Recreation Centre, Kingston-upon-Thames, Tolworth, UK
12 March 1983
lineage: second generation dub
analogloyalist mastering August 2012
This gig, while not a "stash" tape, for all intents should be. It's classic New Order, raw, with one of the band's greatest in-jokes included. It's also terrifically difficult to find in good quality, for some reason.
It's said that the speed this soundboard set made it to the Camden market stalls, after the gig, was ridiculously fast. One longstanding rumor - and knowing the nature of the parties involved, probably more than rumor - is that manager Rob Gretton quietly leaked the soundboard tape immediately after the gig, to cause further embarrassment to journalist/writer Mark Johnson. Johnson had been stalking the group for some time at this point, trying to write the ultimate trainspottery tome about Joy Division and New Order (An Ideal For Living), an effort that would find him - according to wags - cornering some poor band member backstage with ridiculous questions along the lines of "now did you play "Song X" in Buttfuckshire, October 1978 or not?!?" among other acts of sillyness. In retaliation, the band arranged to have Johnson's scooter - for he had been in attendance at this gig - strung up from a forklift, blocking the band's truck, and then had the promoter come on-stage mid set with the following legendary quip:
"Sorry to interrupt you here but we got a very important announcement here. There's someone who owns a scooter, SMG643Y, that's SMG 6 4 3 Y, now if they can go and remove it, because it's causing obstruction to one of the trucks. Thanks a lot, and don't spit at me."
The gig is full of little Hooky/Barneyisms too, one of the better collections of them I must say:
Hooky (before In A Lonely Place): "This is the brass section. If the Jam can do it, I'm sure we can."
Bernard (introducing Age Of Consent): "This one's a fast one for all you bollock brains."
Hooky: "You shouldn't swear, there are several big blokes here that'll RIP YER FUCKING 'EAD OFF!"
Bernard (introducing the final encore): "Listen, we've only come back on because the door's jammed and we can't get out."
I think one would be hard-pressed to find a better performance of "Dreams Never End" than this gig. It is, in a word, superb.
This set came to me as a CD-R of a 2nd generation tape. It was dull, noisy, and just screamed for help. I first worked on it in 2005 or thereabouts, and set it out on Dime at the time. Listening to it now, I cringe and sincerely apologize for subjecting folks to it. It sounds completely amateur in terms of "mastering".
Not so this version. In fact they couldn't be any more different than night/day. I used a LOT of tools in my toolbox on this one, this time, but it needed it to be more than just something you'd listen to once, say "eh, that's cool" and file it away.
There are only a couple niggly bits about the tape; "Blue Monday" starts out a bit uneven, but it's more than likely just to be old tape as much as anything. There's a pretty significant dropout in the right channel for a decent chunk of "Everything's Gone Green", but all known copies of this gig have this problem too, so it was probably an issue with the original board tape. Even Retro's "Everything's Gone Green" - from this gig, sourced from an unknown generation dub, and far (FAR) worse quality than we have here, has the dropout. Other than those two bits, the tape itself was in fine shape.
All in all, a gig that I played, at best, once a year suddenly becomes something that won't be leaving my iPhone for a long, long time.
01 Blue Monday
02 In A Lonely Place
03 Chosen Time
04 Dreams Never End (with SMG643Y following)
05 We All Stand
06 Leave Me Alone
07 Age Of Consent
08 Temptation (false start)
10 586 (false start)
12 Everything's Gone Green
Enjoy! And thanks to my buddy Johan (Species) for the artwork. You would think there would be a decent photo of either the venue or the gig somewhere online, but no... the venue is one of the most boring buildings I've ever seen, based on the Google!