"So what's the use in complaining,
when you've got everything you need."
This was so very almost the final song I ever heard. See, how’s that for a come back? Straight in to the drama. Bet you’ve missed that.
It’s a sun-drenched Monday, 30th January 1989, and New Order have just released their very last album that was any good (fact!): ‘Technique’. And, oh, was it good. I still remember the Chris Roberts review from Melody Maker that week: ‘It was worth the wait. In Gold.’ And it was. New Order were always my concession to the joys of what we’ll call here ‘dance music’. It’s something I know very little about. But every three years New Order would pop up talking about ‘Chicago house’ or ‘Balearic beats’ and for about a week I’d feel connected to another musical world – with ‘Technique’ it was the thrills of Ibiza in nine perfect pop moments. And then I’d go back to floppy-fringed indie-boy stuff.
So my friend Chris and I have been bursting for the school lunch break so he can drive us in to Camberley town centre to pick up our copies. I’ve spent my £4.49 on the cassette version so we can listen to it immediately in his car (well, actually his mum’s Mini) on the way back. We’ve listened to the first half of the album as we stop at the bottom of a hill near the school gates to let some fellow pupils cross. And that’s when I stare death in the face. Well, in reality, that’s when I close my eyes and quickly curl into a ball in the passenger seat having just glimpsed a car come speeding Dukes of Hazzard-style over the crest of the hill behind us. Then there’s all the sounds you come to associate with car crashes from watching them every night on the telly – tyres squealing, metal scraping, etc. But now with added New Order. The fact that I can still hear Bernard singing, and have felt no impact, means Chris and I have had a near miss. And on opening my eyes, I can see the car behind has managed to steer itself on to the pavement alongside us without harming anything more important than a school railing.
I knew we’d be all right really. At 18, you picture yourself dying to Morrissey or Robert Smith, not New Order. They became like my patron saints of travel. I used to hang the cassette round my neck. No, I didn’t; so no angry comments please.
Note: My 'Technique' cassette is nowhere to be found today, so above is the 12-inch sleeve for the 'Run' remix - fact fans.