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No Movement – New Order releasing more material, still fighting

What becomes a legend least? In the case of New Order it would seem to be a messy, never-quite-definite split and an inability to just let things go. Whereas contemporaries such as The Smiths and The Cure have seen their reputations burnished to eternal indie sainthood in recent years, New Order have spent the last decade seemingly determined to make the world grow ever more disinterested in them.

The band have plans to release out-takes from their final album, Waiting for the Sirens’ Call. Due in December, the Lost Sirens EP will comprise eight tracks that didn’t quite make it on to the band’s 2005 album. Except…except…well, how to put it politely; Waiting for the Sirens’ Call wasn’t very good. Unreleased tracks deemed not good enough for it then seem about as appetising as a cup of cold sick now.

New Order, let’s be honest, should have called it a day after 1993’s Republic. Nothing they have done since then has enhanced their reputation in any way. There was the first real falling-out and an 8 year wait till the underwhelming Get Ready. Then a further 4 year gap until Waiting for the Sirens’ Call. Neither of these albums feature any song that people will ever clamour for at gigs.

For a band whose every release was simply essential, up till then, the decline in quality was almost staggering. Truthfully, it looked like New Order had mentally given up in the mid-90s and the sporadic reunions seem more about trying to regain something forever lost. They had a public falling out a few years ago which saw Peter Hook leave the band. Love him or hate him, he’s a massive part of the bands story. Without him it’s not the same. It means that only Barney Sumner and Stephen Morris remain from the original line-up. The singer and the drummer. We all quite rightly wanted Billy Corgan strung up for same. So why bother?

The reunited New Order are scheduled to play four concerts next month, including their first UK gig in five years, in London on 10 December. But all are adamant the original line-up will never tread the boards again. “Too many things have been said and done,” Sumner said this summer. The bassist, who has recently performed Joy Division material on his own, doesn’t seem to mind. “What I want to see is a clean slate for New Order,” he told Exclaim last month. “I want to be able to look at New Order and go: ‘Well, it’s all finished,’ and then we can all get on with our lives.”

Hallelujah. Long-term fans may also, secretly, harbour exactly the same feelings.

 

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