Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A right old Barney

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  • andrew r,

    I saw the 2002 show at bdo . I recall a fairly sparsely populated audience at ground level - when Blue Monday happened the audience on the outskirts got sucked toward the throng at the front. Was cool. I also saw the Mainstreet 1982 gig, had just turned 18 .. was so awesome. If they can get the sound rightish it should be a fun show at v arena - even less Hooky. I love that they're so electronic - in their own way they seemed ahead of the pack.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I don't think they're half the band they once were creatively and the falling-out with Peter Hook is very unseemly, but nonetheless I hope they play a damn good show all the same.

    John Cooper Clarke is performing at the Dunedin Fringe festival in March too, btw.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    The Ganley article doesn't square especially well with my memory of the 1982 Mainstreet show. IIRC, New Order came on incredibly late, at least 2 maybe 3 hours after Cooper Clarke finished his set (so their stage time was sometime around 1 a.m.?). A number of people gave up and left (some had last buses or ferries to catch) before NO came on so that NO actually played for a smaller crowd than Cooper Clarke had had. What filled up the multi-hour gap? Extremely loud (impossible to talk over) house and techno and rap played though the PA. All of that 'straight from NYC clubs' music was fairly alien at the time, and pretty hard to take (12 months later we'd be digging it). This also contributed strongly to the crowd decay. The hold-up seemed to be traceable to some technical problems (Gillian Gilbert banged keys and pads on stage to little avail, only to stroll through the crowd to the mixing desk to try to sort something out. This happened several times.) NO didn't seem cool exactly: Hook surprised with his low-slung bass and cock-rocker poses (he seemed to be in a different band from the others), Gilbert's keyboards were unbalanced and her playing was amateurish/shaky and Bernard Sumner seemed snarky towards her for that and her technical problems. In sum, NO seemed riddled with tensions. Because of all this - the band apparently in a bad mood, the audience in a bad mood by the time they came on - NO's set felt pretty tense and there were some snarly interjections from the crowd (some of whom were insisting on their right to hear more joy-divisiony material, which Sumner didn't appreciate). One of the two best songs of the night, Your Silent Face, ended with Sumner venemously yelling 'Why don't you piss off' at particular audience members who'd irritated him (as opposed to underplaying/near speaking the line as per later record, etc.). It was that sort of gig: grumpy, contentious, technically fraught, thin-skinned but occasionally inspiring and ahead of its time . And yeah, given all this, that NO left all the electronics of Temptation playing for several minutes after they'd all left the stage (for good and without acknowledging anyone) did rub some punters the wrong way.

    The bottom line for me and everyone I knew was that NO had been interesting but a bit of a mess, and that they clearly weren't in the same league as Simple Minds at Mainstreet a few months earlier. Those guys tore the roof off the joint and just blew people away. NO, not so much.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Glaister,

    The bottom line for me and everyone I knew was that NO had been interesting but a bit of a mess, and that they clearly weren’t in the same league as Simple Minds at Mainstreet a few months earlier. Those guys tore the roof off the joint and just blew people away. NO, not so much.

    Intriguing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    John Cooper Clarke is performing at the Dunedin Fringe festival in March too, btw.

    I could tell you a great story about hooking up with a female journalist after we'd both interviewed JCC the day after his first headline show in NZ. But it would be ungentlemanly to do so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern,

    I was at the Reading Festival that year, it was my first festival and so at the time didn't realise how crap the location was. As I remember it was the year that Reading turned from a headbangers heaven to something a bit more contemporary. I think NO were back from recording in Ibiza so they were definitely in a good 'mood'. Looking at the line up not a bad first day with My Bloody Valentine, House of Love, Sugarcubes and then NO. No wonder I put up with the facilities.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Go Jackson!

    His recording of 'Ceremony' at the same BDO show as 'Atmosphere'

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Clint Fern,

    I was at the Reading Festival that year, it was my first festival and so at the time didn’t realise how crap the location was.

    Having been to Glastonbury in the glorious days when it was a self-policing state in a beautiful, mystic country setting, Reading was a fucking big shock to me.

