NO: 19 NOV 81 Ukranian National Home, NYC
19 Nov 81
Live Review by Tim Sommer
Tim Sommer later became an MTV VJ (Postmodern MTV in the late 80s) and was the bassist in Hugo Largo. I remember watching an episode where he highly complimented the band's early sound, as you will see when you read the article. He was not so sanguine as to New Order's later (synthesized) direction.
Meanwhile, here's another review of the same gig. I'm amazed I haven't transcribed this earlier, as it is readily available. Yes, this is from an email in...1990...
Date: Tue Mar 20 12:44:16 1990
From: CAR-RT SORT
Subject: early no gig review...
I was rummaging through some trash I've collected over the years
and came across some copies of some underground magazines from
New York circa 1980-1982. Since the Taras Shevchenko (sp?) video has
been mentioned a bit lately I thought I'd type in a review from that
gig. The magazine was called "Non LP B Side". I've collected almost every
issue published. It started out free and ended up costing 75 cents.
If anyone has any copies which they're tired of, mail me, maybe we can
work out a trade! Ed
NEW ORDER Nov. 19, 1981
Walking down St. Mark's familiar path, droplets pissing down,
droves of dark overcoated souls seemed drawn to some unknown
destination. What could have been driving these purposeful people
in this strange almost mystic way? NEW ORDER UKRAINIAN HALL
THURSDAY NIGHT. What were we looking for? The answer to some rhetorical
question, a message from the dead, or maybe just a good gig. I'd
seen them before, a disgruntled gloomy lot, and I felt an intruder to
their private misery, but this was different. An unfamiliar venue,
the Ukraine seldom sees conventional "rock" gigs, and will surely
not see another like this one. Due to Chase Parks' untimely closing
Factory Records (Michael Shamburg) and Ruth Polski were forced to find
an alternate venue for New Order. At the last moment they brought in
full lighting, video and a sound system capable of making a 24 track
recording of the event. The sound was wonderful in light of the haste,
with minimal feed-back and sputtering, the lighting was eerie and
yellowish. The D.J. set the atmosphere nicely by kindly omitting
all those songs we are conditioned to hearing in clubs, no one
danced, the air was full of anticipation.
Ike Yard, a recent Factory signing was first up. I'm afraid they
are much better on record, as they left a few unprofessionally long
gaps between songs, and seemed to have some difficulties. They were,
however, interesting, and I'm sure they'll be better after live practice.
Finally New Order took the stage and all stretched to see their faces.
Most striking was Gillian Gilbert, with her white face and burgundy hair.
She spent most of the evening crouched over her synthesizer or
intently watching the fingerboard of her guitar. It seems that New Order's
idea of stage presence is none at all. It is the music that is important,
not the posture. Bernard Albrecht did most of the vocals, and provided
the melodies with his careful guitar. He was as intense as ever, seeming
ill at ease and earnest at once.
The set was perfect, sublime, uplifting. It is hard to remember
which songs came when, though I do remember, "Procession" blending
into "Ceremony" was beautiful. They did a lot of material from the new
album MOVEMENTS [sic]. "Dreams Never End", sung by Peter Hook was
especially moving. The last song, and toure de force was definitely
"Temptation", which will probably be the next single. Bernard was
left singing and staring Heaven-ward, hopefully. This was not the New
Order I remembered, there was no gloom. They did not seem to conjure
Ian's ghost. This New Order was a complete unit with powerful ideas
and music of their own.
The show left me jubilant, joyful, like a weight removed
from my shoulder. New Order will mourn no more. They have come to grips
with the present and the music will [win] out. I have, the answer to my
question; Life goes on.
- Laura Gisig
The video does an excellent job in presenting New Order as they were, and in my humble opinion, one of the best documents of post-punk music ever put to videotape.
Remastered version via "livefromthedarkstage", which is better than any of the versions online, and while I have my original VHS and DVD versions, I'm sure as UMG or whoever owns the rights will allow ads to run over this, they're fine with this.
Annoyingly, this credits the wrong date, as this show took place on Thursday, November 19th, 1981, not the prior day.
As for any between-song quips, as far as I know there were none, the band indulge in zero interaction with the audience, or else the footage edits any of this out and there are no known audience recordings of this show to contradict this impression.
Instead, we can look at the instrumentation for each song.
Hooky is playing his Shergold Marathon on Chosen Time and Dreams Never End, switching to the Yamaha for Everything's Gone Green, through Senses, switching back to the Shergold for Procession, and back to the Yamaha for Ceremony, and then switching again to the Shergold for Denial, and once again to the Yamaha to close out with Temptation.. His Yamaha has a tan strap while the Shergold's is dark brown. So now you know which songs feature what bass.
Bernard is playing his Gibson ES through DNE, and then switching to the Vox Phantom on EGG. A green Hofner melodica for the start of Truth, with Gillian playing the Gibson here. Bernard takes the Gibson back for Senses and thereafter, playing when not singing.
For DNE / Truth / Ceremony / Denial, Gillian was playing her own Gibson ES it seems. Truth is interesting as it uses a drum machine and since it's her on guitar, Stephen handles synths. The other songs feature her on keyboards.
Speaking of which, Stephen is an absolute dervish playing Denial.
The lyrics to this nascent version of Temptation, featuring terrific fret work from Hooky near the end, and which honestly has never been bettered:
People, these people like you. People, good people like you. Up, down turn, hit the floor, hurdle 'round. Tonight we're gonna be all right...
Bolts from above hurt the people below...
Three ways, four ways, any way you hit floor. Three ways...hit the door.
Three ways, four ways, any way you hit floor...
It's the last time...ohhhh, it's the last time...
Tonight, we're gonna be all right...
Oh, I've never met anyone quite like you before...
It's the first time, oh, it's the first time...
And it's going away...it's going to end...it's going to end around then...
Live From The Dark Stage remaster