NO: 30 AUG 1982 The Venue, Blackpool
Folks deem this performance to be a bit lackluster, since it was a bit of a one-off, maybe New Order was under-rehearsed. Also could be that the crowd wasn't getting into it, so the band wasn't, and vice versa.
Tape I have is the one davemings seeded to EZT, which he lists as possibly being second generation. I believe all the versions on YouTube are sourced from either this version or from the *soundboard* recording of this gig that surfaced in the early 2000s.
To quote Mark Johnson:
"Held on a windy, rain-swept evening near Blackpool's North Pier, this concert was promoted and supported by Section 25, with an appearance by Kevin Hewick. It was one of the group's rare nationally-advertised concerts and one Portuguese fan traveled all the way from Lisbon to see them. Though New Order's digital sequencer had failed the week before and could not be repaired in time for the concert, the band rented equipment for the event. "Age Of Consent", written that month, was debuted and the sell-out crowd of 1,000 gave New Order a tumultuous reception."
And indeed, this explains why the sequenced tracks sound so different, with "586" being especially amazing. *This* is simply the best version of that track ever, which shames all later versions, with the opening guitar and ending synth and bass work being stunning. And a version of "We All Stand" that's a keeper, though Hurt for some reason is a shambles, as the sequencer mysteriously speeds up a bit after 3:00 in.
Notes pertain to audience tape, unless where otherwise indicated.
JC on EZT writes:
"Procession starts a bit muffled presumably just as the keyboards start up, and there's a pronounced shuffling of the microphone between 4 to 8 seconds into this first track, and it sounds as though the microphone carrier was clapping at the end of 'Procession' just as the keyboards wind-down."
At the end there's a feedback squall, plus Hooky off-mic shouting out "Wanker! You mustard twat...".
More shouting from the same bloke as before after the applause, which dies out to near-silence, almost unheard of for an Order gig.
Mic scuffle at 0:12-0:13. Old style intro, actually a bit different than other versions either before or after, which might be because the sequencer is playing the song in a different key than PH or BS are. Thanks to indiearchivist for that observation.
Truth follows to polite applause.
The intro to We All Stand is much unlike anything I've heard from this song...it's starts out much too fast a tempo, which is slowed down right before Bernard plays. A pity, because it's a really cool effect.
Hooky tunes his bass at the end. Somebody says "Does [something] like that?
There's a brief tape edit on the audience tape here.
PH: "Don't give a fuck."
The soundboard tape has an edit after this.
The sequencers mysteriously speed up at about 3:24, probably throwing off Hooky's bass riff. A shambolic performance.
(one of the audience versions)
Somebody says "one more", someone else says "ten minutes, ten minutes", and then the same person, closer to the mic, says "fourteen minutes". Wonder if this refers to how much tape is left.
PH: "Got one of those rigs, Steve?"
A long pause then a couple of guitar noises.
Everything's Gone Green
More conversation about how much time is left, the reply this time is "ten minutes".
Age Of Consent
The debut performance!
The lyrics strike me as being looser than other early performances, with Barney singing in a falsetto at one point.
Song strips down before ending. Sounds like tape is slowed down and then stopped rather than the normal cut.
Sound quality gets noticeably worse, a lot more hissy. There's some talking at the beginning of this which may correspond with JC getting up and leaving, assuming JC was near the taper as he seems to suggest.
Gap at 0:50 (tape flip?) and a left channel drop at 1:02.
Quite a few improvisational lyrics, the best bit being, "This is the end...I like the end, and some very nice cooing.".
The song ends in some synth effects.
JC's account of the gig, from EZT:
"Did a quick download and listening now. First thing that strikes me is that the recorder was nowhere near the PA, probably taking a central position. I guess it was a good way back too, as I have memories of a decent crowd near the band at the front. If you compare with the Blackpool Scamps recording in 1980, you can tell that Scamps was a small, low-roofed club.
I too was towards the back of the concert hall, which may go some way to explain why I didn't enjoy the sound either. I arrived just in time for New Order after a few strong lemonades in the Metropole Hotel across the road.
The performance is not as bad as I remember, but it's a lacklustre effort at times. Looking at the dates on the website Live Browser, this one is a bit of a one-off, so they may only have practiced at the soundcheck? The crowd are not offering too much assistance either. It takes two to tango, and neither band or crowd are giving much.
I didn't miss as much as I thought, as I'm sure I heard 'Age Of Consent', and left presumably during 'Ultraviolence'. Now that was lacklustre. I was with my friend Martin, who also liked New Order a lot and played in one of the support bands when Joy Division played Blackpool in 1979, and we both were underwhelmed by the event.
If memory further serves me correctly, this event was an attempt at something Factory were trying to do, which was to provide DJ's and dance music, and have short sets from bands too. That date would have been the Monday of the late August Holiday weekend, so maybe a few worn-out souls had spent all their energy by that Monday night?
Having to go back to work after the Monday holiday dampened our spirits, those that had work in 1982!!!!
Other versions on YouTube
Irvine Bhoy YT