Gillian Gilbert on stage with New Order, fête de l'Humanité 2012.
|Birth name||Gillian Lesley Gilbert|
27 January 1961 |
Whalley Range, Manchester, England
|Instruments||Guitar, keyboards, vocals|
|Associated acts||New Order
The Other Two
Gilbert's family moved from her birthplace Manchester to the nearby market town of Macclesfield when she was young. She has two sisters: Kim and Julie. In a 1987 New Order interview, Gilbert says that she disliked living in Cheshire as a teenager and wanted to live in Manchester.
In the late 1970s, Gilbert was in a punk band with three girls who happened to rehearse next to Joy Division, which included singer Ian Curtis, guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris. In a 1987 interview with Option, Gilbert reflected on the first time she became familiar with Joy Division: "[W]e didn't have a car and us three needed a lift home. So we asked them, and they said, 'Alright, but you have to buy one of our singles.' So we did and got it home and played it on this horrible record player. We'd known Stephen before. We thought, 'My god, this sounds horrible.'" Gilbert would later begin dating Morris.
Ian Curtis's death in May 1980 left a three-member band that named itself New Order. Wanting to complete their line-up with someone they knew well and whose musical skill and style was compatible with their own, New Order invited Gilbert to join the band during the early part of October 1980, as keyboardist and guitarist. She had already played with Joy Division a number of times, filling in for both Curtis and Sumner playing guitar. Gilbert's membership was suggested by band manager Rob Gretton. Gilbert's first live performance with New Order occurred at The Squat in Manchester on 25 October 1980.
Gilbert's voice can be heard on several New Order tracks: the 1981 single "Procession"; the 1983 single "Confusion"; "Avalanche" from the album Republic on which she sang a single word, "faith"; and "Doubts Even Here" from their first album, Movement, on which she provided a spoken-word background vocal.
As New Order members Sumner and Hook had already produced music outside New Order, Gilbert and Morris formed their own band, The Other Two. The Other Two released its first single "Tasty Fish" in 1991 and released two albums, The Other Two & You in 1993 and Super Highways 1999.
Gilbert and Morris were engaged in 1993 and married shortly afterward. Gilbert and Morris live in Rainow, outside Macclesfield. The couple have two daughters: Tilly and Grace. Grace has transverse myelitis, a spinal disorder. Consequently Gilbert stopped touring with New Order in 1998 so that she could care for her daughter. She reasoned that it would be easier for the band to replace her than her husband. In 2001 she was replaced by Phil Cunningham in New Order's line-up. There are rumours that Tilly performs in Manchester band Hot Vestry, but this is currently unconfirmed.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gillian Gilbert|
- Woodard, Josef (November/December 1987). "Out From The Shadows: New Order". Option. p. 77.
- Flowers, Claude. New Order + Joy Division: Dreams Never End. London: Omnibus Press, 1995. Pg. 46.
- Johnson, Mark. An Ideal For Living: An History Of Joy Division. London: Bobcat Books, 1984. Pg. 74.
- BBC - Radio 4 - Today at 50:50th Birthday - Stephen Morris
- Gillian Gilbert - New Order Online - A New Order and Joy Division Web Site