Day Four - New Order and Manchester
Andrew Future on 13 July 2002
Openers Hanky Park stick to your skin and won't come off, in a bad way. Rumour has it that they are here today because they are friends of New Order legend Peter Hook. Alfie on the other hand may look like that tramp that made a pass at your sister on the underground last week, but they're full of sweetness and soul, and you shouldn't be put off by the fact that they haven't washed for a month. It's a fact that Badly Drawn Boy dumped his former backing band because he couldn't stand being around their bad breath, though we have yet to confirm this.
Elbow come out and do their reputation as one of the many unsung heroes of modern British guitar music proud. They are what Shed 7 should have been yesterday. 'These are songs about drinking too much, taking drugs and doing everything that your parents tell you not to do at weekends.' With more heart than a dozen butcher shops, and the best British debut LP since 'Definitely Maybe' to draw from, their perfection gets lost slightly in less personal environments but when songs like 'Asleep At The Back' ingrain themselves with such emotion it matters not where you are. Echoing hauntingly across the ground, the piano chords of 'Powder Blue' create a truly moving air of tragic brilliance. Absolutely class.
Doves are the now the world's supersonic superstars of all all things cool, apparent from their honourable introduction by the big daddy of Madchester himself, Mr. Tony Wilson. "Indie music you can dance to", proclaims the former Factory Records boss who was recently played by Steve Coogan in his biopic. Clearly, he's been doing a little too much 24 hour partying, because whilst they succeed in making grown men cry, there are very few dancing today.
Doves look like your dad, but the fact that they can come out with such a collection of trippy, highly evolved classic songs at their age, and having done more E than anyone as Sub Sub; everyone's favourite indie lorry drivers are a true asset to Manchester and to British rock n' roll. They now come complete with light show, and though the sunny daylight dampens the dazzle factor, the stadium nature of songs from 'The Last Broadcast' shines like something that shines very brightly indeed...
New Order were born as a stadium act, and though time's clearly taken its toll on Sumner, Hook and co, Manchester is out in force to welcome back its reformed Hacienda heroes with a fitting finale for a hugely successful event. There's no better party piece than a set by one of Britain's most innovative and acclaimed bands, and unlike Paul Weller's no-frills set the night before, New Order pull out all the stops to give something truly special.
It was a crowd-pleasing set that included a satisfying smattering of songs from the Joy Division days, featuring 'She's Lost Control' (dedicated to late Who bassist John Entwistle), 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' (for "All of Manchester, 'cause I'm so proud to live here") and 'Atmosphere'. They even add a tribute to Kylie Minogue, mixing 'Can't get you out of my head' into the intro to 'Blue Monnday', as the pop imp had done at the Brits. A special guest was wheeled out to do John Barnes' rap in 'World in Motion', in the form of a disappointingly sober 'Keith Allan'. After the show, Allan assured us he was "much better than Barnes"!
Overall, New Order provide the perfect finale to 4 days of triumphant festival action. The worst part is, we have to wait an entire year until the next one. See you there.