New Order, same old quality
With a cheery bound on stage and quick reference to Freddie Mercury's 'Barcelona', New Order were in the middle of the Manchester greats going on in Catalonia.
At the same time on another stage, Shaun and Bez were giving it to the masses as the Happy Mondays and not long after New Orders set, Primal Scream would be arriving with ex Stone Roses Mani handling the bottom end of their duties.
With all these Manc scallies in town, were things about to finally get going?
Opener 'Crystal' certainly suggested so with Hooky prowling the stage already and Barney doing that silly little dad dance that either infuriates or pleases. Having caught New Order at T in The Park 2005 and seeing this track ruined by Brandon Flowers, it was great to finally catch it by the band alone, and although the sound quality was wavering on the initial track, with the vocals coming in and out at random early on, it was a strong introduction.
With a Joy Division track 'Twenty Four Hours' appearing early in the set, its clear the band are still determined to carry on the legacy of their former act and hopefully pay homage to Ian Curtis. Barney's vocals were never going to match up to Curtis's but you can tell in the way he sings he is trying to match up and serve as a tribute and not just commandeer the song for himself. With a history such as New Orders, there has to be a lot of looking back, both for the band and audience and the set that followed largely did so, with a minimal amount of new songs.
On recent track was 'Working Overtime' found on the recent 'Waiting For The Sirens Call' record and features a heavier guitar rock sound that is normally associated with the band. Its only recently started featuring in the set-list and whilst providing a break from the expected songs, doesn't sit too well with the standards and classics as of yet.
When the band drop into their more danceable material, the crowd roars in delight with 'Bizarre Love Triangle' and 'True Faith' coming across very well, both in sound quality and audience appreciation.
With a forthcoming UK tour likely to raise the excitement levels higher than this open air gig could for the band, its reassuring to note that the songs and playing skills of New Order is not in doubt and when the passion of the UK crowd kicks in, the October shows are sure to be a massive hit for those lucky enough to have a ticket.