According to NME, New Order have announced that the band will reform to play two benefit gigs in October, but troublesome bass player Peter Hook will not be part of the line-up.
New Order will play at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels on October 17 and at La Bataclan in Paris on October 18 to raise money for film maker Michael Shamberg, who is struggling with a debilitating illness. Shamberg produced some of New Order’s classic videos, including the award-winning ‘True Faith’ as well as the heavy metal spoof ‘Touched By The Hand of God’ and ‘Regret’. Now suffering from ill health, Shamberg requires constant medical attention which the group will help to raise funds towards.
New Order will be joined by keyboard player Gillian Gilbert for the gigs, who hasn’t performed with the band for over 10 years. Gillian Gilbert was quick to praise the film maker. “It’s been a long ten years since I took a break from the band, so I’m really happy to be back, and this is a great place to start” she said. “Michael is a very good friend, and I want to help him, so it’s perfect timing to come back now!” Tom Chapman, who was part of frontman Bernard Sumner’s recent sideproject Bad Lieutenant, will replace Hook on bass.
Bernard Sumner has praised Michael Shamberg’s role within the wider Factory community. “Michael has been with us from the very start, initially he was in charge of Factory New York, then became, creative producer for all our early videos. He brought our attention to the early works of Directors such as Kathryn Bigelow, Gina Birch, Robert Breer, Peter Care, Phillipe Decouffle, Jonathan Demme, Robert Frank, Paula Greiff, Robert Longo, Bailie Walsh & William Wegman. Michael is very ill and needs constant medical attention. We want to help him, and these shows will contribute financial support towards his ongoing care.”
Though Peter Hook has yet to comment on the announcement, recent history suggests he is unlikely to be supportive to the group performing without him. NME had a quote from Hookie, but does anyone really care what he has to say these days?
(photo of Gillian Gilbert performing with New Order in NYC in 1981 photographed by Eugene Merinov.