It’s rare to see a founding member of an iconic post punk band performing original songs and a set devoid of any new material without pretence or ego. Such a band member is Peter Hook, the bassist of seminal bands Joy Division and New Order and the love in the room is palpable. “I love you Hooky” screams a fan in the audience, “I love you too…. Bernard” retorts Hook, to chuckles and laughter within the crowd. Accompanied by his band The Light, comprised of his son Jack Bates on bass, guitarist David Potts, Andy Poole on keys and Paul Kehoe on drums they launch into Joy Division’s “In a Lonely Place” and so begins their foray into nostalgia in the first set. “Cries and Whispers” mesmerises with a gargantuan bass line, while the stellar “Ceremony” closes the first set.
Foreboding “No Love Lost”, with a killer guitar hook initiates the second set drawn from Joy Division’s second album Closer. The brilliant “Isolation” sung by Hook in ode to the late Ian Curtis, is seemingly upbeat, countered by Curtis’s dark lyrics; ” I’m ashamed of the things I’ve been put through, I’m ashamed of the person I am”. “24 Hours” is performed with aplomb and sung with a dark intensity by Hook. His no nonsense singing style allows for clear annunciation so the fans can hear every word.
Unknown Pleasures was Joy Division’s acclaimed debut album released in 1979, and stands the test of time. “She’s Lost Control” featuring syncopated synth sounds, and drum, sees the throng dance and sing in unison and “Shadow Play” with its menacing bass line, and wailing guitar is as relevant now as it was in 1979. The crowd are transfixed, hanging on Hook’s every move. His between song banter is minimal, but humorous when he does address the crowd.
For the encore, brooding “Atmosphere” is dedicated to Las Vegas and “Transmission” sees punters dancing their hearts out, but things are stepped up a notch for the finale. The audience cheers as the first few bars of Joy Division signature song “Love Will Tear Us Apart” blare through the speakers, but Hook stops mid-song, saying “It’s my fault Jack, sorry about that!” As they restart the song, the throng has lost their shit, singing every word and jumping up and down in wild abandon, whilst pointing at Hook. After this searing crescendo, Hook goes to the next level and tears off his T-Shirt off and flings it into the crowd. A fitting gesture to end a night of nostalgia, Joy Division and New Order gems, and the one and only Peter Hook, and his bandmates The Light.