This video shows the Manchester group transitioning away from the dark sound it previously pioneered as Joy Division.
“Ceremony” has always been an interesting track in the New Order catalog. It seems to catch the band very much in the process of remaking itself from the bleak darkness of Joy Division—the band it was prior to the death of its frontman, Ian Curtis.
The song reveals the lingering elements of Joy Division’s dark sound (the song was, in fact, originally a JD cut) warping into something slightly more metronomic and bright. This 1981 performance is a fantastic insight into just how creative this young band was, and how it managed to carve out a distinct sonic aesthetic that would color the sound of ’80s England.