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Made To Order
They’ve parted ways with Hooky but that special aura still exists around New Order, a pioneering dance rock act that have penned some of the greatest tunes of all time. Craig Fitzpatrick salutes the legendary Forbidden Fruit headliners.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 30 May 2012
‘Temptation’. ‘True Faith’. ‘Ceremony’. ‘Blue Monday’. The peaks write themselves and they’re all coming to Dublin. New Order will pitch up at Forbidden Fruit on Sunday, June 3 without a key member, but they’ve been there, under truly tragic circumstances, before. We know how the story starts. It starts at a Sex Pistols gig, as the founding members of a band that will become Joy Division meet for the first time.
Joy Division, an act led by civil-servant-by-day, despairing-post-punk-icon-by-night Ian Curtis. His bandmates take his doomed lyrics and create a teutonic, claustrophobic sound that was nothing less than grave perfection. Had Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook simply stopped when Curtis committed suicide, they would still be revered.
But they gathered themselves and kept going, creating a more primary-coloured, synthesised act that, in a different way, matched their prior highs. And they’re still around.
Having ruled the ‘80s, the ‘90s brought a hiatus until the release of Get Ready in 2001. Six years later, their bassist Peter Hook, never one to keep his opinions to himself, headed for the hills after an apparent falling out.
And thus began a war of music press words, without any clear sign of how severe the split had been. New Order always squabbled, we reasoned, that’s what true friends do. Just ask Stuart Clark, who was once literally stuck in the middle when a band argument broke out in the Hot Press Chatroom. And they were thick-skinned. They might be back.
But this time it was for real – Peter Hook started The Light, who are touring old Joy Division material, and New Order seemed to be put on ice. But you can’t keep an iconic act down. Barney and Morris clearly, and understandably, decided that there was no massive reason New Order couldn’t continue in a live arena. Their return began last year with two benefit shows, without Hook, and continues in 2012. The reviews thus far have been stellar.
And so here we are, in the privileged position of soon having Stephen Morris keeping expert time at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Barney endearingly fumbling for the right ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ vocal pitch on a warm (hopefully) Dublin evening. It goes without saying that Hooky’s aerodynamic, high-end bass playing will be missed, but Tom Chapman is no slouch.