Peter Hook & The Light
East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
24th October 2013
Peter Hook & The Light arrived in Liverpool for the first night of a UK tour, all the dates carrying the tag line ‘Peter Hook & The Light Performing New Order’s Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies Live’…I saw the same gig back in January when The Light performed in the magnificent surroundings of Manchester Cathedral; since then Hooky has taken his crew upon a world tour including dates in the USA, Canada before heading south to Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru – the continental dates however not being confined to ‘Movement’ and ‘PC&L’
Due to work commitments I arrived late; out of character that as I make a point of checking out the support bands – I think a support band deserves your attention; it’s a hard graft as a touring band and a disinterested crowd only there to watch the headline act are the toughest crowd to perform before; I did get to the venue in time to catch the Slaves To Venus last number though pin-balling my way through the masses in the outer bar it was apparent that the majority hadn’t bothered – we all fucked up as Slaves To Venus was in fact Hooky & The Light, I just caught ‘Shadowplay’ before they exited the stage…
When Hooky & The Light returned to the stage they were greeted by a near capacity crowd, Hooky wrapped in an Iron Maiden T-Shirt said in self-deprecating tones and as if to reinforce my error “the support band weren’t too bad” before launching into ‘Movement’ – from the off it was apparent that the world tour has built a level of confidence in Hooky – when he first began The Light I was always aware of just how nervous he looked on stage, his voice at times literally trembled; tonight though he seems more confident and sings with inner strength, no longer bellowing the lyric, he now delivers it with a deep resonating timbre whilst son Jack and the remainder of The Light play with confident aggression.
Hooky it seems has many critics, many of which vent their abuse here on Louder Than War – the general suggestion being that Hooky should leave his past behind; I think not, his past is what has formed the person who is stood before us, Peter Hook has the rare distinction of being a founder member of two bands who shaped modern music, he was part of a group that wrote the songs – they are as much his as any other members. What Hooky doesn’t do however is rest on past glories – his revisiting of Movement and PC&L etc. have allowed him to present the tracks in a singularly minded fashion, ‘Movement’ was exactly that, a progression from Joy Division, a blend of guitar and keyboard, at times both mournful and yet hopeful ‘Dreams Never End’ is surely a natural progression from Joy Division, ‘Senses’ being keyboard driven showing the way forward…’ICB’ demonstrates how well these gigs work, Hooky conceding the majority of bass lines to his son Jack enabling him to deliver the lyrics; sheets of which rest on upon a lectern.
The refurbished (and renamed) East Village Arts Club is a wonderful old theatre venue built in an amphitheatre style, a tight stage visible from every viewing angle; and with a PA as good as this The Light could not have sounded better, all of which bode well for the more keyboard driven sound of ‘Power Corruption & Lies’
After a short interlude (no pun intended) Hooky leads “the boys” back on to the stage…’Age Of Consent’ is glorious, though this pales in comparison to ‘The Village’ arguably the track that signified the final progression from Joy Division to New Order – Hooky literally punching the electronic drum pads, then for me a personal favourite; ‘Your Silent Face’ the entire track builds around that heavenly keyboard refrain lifting you, sending shivers down my spine; technology has allowed The Light to utilise the original DMX drum sounds, the same machine that later drove ‘Blue Monday’, Jack providing that distinctive looping melodic bass line while his father prepares for the infamous retort come back: “You’ve caught me at a bad time so / why don’t you piss off?”.
Again Hooky seems more comfortable, his voice is rich no longer needing to shout the lyric confident that his style f delivery will suffice and it certainly does, the crowd are eager for more, clearly enjoying the spectacle all of which led almost predictably to ‘Blue Monday’ – the track that turned the raincoat wearing doom mongers into disco bound groovers – thunderous staggered beats that broke the mould and on to ‘Temptation’…these songs despite being rooted in the 80’s appear timeless, and that’s down to Hooky’s determination to deliver the tracks with respect but also with the confidence to build upon them, this is New Order reinvigorated, re-energized; Hooky has arguably reclaimed the songs and is delivering them with heart and soul.
At the end The Light leave the stage leaving Hook stood alone facing the crowd, he peels off the sodden Maiden shirt and gifts it to the audience, stand stock still and momentarily absorbs the applause.
My challenge now is to witness the Slaves To Venus, and see quite where Peter Hook is going to go with all this.
Peter Hook & The Light tour dates:
Sat 26th Oct Colchester Arts Centre
Thurs 31st Oct 53 Degrees, Preston
Fri 1st Nov The Sugarmill, Stoke
Sat 2nd Nov 02 Academy, Birmingham
Thurs 7th Nov Chinnery’s, Southend-on-sea
Fri 8th Nov Sub 89, Reading
Sat 9th Nov Concorde 2, Brighton
Thurs 14th Nov Warehouse 34, Newcastle
Fri 15th Nov The Garage, Glasgow
Sat 16th Nov The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
Fri 22nd Nov The Academy, Dublin
Sat 23rd Nov The Limelight, Belfast