    The food was horrible, the cops were dicks and the setting was ... unlovely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Stephen Glaister,

    A number of people gave up and left (some had last buses or ferries to catch) before NO came on so that NO actually played for a smaller crowd than Cooper Clarke had had.

    I do remember a fairly thin crowd, but I also remember an incredibly enthusiastic crowd.

    For a bunch of us it did feel like the second coming AFAICR. I don't think I was ever more excited before a gig and, happily afterwards (unlike The Birthday Party at the same venue around the same time).

    Yes they were remote, but that was rather the point and expected, no?

    . All of that 'straight from NYC clubs' music was fairly alien at the time

    Unless you found yourself at A Certain Bar, up there on the corner of Albert and Wellesley on a weekend night.

    I look at an album like the Strut Disco Not Disco comp. and see a large part of the soundtrack of the times.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3200 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Stephen Glaister,

    Your Silent Face, ended with Sumner venemously yelling ‘Why don’t you piss off’ at particular audience members who’d irritated him (as opposed to underplaying/near speaking the line as per later record, etc.).

    He did that 20 years later too. You can even see the blip at about 4.12 here.

    Your Silent Face.

    Also posted Ceremony, although they were a bit messy, and the sound sort of fades out towards the end for a bit. Also, that guy shouting over the start? That's not me.

    As to what they sound like now, I thought this performance of Ceremony at the Bataclan was creditable.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2104 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Russell Brown,

    His recording of 'Ceremony' at the same BDO show as 'Atmosphere'

    Right, so you caught up with that even faster than I could post it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2104 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to JacksonP,

    Right, so you caught up with that even faster than I could post it.

    Your Soundcloud auto-tweet was way ahead of you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I went to Glasters the next year and was amazed by the difference. As you say it was a beautiful setting and instead of goths there were hippies, I think they could still get free entry to the Green Field.

    I knew quite a few people who regularly got in for free - which reminds me of the Bill Bailey sketch about the tunnel leading into the tent.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    I guess the Dec 3 and Dec 4 gigs might have been markedly different, hence the somewhat variant memories. Ganley mentions hearing NO play In a Lonely Place which I don't remember hearing (and which isn't on the published Dec 3 set-list). Conjecture: the Dec 4 gig was better-tempered, had all technical problems sorted, no delays, included a few more comforting, backward-looking songs, etc..

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Clint Fern,

    I knew quite a few people who regularly got in for free

    1987 was my first -- and the last before the police were allowed onsite.

    We pitched up in a van right outside the the perimeter and spent the rest of the weekend going under, over and through the fence.

    After New Order, my mate Greg and I went up to the top field, where the Mutoid Waste Company were running a crazy techno-pagan party amid cars hacked to look like dinosaurs. One of the better nights of my life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I know that by 1990 things had started to change a bit, but the cops were pretty low profile still. I think I probably only saw a couple on site. Its a pity they weren't on duty in the carparks - my mates mini got broken into and we had to get a mechanic to hotwire it and drove back to Cornwall without letting the engine stop. Still managed to both get clean at Exeter Services. The Sunday that year was one of those Glastonbury mud days and the facilites on site were pretty grim.

    Still it was good to have got there before it became Glastonbury TM and the massive increase in ticket price / security etc.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The bottom line for me and everyone I knew was that NO had been interesting but a bit of a mess, and that they clearly weren’t in the same league as Simple Minds at Mainstreet a few months earlier. Those guys tore the roof off the joint and just blew people away. NO, not so much.

    Intriguing.

    A mate of mine saw that Simple Minds gig and reckons much the same. He next saw them in early '84 at Sweetwaters and reckons they were, in his words "stadium rock shit" then.
    It's as if they made some sort of Faustian pact to bland out their music in exchange for becoming huge.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    After New Order, my mate Greg and I went up to the top field, where the Mutoid Waste Company were running a crazy techno-pagan party amid cars hacked to look like dinosaurs. One of the better nights of my life.

