The Jodrell Bank ‘Transmissions’ for summer 2013 are ones which have been eagerly anticipated by us here at Gigslutz. Curated by headliners New Order, the line up for this year’s Transmission Number 5 had us eagerly counting down the days in anticipation for seeing a stellar line up of some of the most exciting new emerging bands performing alongside some legendary and iconic figures. This was an extra special day given the fact it was something of a homecoming gig for the band and many of the support acts with the majority of line ups being made up of lads and lasses from the surrounding Cheshire and Greater Manchester towns.
Getting to and from Jodrell Bank is somewhat of an arse, however. With no return trains north after the gig and the option of staying sober to drive being a complete non starter we took the decision to travel in style and get chauffeured down. This proved to be a quality decision and the site of Jodrell Bank in the basking sunshine and clear skies upon arrival made the travelling effort all worthwhile.
As we walked towards the humongous telescope and seen the stage for the first time I have to admit thinking it was a ‘second stage’ as it looked so small. This was purely down to the fact the stage was dwarfed by the giant telescope it is placed beneath. It has to be the most unique place I’ve seen a gig.
After a quick reccy of the arena we plonked our self in a predictable love triangle between the stage, bar and toilets. Billy pulled out his blanket and sun cream as we got our selves comfy. As the elder statesman of the group it was nice to see someone had a sensible head on when thinking ahead. So we thought anyway, until when the picnic was presented out of his haversack consisting purely of Scrumpy Jack. At least we wouldn’t burn or get grass on our arses.
Support bands Hot Vestry and Jake Evens got things going and were both very impressive; albeit excessively loud for the time of day they were on. Public Service Broadcasting were up next with their unique brand of psycaldelic instrumental grooves which kept things moving along nicely before The Whip got the crowd moving.
With the extreme heat causing mass thirsts for our group we were forced to keep the Tuborg flowing. This resulted in us all being in good spirits for the arrival of the mercurial Jonny Marr. The former Smiths man is not your usual support act given his immense back catalogue and he managed to fit in a full 12 song set which contained 4 Smiths songs, 1 Electronic number and the remainder from his latest album, ‘The Messenger’. For the Electronic number, ‘Getting Away With It’ Marr was joined on stage by New Order frontman Bernard Sumner to recreate the 1989 classic. Whilst it seemed somewhat unrehearsed there is no getting away from the fact it was special moment and was the perfect tee up for what was to come.
Bang on 9.30 the stage lasers blared as New Order came on stage to their signature entrance tune ‘Eligia’ with Sumner stating “let’s have a party together” before bursting into ‘Crystal’. ‘Regret’ came next before being followed up with a rare outing for ‘I’ll Stay With You’ which was part of their most recent release ‘Lost Sirens’.
As the sun set the visuals on the 250 foot Lovell Telescope became poignant whilst on stage footage of the bands videos were played during each number. ‘Ceremony’ and ‘Age of Consent’ were next up before Joy Division’s ‘Isolation’ was dropped to a massive crowd reaction. ‘Here to Stay’ was next before Sumner got the melodica out for ‘Your Silent Face’. Another unexpected track ‘World’ from 1993’s ‘Republic’ was next up and reminded people about how many forgotten gems the band have up their sleeve.
Following this the band headed for the home straight and kicked on with some of the big hitters. ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’, True Faith’ and ‘586’ were all smashed for 6 as was ‘Perfect Kiss’ before the giant telescope turned itself into the biggest disco ball of all time for ‘Blue Monday’.’ Temptation’ finished the set off with a mass sing along and sounded as beautiful as it always has.
The encore consisted of four Joy Division numbers. ‘Transmission’ started off before ‘Atmosphere’ and ‘Shaddowplay’ which left the timelessly emotional ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ to tie the set up in epic fashion.
A quite a spectacular show and in almost perfect surroundings. Of all the summer shows that will take place, this one will take some beating. Wonderful.