Watch New Order Debut Synth-Pop Barb “Plastic” Live in Chicago

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 07.02.14 in News

“Playing live has been good fun, but it’s purely a reproductive thing,” New Order frontman Bernard Sumner told Barry Walters a couple of years ago in an interview now on Wondering Sound. Sumner, who also famously co-founded Joy Division, was itching to debut some new material. Last night, during the synth-pop pioneers’ North American tour debut at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, New Order did just that.

“Plastic” (via Slicing Up Eyeballs), a seven-minute, electronics-percolating address to someone who is “iconic” yet “artificial,” is the second new song New Order has performed this year. This March at Lollapalooza Chile, the U.K. band debuted “Singularity,” then being called “Drop the Guitar.”

It’s going to be worth asking Sumner what, specifically, “Plastic” is about — his use of the phrase “baby” suggests a romantic relationship, but given Sumner’s public fallout with former New Order-Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, it’s tempting to read other targets into lyrics like, “You’re the center of attention / But you don’t want it / You’re so honest.”

New Order’s Chicago setlist included “Singularity” but otherwise ranged through the fantastic career of the band and its post-punk predecessor, culminating with “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” It isn’t clear yet when the new songs will see release, but they’re the first fresh material from the group since the sessions for 2005′s Waiting for the Sirens’ Call, which also spawned last year’s Lost Sirens.

New Order feature prominently in our piece Going Through Changes, about bands that changed their original lineups, and visit the archive for reviews of the albums Low-LifeBrotherhoodTechniqueMovement and Power, Corruption & Lies.