There’s a certain mindset that views Hooky’s touring of Joy Division numbers as almost sacrilegious. I don’t share that mindset; the man was there from the beginning, end of. Himself and Barney Sumner mightn’t be talking anymore but musicians falling out is nothing new, and this is as close as anyone of my generation is going to get to hearing the legendary Mancunian outfit live.
Anyways, musico-political minefields aside, there is always a certain degree of trepidation when approaching a gig like this. Are there going to be actual fans here or eventers out for the night? Will the famous bass man be able to deliver on the night? Thankfully the place was jam-packed with believers who were witness to Peter Hook and his band The Light delivering a rousing set.
Support on the night came from local boys Dead School who didn’t leave the side down and rocketed through a very pleasing set. They’ve had a very busy year and it must really put the crown on things to support an act like Peter Hook on their home turf. Nice work by the lads and it was good to see them in the crowd after, just as big fan boys as the rest of us.
Everything was here for the casual Joy Division afficionado. His voice mightn’t be the best but Hooky grabbed the crowd by the collective throat from the minute the bass strains of ‘Atmosphere’ kicked in. From here on in, we got to see a master at work. Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division’s seminal masterpiece was played in its entirety and he even managed to go for the elusive double encore, finishing off proceedings with ‘Transmission’ and the ever popular ‘Love will tear us apart’.
It was a decidedly pleasant night all round and showcased the venue on a balmy Saturday night. Listening to the soaring beat of ‘She’s lost control’ so near to the banks of the Lee isn’t a memory anyone who was there is likely to forget anytime soon.