Peter Hook & The Light: Holmfirth – live review

Peter Hook And The Light
Holmfirth, Picturedrome
15 April 2013

Peter Hook’s mission to reclaim his Joy Divison and New Order heritage continued last week at the Holmfirth Picturedrome. Alex Staszko enjoyed hearing a fresh take on the classics.

Monday night in Holmfirth and Peter Hook’s in town. Admittedly Holmfirth is probably best known as the location for ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’, but it also has a great live music venue, The Picturedrome. It used to be a cinema in its last incarnation, but now it draws an audience from Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds & beyond.

Tonight The Light are playing both ‘Unknown Pleasures’ & ‘Closer’, the two ‘proper’ Joy Division albums. They draw a mixed age crowd, from the outrageously drunk schoolboy at the front who somehow manages to get himself thrown out twice for being leathered (and why did he bring his own drumstick to the gig?), to people who saw Joy Division back in the day.

They start tonight with a few non album tracks, first up is a stunning ‘Dead Souls’ (a familiar Joy Division set opener, so played as the band could balance the sound to it, as the instruments come in one by one). We then get ‘Digital’, then a surprise, as Peter Hook introduces us to Alan Hempsall (from Crispy Ambulance) to sing the 2 songs he sang at Joy Divisions riot gig in Bury in 1980 (indeed Hooky jokes he’s on the same money as that night) ‘Glass’ & ‘Disorder’, the latter of which starts a run through of ‘Unknown Pleasures’. The other guest vocalist tonight Rowetta, gives a different twist on ‘Insight’ & ‘New Dawn Fades’. ‘Shadowplay’ gets a huge cheer and makes the mosh pit even more animated. The first half of the set ends with ‘I Remember Nothing’, then the noise of a needle clicking on a record (a nice touch).

After a few minutes pause the band are back on stage for the ‘Closer’ set, which starts with the needle dropping onto a record, then the stark drums & bass of ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ fill the air, ‘Isolation’ gets the crowd moving again & Rowetta reappears to make ‘Colony’ her own, what a voice! The stark electro disco of ‘Heart & Soul’ fires up the audience before the wind down tracks of ‘Closer’, ‘The Eternal’ & the wonderful, dark and moody ‘Decades’ draw the set to a close. Note perfect versions played by a very tight band.


Rowetta comes back on for the encore for a take on single, ‘Atmosphere’, before the band fire through a version of ‘Transmission’. Then we are then given a choice ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ or ‘Temptation’, New Order’s ‘Temptation’ wins, after over two hours of great live music the band leave us all wanting more, here’s to next time…

Peter Hook & The Light are still gigging during the summer.

Also a live recording of their Manchester Cathedral gig from January, featuring New Order songs, is available here.

Peter Hook and The Light’s music can be found at their website, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

All words by Alex Staszko. More work by Alex on Louder Than War can be found here.

Pictures by Elspeth Moore.


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