The Brook, Southampton

Peter Hook and The Light

An otherwise dull Monday night is made to feel like the start of the weekend when iconic bass player of New Order and Joy Division Peter Hook arrives in Southampton for a very special “One Off” warm up show with new his band “Peter Hook And The Light” who are heading off on a lengthy European Tour.

Since the well documented parting of the ways with New Order “Hooky” has put together this band to go out on the road to celebrate and honour the outstanding decade defining music of Joy Division. As you would imagine tonight The Brook is packed out with all the tickets being sold out well in advance with fans travelling far and wide to come along to this special show. Tonight’s show was billed with the band performing the ground breaking Joy Division albums “Unknown Pleasures” and “Closer” in their entirety back to back. An eclectic DJ provides a set of excellent alternative warm up tunes of some great bands from back in the day such as Bauhaus and The Bolshoi on the run up to the main attraction.

At around 9pm “Hooky” arrives on stage telling the crowd that he had been busy back stage watching an important episode of the Manc soap Coronation Street where some of the major cast members were killed off in an explosion, he offers a spoiler but there were no takers. As the band kicked off there was a massive air of anticipation in the air with lots of new and old fans alike excited about the night ahead. Since Joy Division’s last ever gig in Birmingham in 1980 after the sad demise of the genius of front man Ian Curtis, these songs have been largely lost to the live music circuit, so hearing them once again is a thrilling experience. With this being a warm up gig, it is a tool for the band to iron out any problems and at times Hooky seems a little frustrated with a few technical problems that crop up throughout the show, gladly though these small issues do not spoil the evening in any way.

Peter Hook and The Light
Peter Hook and The Light 12345678

The show at over two hours provides the audience with some sheer indulgence of songs that have influenced a huge amount of highly successful acts. While listening to the songs it is very apparent that bands like U2 and a lot of the gothic bands of the 80/90’s like The Sisters of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim and The Mission have taken a lot from this iconic band. The very atmospheric and intense nature of Curtis’s songs just sends shivers down your spine. This band are respectfully recreating his work so well with the right amount of passion that it deserves. There are so many highlights during the evening “She’s Lost Control”,”Shadowplay” and “Heart And Soul” were all genuine crowd pleasers, with people enjoying the music in different ways with the some people standing enjoying the music with the eyes closed while others dancing energetically. The band perform with two bass guitars to recreate the largely bass led sound with “Hooky” taking on all vocal duties coupled with Nat Wason on guitar and Andy Poole on keyboards who provided excellent complimentary backing.

The second half of the set featuring the “Closer” album which contains the song “Isolation” which has been adopted by the rock band Therapy? as their own, and play a much faster version. Though listening to it here again tonight there is a massive similarity to U2’s song “Vertigo”, obviously Bono and The Edge were massive Joy Division fans. The emotional two album set comes to a close with the audience full of praise for the band’s evening of pure nostalgic entertainment. The band leave the stage with the delighted audience wanting more. Hooky and the band dutifully return for a thrilling encore of “Transmission” with a bass intro to die for, which got an elderly mosh pit started on the dance floor. The last song of the evening is dedicated to a punk couple who had spent the night snogging their faces off, to which Hooky commented that “you two better get a room” before launching into an impressive uplifting version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. The evening had been a great night of revisiting and for some of us not old enough to have seen Joy Division a musical education. I am sure everyone who attended tonight felt more than privileged to be in the company of some life defining songs that have more than stood the test of time and are all a very fitting memory to the life of the legend that was Ian Curtis.

Peter Hook and The Light
Peter Hook and The Light 12345678

In A Lonely Place
No Love Lost
Day Of The Lords
New Dawn Fades
She’s Lost Control
I Remember Nothing

Atrocity Exhibition
A Means To An End
Heart And Soul
Twenty Four Hours
The Eternal
Love Will Tear Us Apart



Review, Videos, and iPod tomfoolery By Dave Chinery (Chinners).
Pictures, taxi driving, and wrong turns by Jon Musselwhite.
Elderly Moshing and no middle-8’s by Ross A Ferrone.

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