Thursday, August 16, 2012

17 December 1985: Manhattan Club, Leuven "stash" tape

New Order
Manhattan Club
Leuven, Belgium
17 December 1985

source: Hooky's rubbish bin (the "stash" tapes)
lineage: Master soundboard recording cassette
analogloyalist mastering August 2012

At long last I'm starting to fix up and free a stash of gigs - which first saw the light (heh) in 2004 on the long-defunct Sharing The Groove, but were essentially untouched beyond basic cleanup - that really show how brilliant New Order were in their prime in the mid-'80s.

The quick-and-dirty background:  Whilst cleaning house, a set of master New Order soundboard tapes (various mid-80s live gigs, some rehearsals, and a DAT or two from the band's 1989 US tour) was found by Hooky under the floorboards at his studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England.  At some point, these tapes ended up in Hooky's trash as he thought they were shite, apparently.  After a drunken night at Casa de Hooky, a musician friend of the bearded bass player, who was in his employ for a duration in the early 90s, rescued the tapes from the rubbish bin.  Ultimately the tapes ended up being auctioned to a well-known New Order internet site proprietor in Florida, a fellow who is not commonly known for sharing the wealth.  In the interim, ATR (sometimes called Stash) obtained digital transfers of these tapes before they were shipped off to the Sunshine State.  ATR then shared them amongst the New Order cognoscenti, and then in 2004 we fed them to the world via Sharing The Groove.

All these gigs had their various problems as-received from the source in between Hooky and us, the least of which were sector boundary errors (which means, if burned as-is to CD, there are audible "pops" in between tracks) and all off-pitch by varying degrees.  Some were extremely muddy, and others were far too bright.  None of them were just right, but my aim is to make them so.

(The New Order "stash" gigs that were on Sharing The Groove, and various other torrent sites and blogs from 2004 onward, are all from those original 2004 releases and have not been formally mastered since, until now.)

Previous "stash" tapes posted, 2012 masterings all:
7 July 1984 Barcelona
7 Dec 1985 Slough
13 Dec 1985 Orleans

Here's another one.  There are two common circulating variants of this - that from our 2004 "stash" tape seed (muddy), and that taken from a circulating video of the gig (not very good for general listening).  The version here is mastered from the 2004 source, and shines.  It's night and day in terms of clarity and listenability.  One minor issue with the stash source is that it's missing the last ten seconds of "The Village", which is where a C90 cassette would split.  The 2004 seed patched the last ten seconds with the audio from the video; I've not done so here as it's just too clashing and impure (I've faded out instead).

"Let's Go" features a lovely bum note from Gillian when she falls on the keyboard at approx. 2:05.  "Atmosphere" - while featuring wonky keyboards - sounds stellar.  "Blue Monday" simply has to be heard to be believed, it's probably my favorite performance of this along with that from Orleans a few nights previous.  Barney channels Jimi between "Subculture" and "Atmosphere", which I've tracked separately.  Barney drops lyrics all night, most notably on "Blue Monday".  All said, it's a lovely little gig that certainly I've neglected for far too long; now I don't have to!

01 Let's Go
02 Age Of Consent
03 Thieves Like Us
04 The Perfect Kiss
05 State Of The Nation
06 Confusion
07 As It Is When It Was
08 The Village
09 Subculture
10 All Along The Watchtower (snippet)
11 Atmosphere
12 Temptation
13 Blue Monday

FLACs here.  Starting with this post, the linked track above is a full-length MP3 of the mastering presented, so you can sample before pulling down the FLACs.



  1. One of my first NO tapes! I remember watching this video on The Music Box (or similar channel) and "taping" it with a microphone in from of the tv speakers...! Good times!

    Looking forward to the new version, though!

  2. you sir, are a magician.

    these stash remasters sound amazing. thank you.

    may i ask what is the exact font used for the "leuven" cover art you have here (and many other NO sleeves)? looks like a version of Akzidenz grotesk...

    1. You would have to ask the fella behind as that's where I got the sleeve from. The actual Low-Life font, and that used for the blog header image, is Neuzeit.

  3. Williams in LiverpoolAugust 16, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Absolute quality. Many thanks.

  4. Hey Man, would it be possible to convert these to MP3 for you and host them on my blog? I got my own server. I'll give you kudos/credit/whatnot, I just think that there are a lot of people out there who want the MP3s but don't have the time/patience to convert them.

    Love what you're doing, keep up the good work.

    1. Why convert them to shity mp3's ? I just don't get it, flac is the best quality and should be the standard of everyone.

    2. Well, iPods for starters. Plus countless other programs/devices that don't run FLAC. And even if they do, my android tablet has 8 gigs of storage, I kind of need the space.

      Finally, most people using most equipment simply can't hear a difference between high-quality 320kpbs MP3s and lossless audio.

  5. My thoughts on the great FLAC vs. your-lossy-format-here debate:

    It's my blog, I chose to upload FLACs. I am an archivist. Archivists don't rely on second-source copies; they root out the best original source. Along those lines, mp3/mp4/wma etc are, at best, "xeroxes" of the original source.

    I'm putting all this work in for my personal enjoyment, and decided - out of my own generosity - to open my work up to fellow fans. I can no more stop you from doing what you wish with these files than I can un-leak the masters from the band's lockup. But I would hope you would respect my wishes and not spread these in a lossy format.

    I understand people want to listen on various portable devices. I myself convert these to mp3/m4a and do my daily listening on my iPhone. But I convert from the lossless files, and the lossless files will always be there as an archival format. There are easily hundreds of freeware or cheap shareware programs, for all common platforms (Mac/Win/Linux), that cross-convert dumbly between formats. Most are as simple as "right click, pick format, add to iTunes" or what-have-you.

    We live in a society, at least in the West, where the vast majority have access to broadband internet. Very few of my readers are browsing my blog on their trusty 56flex modem - and if they are, I think downloading FLACs are the least of their concerns. I am choosing not to bow to the lowest common denominator; if you want the files, the beautiful musics, you will find a way to download and access the sets.

  6. just wanted to say thanks for your dedicated work.

  7. Really sounds wonderful. Thanks for all the time and hard work.

  8. First listen to one of your series, and it just sounds marvelous. thanks again for all your work and dedication

  9. New URL due to Mediafire account deletion...

  10. Thanks for all of your work on these.

    I appreciate you're busy putting all the links back up, but thought I'd mention that only parts 2 & 3 are available here. Any chance of getting part 1 back?

  11. Thank you! BTW, link 1 was available and worked just fine for me.

  12. This sounds kinda weird when you're used to a mono recording ripped from the video of this gig :).
    Question: what happened to the running order? On my video rip Age Of Consent is played after Perfect Kiss while this recording plays AOC before PK.

  13. Someone kind to hand me a link for this one ? I've missed it.