It takes a few songs for tonight's 400-plus Leadmill crowd (predominantly thirty and forty-somethings) to get warmed up, but front-man Bernard Sumner is on top form from the off. "This guitar isn't made of Hacienda floor wood," he quips, presumably poking fun at former band mate Peter Hook. Which is why Sumner is here with his post-New Order band Bad Lieutenant, touring their debut album 'Never Cry Another Tear'.

With "celebrity drummer" Steve Morris behind the kit and ex-New Order auxiliary Phil Cunningham on keyboards and guitar it's no surprise that the result is a guitar-heavy version of Sumner's former band with one key element missing (Peter Hook's trademark bass lines).

Jake Evans shares frontman/vocal duties and on 'Shine Like the Sun' shows just how good a voice he's got. Debut single 'Sink or Swim' tops off anything on New Order's rather weak 2005 final album, 'Waiting for the Sirens'Call' and the breezy 'Summer Days' has Sumner's trademark vocals and guitar stabs all over it.

As the set unfolds it becomes more of a vehicle for Sumner's past exploits (including Electronic and his Chemical Brothers collaborations).

Unsurprisingly, though, the biggest cheers are reserved for renditions of New Order classics 'Regret' and 'Crystal' and the emotional rollercoaster of set closer 'Temptation'.

The three-song encore salvo sends the crowd further into raptures: a majestic 'Ceremony', a pulsating 'Transmission' and the Joy Division classic 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. It doesn't get any better than this. The current rash of Joy Division/New Order copyist bands please take note.


The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Denzil Watson.











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