No shortage of good old ‘northern work ethic’ from Peter Hook and his band as they ploughed through the best part of an almost three-hour long set at The Fleece in Bristol on Sunday, September 8th. ‘Hooky’ and his band began the evening with a range of Joy Division favourites to warm up the packed venue up.
Hook’s band ‘The Light’ is made up of either family connection through blood or from New Order days. Hook got to share bass guitar duties with his son Jack Bates, who is a chip off the old block and as good as the old man. Keyboard player Andy Poole and drummer Paul Kehoe worked with Hook under an offshoot band called Monaco. Also in that band was The Light’s guitarist David Potts, who also worked under Peter Hooks Revenge project.
Joy Division’s catalogue can at times be deemed to be bleak or depressing, but for such glum tunes, there were a lot of very happy individuals in the audience who were relishing the opportunity to hear these songs live. The band and Hook were very professional and tight, and sounded perfect in what was a small venue with a snug stage.
Banter was kept to a minimum throughout the sets as Hook’s bass began proceedings with throbbing notes, before the rambling beats from Kehoe and Potts’ striking guitar kicked in and the early classic “No Love Lost” got everyone going, before heading into some favourites from the classic albums Unknown Pleasures and Closer with “Dead Souls” closing the first set, with Hook raging as he bellowed out the lyrics.
A brief interlude and the troops were back to deliver an intense two hours of early New Order, kicking off with the fragile and delicate “In A Lonely Place” before heading into “Ceremony”, which saw the room start to leap up and down.
Peter Hook was decked in a Cassius Clay t-shirt, blue jeans and a casual white pair of adidas trainers with his trademark stance of a low hanging bass guitar progressed through New Order’s Movement. At times Hook left all the bass duties to his son as he concentrated his efforts on singing, and certainly successfully putting his own slant on the vocals that were normally held by Bernard Sumner. From time to time, Hook would take time to wipe the sweat from his forehead as the temperatures rose, and at times he would stare towards the back with arms crossed over his bass as he allowed the music to wash over.
Hooky did offer some humour in-between songs and as he reached Power, Corruption & Lies, he admitted the whole night was starting to feel like ‘a marathon,’ such must be the drain of playing for two-and-half hours and remembering lyrics from older, rarely played songs, although there was a book on a stand with the words, just in case.
PCL is probably one of the most popular New Order albums, and each song was well received by the squashed room as the leapt and danced to the songs, whether it was the catchy bass lines of “Age of Consent” or the reverb from Poole’s keyboards on “The Village”.
Away from the dancing, there are tracks of just sheer beauty, no better evident within the first few notes of “Your Silent Face”, with goose bumps as plenty. Power, Corruption & Lies was voted 94th best album of the ‘80s in Rolling Stone, which seems bonkers as this track alone should catapult it way up the charts past some of the dross, like the aptly Luther Van-dross at #93.
By the time Peter Hook & The Light had returned, The Bristol Fleece was ready to party as they finished with “Temptation” and New Order’s well known “Blue Monday”, the biggest selling 12” single of all time and everyone love it, arms raised clapping in time to its familiar beats bringing the evening and the final dates in the U.K. to a perfect end, before heading over to North America for several dates throughout September (QRO tour preview), where on is sure ‘Hooky’ and the boys will be welcomed, such is the on-going influence of Joy Division and New Order.
No Love Lost
A Means To an End
In a Lonely Place
Dreams Never End
Doubts Even Here
Cries And Whispers
Everything’s Gone Green
Age of Consent
We All Stand
Your Silent Face
Leave Me Alone