Electric Picnic Spotlight: New Order make old-school sound fresh again

35 years in the game, the English rock band are still capable of adapting to the current climate

Before 2015's Music Complete, there was a ten year gap where there was no new New Order music to be found, but the world wasn't exactly left wanting.

When one of your first ever songs - in this case, 1983's 'Blue Monday' - becomes the biggest selling dance single in history, cementing its place as one of the most iconic tracks ever made, it can be very difficult to continue competing with yourself.

2005's Waiting For The Siren's Call was tepidly received, while the revolving door approach to band members showed there was something off within the ranks of the once-great group.

In the middle of a hit-drought, and with even their die-hard fans beginning to question their artistic direction, New Order knuckled down and over the course of 2014 and 2015 set about working on a great, modern dance record.

With 11 tracks spread out over an hour, Music Complete compiled a string of uber-producers to craft their sound, which can sometimes run the risk of old dogs attempting to pull off new tricks. Duran Duran tried something similar with their 2007 album Red Carpet Massacre - in which they recruited Justin Timberlake and hip-hop producer Timbaland - and it all sounded a little...off.

Thankfully, New Order were smarter with their collaboration choices: Chemical Brothers member Tom Rowlands co-produced two of the tracks, The Killers' Brandon Flowers co-wrote and provides a vocal for closing track 'Superheated', legendary icon Iggy Pop appears on 'Stray Dog', and La Roux frontwoman Elly Jackson brings her icy charm to three of the songs including the killer single 'Tutti Frutti'.

However, the secret weapon here is Stuart Price. While he only provides additional production to one of the album's tracks, his influence can be felt on the entire project. Think of some of pop's greatest comebacks in recent years - Madonna's Confessions On A Dancefloor, Take That's Progress, and most importantly, Pet Shop Boys' Electric - and Price is behind them all.

In particular, that PSB album was an obvious touchstone for Music Complete, with the heavy modern disco and electronic influences mixing in with old-school lyricism and melancholic vocal performances. Much like Electric was for the Boys, Music Complete ended up as one of New Order's greatest albums in their entire output.

Many critics felt that it was their best since 1989's Technique, with both NME and The Guardian listing it on their Best Albums of 2015 lists. A short tour initially ran in November and December of 2015 in support of the album, and Sunday will see New Order bringing their new (or is that New?) sound back to Electric Picnic, having previously performed there in 2006. They take to the Main Stage at 8.45pm.