Peter Hook and his band ‘the Light’ arrived on Thursday (7th Feb) at Rock City to deliver a stellar performance. Hook, often seen as a pioneer of the bass guitar playing field was a part of Joy Division and New Order for over 30 years and formed ‘the Light’ project following his departure from New Order in order to continue pleasing crowds.
The tour is themed around New Order’s fifth and sixth respective albums; ‘Technique’ and ‘Republic’, with full playbacks of both at each show. However, before the album playbacks, appetites were wet with a smattering of Joy Division covers which included “New Dawn Fades” and the staggeringly brilliant “Ceremony”.
‘Technique’, released in 1989, is a swashbuckling dance classic. Songs included on the album which were played on the evening were “Fine Time” and “Vanishing Point”. These are songs which will be familiar to any follower of the Manchester Hacienda scene of the late 1980’s, a scene which Hook played a huge part of shaping. ‘Republic’, which is headed by hit single “Regret” was also well received on the evening with a little less of a dance element yet still great musicianship.
The evening ended with four raucous renditions of Joy Division and New Order classics. Clinging on to the spirit of last summer’s World Cup, Hook led the classic “World in Motion”, which unfortunately was not accompanied by former England footballer John Barnes, however, the second bassist made an admirable attempt at the infamous rap, supported by a knowledgeable crowd. Then followed “True Faith”, my personal favourite New Order song, and one that really got the crowd swaying and jumping around. “Temptation”, made universally famous in the film Trainspotting, was performed to a baying crowd, with sing backs of the ‘grey eyes, blue eyes, green eyes’ part especially spine-tingling. And finally, the song which arguably is the most famous product of Peter Hook’s career; “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.
It may be a pipe dream and way too much to ask for, however I, like many other followers of rock music, yearn for a New Order reunion. Bernard Sumner without Peter Hook’s bass accompaniment just doesn’t sound the same and vice versa with Peter’s bass and Bernard’s voice. Maybe the hatchet can be buried and the band can rightfully perform to thousands as a whole. But for now, enjoyable evenings such as this will just have to do, and that in itself is still incredibly fun.