- 15 Sep 19
What Peter Hook brought his band The Light to Dublin, a fascinating night seemed likely. But, with four separate set-pieces, covering two albums in their entirety as well as the big Joy Division and New Order hits, it turned out to be much bigger and better than might have been anticipated…. Photography: Colm Kelly.
If you took your time over an extra pre-gig pint, and then strolled over to the Academy Theatre, there’s a good chance you'll have had the grave misfortune of missing Peter Hook & The Light belting out sublime renditions of post-punk classics ‘Transmission’ and ‘She's Lost Control'.
There was no support act, and – having taken it upon themselves to do four separate sets in the one gig – the band started at bang on half-seven. This self-imposed work-rate is all the more impressive when you consider that Hook will technically be a pensioner next year. Clearly, in footballing terms, he still has the legs.
The opening set was dedicated entirely to the music of Joy Division, and it was absolutely immense. At times it was eerie how similar Hook's vocals sounded to those of his dearly departed collegue, Ian Curtis.
Next up, the band played two New Order albums in full. While the lights had been dimmed for the moody and atmospheric Joy Division set, the venue burst into colourful life for everything New Order-reated. Technique, widely considered their finest work, was played through first. That was followed by Republic, usually cited as one of their lesser outings. Hook himself has said that he felt this was because it was written and recorded during a period where both the band and its iconic label, Factory Records, were falling apart. You could almost hear a note of trepidation in his voice when he announced: "This is Republic.”
Played through in full, however, it more than held its own alongside its better renowned elder sibling.
Only watching Peter Hook live does its become clear just how many iconic basslines he has crafted down the years; and while he didn't spend much time working the crowd, in the traditional sense, you could feel that all present were hanging on his every pluck.
Not once did Hook or his supporting band – including his son Jack Bates – wilt under the pressure of their lengthy, four-part set. They kept the venue pumping throughout. However, the roof was very nearly blown off the place entirely with the encore. Apart, of course, from his estranaged bandmates in New Order, it is hard to imagine any act out there that can boast a more powerful finale than one that includes both 'Blue Monday’ and 'Love Will Tear Us Apart’.
As the crowd filtered out into the streets after the gig had, you could still hear echoes of the iconic lyrics: "Love, love will tear us apart, again." It will indeed. But Peter Hook helped us to see the light nonetheless.