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Remastered footage “Lonesome Tonight” and “Blue Monday” performed live at the Haçienda.
About three years after their singer Ian Curtis killed himself on the eve of Joy Division’s first American tour, the remaining members, rechristened New Order, returned to play in their hometown of Manchester, England.
It was July, 1983. The band had just returned from their first gigs in the U.S., where they had played the famed Paradise Garage in New York and the way-less-famed Billy Barty’s Roller Fantasy in Orange County. While they were in the States, their essential single “Blue Monday” was heading up the British charts, in the process increasing their stature on the world stage and setting the scene for a grand artistic breakthrough that was “Power, Corruption and Lies.”
This backdrop makes the performance below, of “Lonesome Tonight” at the Haçienda essential, as it captures the band fully extricating itself from Curtis’ shadow to create a sound uniquely their own. And while New Order singer Bernard Sumner lacks Curtis’ electrifying stage presence, the sound they create remains as crucial now as when it was originally forged.
In celebration of In Sheep’s Clothing’s evening with the early music of Factory Records and 4AD, which occurs tonight at Neuehouse, enjoy this astounding moment in time: New Order on their home turf.