Gig review: Peter Hook & the Light

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Following his acrimonious split from New Order, ace bassist Peter Hook has gone down the heritage route, playing comprehensive sets drawn from different periods of the New Order and Joy Division back catalogues. This bumper set took in both bands’ Substance singles compilations, ruthlessly but effectively raiding two of the greatest discographies of our time. First, the New Order dance party, which revved up with a couple of early B-sides to outshine most bands’ best efforts, followed by a slew of brilliant singles, from the classic Blue Monday to an ecstatic Perfect Kiss, expertly rendered by a band which included Hook’s son Jack.

Barrowland, Glasgow

****

The only weak link was Hook’s insistence on singing lead vocal for most of the set – he is no singer, even compared to New Order’s Bernard Sumner, who at least has the delicate chops for the pretty tunes of Bizarre Love Triangle and True Faith. Hook was much better suited to the primitive punk of the early Joy Division material, delivered with urgency in the second half. After the uplifting melodic electronica of the New Order set, this was like a scrappy street fight among desperate men arriving at a sonic agreement out of sheer necessity.

Hook’s rendition of the closing Love Will Tear Us Apart lost its vulnerability in translation, its desolation and gravity sacrificed for a cathartic crowd singalong which could not be grudged.

FIONA SHEPHERD

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