    Ditto. I haven't got clear memories of for obvious reasons, but it sounds like we may have had a very similar experience of beating out grimy Pagan rythyms at Car Henge that night. I got there a week early and managed to avoid paying by looking more and more like one of the untouchable convoy people by the day. I always say that I never really came back from that Glastonbury. An image search for Glastonbury 1987 produces some great nostalgia moments. Did you ever go to any of the Mutoid warehouse events in London in the late 80's?
    I'm not sure that New Order will be the same without Hooky even though he's always been a bit of a bell end.

    Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robert Fox,

    Ditto. I haven’t got clear memories of for obvious reasons, but it sounds like we may have had a very similar experience of beating out grimy Pagan rythyms at Car Henge that night.

    Ah yes – I think we’ve discussed this before. For a while I had a piece of metal in each hand, bashing out a rhythm on the welded steel exoskeleton of a mutated car with a bass bin mounted in it. Was awesome.

    Did you ever go to any of the Mutoid warehouse events in London in the late 80’s?

    Again, parties in that alt-warehouse scene were some of the best nights of my life. Did you go to the huge Mutoid one at King’s Cross? That was one big, wild party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • nothingelseon,

    Bizarrely enough, I just scanned these today – shots taken on my shitty instamatic from the crowd at the Logan Campbell Centre in 1985. Life changing gig for me that one, but by all accounts they were grumpy & unreasonable. They did play an encore though (if you hung round long enough) which was unheard of at the time.

    Flickr set (13 photos & I think the Craccum review) http://www.flickr.com/photos/nothingelseon/sets/72157629341517975/

    Welling-Town • Since Mar 2008 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    I went to the Bataclan gig, and it was great. They're notoriously fragile live, but have improved to more hit than miss, and Bernard's always hilarious. Although he seems to have gotten a bit more stadium rock in his audience banter. It's also good to see the new(ish) members take the piss out of him.

    It should be a great gig, and they redo some old songs.....my recollection of last year was that it was beautiful, rich and warm. Which I definitely didn't have after seeing them in 1987 at the Galaxy - they played for 45 minutes and didn't speak to the crowd once.

    God bless 'em.

    Oh and post Hooky? Well, yeah, he's great, but he has been the antagonist on the surface of it so not too much sympathy - you won't notice he's not there in the music.

    London • Since Dec 2006 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Did you go to the huge Mutoid one at King’s Cross?

    I'm Pretty sure that the major Mutoid one was before I moved to London so I dont think I was at the one you mention although I did go to their place in Kings Cross a few times after that. I made the move to London after Glastonbury 87 and I then spent a very psychedelic year or so at various squat and warehouse parties across London that hit a peak with the totally insane Butthole Surfers gig at the Brixton Academy. It took a year of travelling for me to fully recover from that sensory onslaught of that night. When I got back to London after my travels the warehouse scene had become pretty established the world had gone totally Techno.

    Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    I was at that Logan Campbell New Order concert, and as I recall, it was a pretty good night out. Lots of knobs being twiddled, very little stage banter, but enjoyable at the time. It really was a horrible venue though - shitty sound everywhere unless you were right up the front or standing by the sound desk.

    I missed Simple Minds at Sweetwaters, but that was the year some of the main acts also played a one-day thing in Christchurch, and I did see them there. They blew everyone else away completely, even the headliner (I can't even remember who it was now).

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to nothingelseon,

    Flickr set (13 photos & I think the Craccum review)

    Some good shots there, and number 12 in particular. It seems strangely familiar. Barney looking so intently at the fret board is a classic stance of his too.

    Which I definitely didn't have after seeing them in 1987 at the Galaxy - they played for 45 minutes and didn't speak to the crowd once.

    I remember we did feel a little short changed, but after it was more like, 'what did we expect?' Setlist here. Bizarre Love Triangle was still pretty fresh then, and it was good to hear it live.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2104 posts Report Reply

  • nothingelseon, in reply to JacksonP,

    Cheers! Was all luck back then without the luxury of a digital camera :-)

    Welling-Town • Since Mar 2008 • 34 posts Report Reply

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