Elysian peaks
that is thrilling abandon, gorged on restless inspiration. New Order
are three local lads and one lass who seem to have as little awareness
of how in heaven they produce these phenomenally well-proportioned
wonders as the rest of us plebeians.
Bernard is the fabulous boy-angel that he was at ULU in 1981, the
only man who actually suits that peculiar, Northern razorcut. Possessed
of pop's most flawlessly pure voice-whisper, it makes a mockery of all
those hideous belchers and grunters like Bono, Bruce, Bargeld or
anyone who stupidly assumes that, to capture the candour and cancer of
life's rich or wretched tapestry necessitates the wholesale
evisceration of one's entrails. Start again, suckers. Albrecht's
breathless vocal kiss says it all without even trying. His fragile,
vulnerable intonation, set to New Order's supreme aural architecture,
is a child playing with a nuclear reactor.
Peter Hook switches to mad, axe maniac mould, his flailing pigtail
bush a remarkable testament to the band's resolutely anti-fashion
stance, and New Order heat our hearts with "Ceremony", reminding us
that, approaching the third decade of their history, this is the single
most consistent, constantly creative powerforce of the age. "True
Faith" issues forth with the crystalline clarity of its vinyl
counterpart, a svelte, lissom lovely. "1963" simply vies for the
status, with precious few others, as the most gorgeous song in the
English lexicon, Alrecht's pleading, yearning delivery burning a hole
of honey in my head. New Order have the kind of unimpeachable pop
sensibility that The Pet Shop Boys, for one of any million you may wish
to hurl into the fray for argument's sake, would sell their slender
souls for.
Like Chic, the only other constellation to sculpt masterpieces from
the stars with such controlled, classic grace, New Order realise that
the most damagingly beautiful music must combine a European trance-
disco bomb beat with mournful, melancholic chord formulations. This
crying and dancing initiative has been pursued by Kraftwerk, Yello and
countless American 12 inch imports. Tonight's two new sugar rushes
exhibit the frightening facility with which New Order can elevate and
excite. Miserable? you must be joking. This is the most uplifting,
emotionally satisfying sound ever imagined.
"Temptation" is a bolt of bright blue lightning streaking across the
night sky. "Bizarre Love Triangle" is a waterfall-turned-treacle
gushing from the galaxy into our lobes, while "Perfect Kiss" darts and
dashes with fantastic finesse. "Fine Time" is the culmination that
proves Acid House is something Bernard, Stephen, Gillian and Peter
decided to invent one rainy teatime in Macclesfield when they had
bugger-all else to do.
A public celebration of Olympian proportions, New Order investigate
private joy and personal sorrow more correctly, completely than any
other group on the planet. They are the first and final word on all
that funny, fiddly stuff between being born and keeling over for the
last time. This is God's backing band, an indestructable collective
sweeping through His Greatest Hits with quintessential, sensual
delight. We can merely surrender unconditionally, stare up at them,
struck dumb with awe at the almighty shadow that they continue to cast
over Planet Rock as we career headlong into the Nineties.

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Ticket of the show
2001-08-11 10:04:00 AM
by Andy
Bernard Sumner & Ian McCulloch at the G-Mex.
2001-10-11 11:08:00 PM
by Richard Edwards