New Order

Glasgow OVO Hydro


Thursday night’s OVO Hydro headliners dipped into material from five decades, but openers Confidence Man rooted the crowd firmly in the early ‘90s. 

The Australian duo subscribe to Spinal Tap keyboardist Viv Savage’s ‘Have a good time, all the time’ ethos, with every song an opportunity to bound around the stage to the sound of buoyant eurodance that could slot comfortably into a classic NOW compilation alongside Haddaway and Culture Beat.

Having played a raucous show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands last year, their star continues to rise, and anthemic closer Holiday will no doubt have converted a few who were unfamiliar with their energetic show.

The Herald: New Order performing at the OVO HydroNew Order performing at the OVO Hydro (Image: Warren Jackson)

“It’s good to be back in Glasgow. Sorry it’s taken so long” said New Order frontman Bernard Sumner, adding: “the weather’s s***. Even worse than Manchester.”

There was nothing dour about the set’s opening salvo of Crystal and Age of Consent, with that magnificent, ageless Gillian Gilbert synth line on the latter setting a high bar early on. 

READ MOREPJ Harvey Glasgow review: superb show from a singular talent

New Order setlists, of course, pluck from the back catalogues of not one but two beloved bands. The first of the night’s four Joy Division songs came in the shape of an impressively reworked Isolation.

“Gonna lighten the mood a little now and play a few dance tunes” said Sumner, prompting one audience member to loudly exclaim: “Hacienda in the house…oh yes!”. An epic Sub-culture, complete with laser show, took the crowd back to that famous Manchester club. 

The Herald: An impressive light show accompanied New Order's performanceAn impressive light show accompanied New Order's performance (Image: Warren Jackson)

After a pounding version of Plastic from 2015’s Music Complete album, they rounded off the set with the kind of three-song run that very few artists are capable of emulating. True Faith was followed by Blue Monday, which hasn’t aged a bit since its release 40 years ago. 

Even better was to come in the shape of Temptation, with its ‘oh you’ve got green eyes, oh you’ve got blue eyes, oh you’ve got grey eyes’ refrain providing the evening’s most cathartic moment. 

READ MORE: An oral history of Franz Ferdinand

The encore consisted of three Joy Division numbers, with footage of the band’s Ian Curtis playing during their rendition of Decades. Drummer Stephen Morris was on relentless, metronomic form throughout, and never more so than on a glorious Transmission. 

The Herald: New Order frontman Bernard Sumner performing at the OVO HydroNew Order frontman Bernard Sumner performing at the OVO Hydro (Image: Warren Jackson)

The show ended with Love Will Tear Us Apart, a 43-year-old anthem that has been embraced by at least three generations. 

It had been a joyous trip through the past, built on music that still sounds like the future.

READ MORE: 'Missiles and spit came from the crowd': New Order in Scotland, 1983