REVIEW – Peter Hook and the Light – London Roundhouse 18/12/2017.

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At one point in December, Emily went all the way to London to see ‘Peter Hook and the Light’. For those who are unfamiliar, Peter Hook is the former bassist of iconic UK Rock band Joy Division, and he has ensured the spirit of Joy Division is kept alive by playing various tracks live with his band. For this specific show, the albums ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’ were played in full for the sold out crowd, and below is what Emily thought of the night.

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‘For me, the night was very surreal and spine chilling. I have seen Peter Hook before, however I was working the event rather than attending as a paying customer, so this time round was completely different. I have always loved Joy Division, and when it was announced that Peter Hook would be playing Unknown Pleasures and Closer in full for a special show, it was a no brainer that we had to go. Along with my sister, we made the six hour trek to London, and we were looking forward to visiting a venue for the first time. The venue itself is a lot different to what I am used to, and I got really formal vibes from it. It added to the atmosphere for me, and it is definitely a show I will never forget.

The demographic of the crowd was mixed to say the least, and it was nice to have such a mixed range of personalities all brought together by the music of a band. There were more punk people, a lot older people who had came straight from work to catch the set, then there was me and my 21 year old twin sister. Despite the differences, we all came together to appreciate the music, and this is what made the show that extra bit special for me personally. There was no trouble, just genuine appreciation for the music.

Unfortunately, I missed out on the New Order support section as we were not at the venue in time, however we got there just on queue for the ‘Closer’ section of the set beginning. The set was initially opened with No Love Lost, which is a track on Joy Division’s ‘An Ideal for Living’ EP from 1978. This four track EP was released shortly after the band had changed their name from ‘Warsaw’, and this is the main reason why it is very iconic amongst the Joy Division fan community. I personally like both names that the band went by, and even though ‘Joy Division’ is referring to the brothels that Nazi soldiers used to run, the thought and meaning I find adds to the eerie and unknown atmosphere that the band are very well known for. This track live alone was captivating and polished in terms of the performance, and this was when I suddenly realised where I was and how lucky I was to be there in the sold out crowd.

From the first note, I was absolutely mesmerised, and I got that the crowd felt the same way. After this opening, all of the tracks from Closer were played in the order to the track listing from the original album, and the highlight for me was the second song in ‘Isolation’. I have always liked this song, and I like how the use of key boards and a more techno approach from member Andy Poole brings the music more so into the 21st century. Andy is my spirit animal in the sense that he literally just stood there and did his thing, no fuss, no gimmick; just him and his equipment.

I love the Closer album, don’t get me wrong, but I was mainly there for Unknown Pleasures. I want to avoid sounding like your ‘typical’ music fan, but for me and probably thousands of others, this is an album that shaped us and brought us face to face with Alternative Punk. We realised that even though something can sound so beautiful and amazing, there can still be tragedy, pain and suffering behind it. The album artwork itself is iconic to say the least, and Peter Saville (artist) has created something that will not only be recognised and appreciated during the present time, but it will also be idolised during the foreseeable future.

Anyway; sorry for the side tracking..

Once it was time for the Unknown Pleasures set, I was ready and really looking forward to hearing some of the tracks live for the first time. My favourite JD song is ‘Disorder’, and with this being first on the album, I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long. As expected, it sent shivers all the way through my body, and I couldn’t help but just stand there in awe of the music.

I have always been a fan of Hooky’s Bass work, and it was really prominent from the start of the set just how talented he is. His son Jack Bates also plays the Bass alongside his father, and the two of them together have some serious talent; and it is also nice how they can spend some time together doing what they both love.

A part of the set where we all had lumps in our throats was when Hooky dedicated a track to Ian Cutis; his late band mate. The track was ‘Atmosphere’, and I felt numb the full time during it. They brought on Mark Lanegan (former member of Queens of The Stone Age) for guest vocals, and it was interesting to see him perform alongside someone who has looked up to him for many years. It was almost like we could see Peter’s dreams coming true right in front of us, and despite the tragic and chilling tone set from the dedication, it really was beautiful.  They also performed ‘Dead Souls’ with Mark, and to say it gave me the chills would be an understatement.

The set was closed with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, and I can’t explain the feeling I have when they play it live and the crowd is singing the lyrics. I’ve seen grown men cry very few times in my life time, and the most iconic time for me was during this time of the set. The song itself is very iconic to say the least, and hearing it live just gets to me and I have no idea why. Everything about it was perfect, the bands talent, the crowd reaction, and the atmosphere that was fuelled by alcohol, sheer emotion, and passion.

Overall, the show was one of the most memorable for me, and I have been to a lot of shows in my time. For those who haven’t listened to Joy Division, I highly recommend it, and once you have checked them out, brach out to more of Hooky’s work, as he is a talented man, and he needs to be heard by as many people as possible’.

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