Gig review: Peter Hook & The Light
PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT LIQUID ROOM, EDINBURGH ***
VERY few musical dynasties could see their bassist take to the road and play songs from his back catalogue with a whole new band, and be accused of anything but having descended into the territory of the cheap cash-in. Yet Peter Hook – who most famously fulfilled that role with Joy Division and New Order, and proved to be an enduringly outspoken ambassador of the 1980s Manchester scene – is no ordinary string-basher.
This debut Scottish gig for the band and revisitation of Joy Division's classic Unknown Pleasures album in its entirety was, by definition, a pale imitation of the real thing. Hook's stark growl, by no means unsuited to the centrestage role, possibly reminded more of Motrhead's Lemmy than the late Ian Curtis or his latterday stand-in Bernard Sumner, and there were occasional slips in his being able to read the lyrics on a stand before him quickly enough.
Yet the packed-full audience would have been entirely aware that Hook's contribution to these songs was more than just a bit of background rhythm, and the dense, chiming basslines which all but exemplified the bands he played in were in strong evidence throughout.
For those who can cast cynicism about such ventures aside, it was also pleasing to hear songs like New Dawn Fades, She's Lost Control and Interzone played live (possibly heard live for the first time, in the case of some younger fans) alongside more familiar classics like Atmosphere – sung by Happy Mondays and X Factor alumnus Rowetta – Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart.
As pure nostalgia trips go, it was worth the journey.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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