Mar 092011

What’s right and what’s wrong about this live-in-studio New Order clip? For instance, I would say Bernard Sumner‘s angrily ripping off the windscreen is RIGHT, while his shorts are totally WRONG.


  18 Responses to “New Order: What’s Right and Wrong?”

  1. cherguevara

    There’s a lot wrong with this clip – they sound so loose and sloppy and not in a good way.

    But this, my friends, is even worse:

  2. alexmagic

    Wrong: Half the band (Sumner, Hook) are dressed like guys living in a college dorm who were woken up by a fire alarm in the middle of the night and are standing around outside, waiting to go back in.

    Right: I have never before paused to consider Who Is The Best Member of New Order, but based on this clip alone, I’ll back Stephen Morris. He’s dressed tastefully despite being the one working hardest, and the best part of the whole video is the very end where he gets up and comes loping out of his drum cubicle. I have no idea what he was about to do – High five everybody? Het in their faces and talk some trash? Go unjam the copy machine for them? – but it’s a choice move all the same, and a deserved spotlight for the clip’s MVP.

  3. The whole “on holiday in Majorca” look is very wrong for this group, as are Sumner’s strangulated vocals for most of the song. Bad 80’s hair all around. The drummer and Sumner’s Lou Reed-ish, choppy rhythm guitar “lead” are right.

  4. I’m liking the fair-balanced analyses that are rolling in. Keep ’em coming. I believe this video supplies a wealth of evidence in support of both RIGHT and WRONG moves.

  5. misterioso

    Wrong, all wrong. Back in the day, I thought New Order was merely overrated and dull. Nowadays I am inclined to think that is too generous. They are still overrated and dull, of course, but also badly produced and they look like Andrew Ridgely (sp?) just took their lunch money.

  6. Ditto. This is a charisma free band offering up a bad performance of an utterly forgettable song.

    If this is one of those “Try To Say Something Nice” exercises then I suppose I could say I admire the fact that they genuinely don’t seem to care what people think about how they are dressed.

    Also, I like the bass. Not the bass line or the actual tone, but the instrument itself. It looks like it has the potential to produce a nice warm sound.

    Finally, I’m not sure why, but I like the fact that the guitar player has the words “gay sperm” written on his amp. Maybe it just seems like it would piss some people off and the people it would offend most likely deserve to be offended.

  7. See, you were able to come up with something “right” about this clip. Yes, this is similar to a “something nice” exercise, but you’re also invited to say stuff not so nice. Congrats on having fulfilled your duties. The same can’t be said of some members of the Bad Attitude Club, like mean Mr. Rioso.

  8. BigSteve

    I like the way the guitar and the bass are both black ES models. Onstage that could make for a good Look, though in the clutter of the studio environment it doesn’t come through.

    Sumner’s Look definitely shows the heretofore unrecognized influence of Richard Simmons.

    This reminds me of the old Dana Carvey routine about the singer being mad at the microphone. In fact everybody seems pissed off.

    I always liked the song, but I always assumed the drums were programmed. Seeing them played at such a frenetic pace is disconcerting.

    Someone posted on youtube that Sumner can’t sing and play guitar at the same time. Neither can B.B. King, whose guitar model Sumner is player. Coincidence?

    The band’s anonymity was one of its best qualities. Their photos were not on the album covers, and their visuals were sort of independent of the appearance of the members. Seeing them play takes away from all that.

    Is that called a sundress, what Gillian is wearing? The only other musician I recall that tried to rock that Look was Vanessa, the singer in Pylon.

  9. I’m glad you brought up Gillian’s dress, BigSteve. At first I thought it was a frumpy housedress, until I noticed the pleats (plaits???). Then it started to look like an old-fashioned nurse’s outfit.

    When I saw them live, probably around this time, the Stephen, drummer, often left his kit, which continued to hammer out that beat via programming (he mostly doubled the snare when he did play), to help Gillian, his woman, remember on what keys she needed to place her index fingers. It was the worst live show I’ve ever seen, at least the half dozen songs done in this style that I stuck around for before cutting out.

    In terms of RIGHT and WRONG, I like the riff that Peter Hook plays on the bass but it’s all WRONG to hear those sounds coming out of a bass. Why not simply play guitar?

  10. misterioso

    That’s Mr. Ioso to you.

  11. shawnkilroy

    in all fairness, i doubt they knew they were gonna be videotaped. i think they thought they were going to record a radio session, then they showed up and there were cameras.

    New Order are awful live. Studio band if ever there was one. I have a DVD of them playing in an arena and they are TERRIBLE! it’s insane!

    that comment about the fire drill still has me laughing!
    so funny.

  12. I actually think this is a pretty good performance, putting aside the awful fashion on display. WRONG: Sumner botching the opening riff. RIGHT: Sumner redeeming himself with a surprisingly intense performance. The part at 2:30 reminds me how much I enjoy his riffage.

  13. ladymisskirroyale

    I’m with Oats. I also agree with shawnkilroy’s fashion commentary – they were just comfy. Didn’t you gents wear less-than-tasteful outfits at times? Gillian’s dress was very a la mode at the time, and I believe she is also affecting espadrilles, which would go along with that Europe-in-summer look. Gillian’s keyboard playing was a bit…confused but she got the notes right in the end.

    I agree – a band that was not very good live. I saw them in the mid-to-late 80’s with the Sugar Cubes opening and the SCs were so much the better band (and no one was there – they all waited to show up when NO came on stage).

  14. alexmagic

    I can only let the comfort thing slide so far when it comes to showing up at the office, like New Order did here.

    Morris manages to dress appropriately while working the hardest, but he doesn’t appear disheveled or sweatsoaked at the end. Why? Breathable fabrics.

    Best member of the band, hands down.

  15. underthefloat


    Like everyone else here I have seen a lot of shows over the years. I saw New Order fairly early on in their career and as you said…it was the worst show I ever saw. We share that reaction. They seemed to think looking bored and listless was cool. Ciome on, It’s only cool if your Peter Cook in “Bedazzeled”. OK, or maybe if your in The Fall.
    Some of the music was piped in. Man it was lame.

  16. RIGHT: hook’s cool bass (same one I play basically)

    WRONG: nut hugger short shorts

    RIGHT: Synth chick in New Romantic cute

    WRONG: Shure SM57s for vocals instead of Shure SM58s (57 is an instrument mic dummy!)

    FUNNY: Drummer is in a super hurry to get out of the booth, the cymbals are still ringing and he is OUT!

    I was expecting to dislike New Order (I have to admit I have not actually every listened to them) and I have to say in an 80’s synthy way they are not bad and may be a much bigger influence on “Indie Rock” than I would have expected

  17. trigmogigmo

    WRONG: As I’m reading this thread, I hear this very song coming out of my TV. I turn to look and it’s a Target commercial. “Centrum Ultra Women’s 100 tablets $9.99. Expect more. Pay less.” I swear this is true.

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