After more than 40 years playing with two of the biggest bands to come out of Manchester and a Manchester swagger, Peter Hook might not be the most obvious candidate for nerves but when it comes to his new band, The Light, performing Joy Division and New Order’s back catalogue was a worrying experience for the man with the slung-low bass. Was there a concern that the gigs might turn into a bit of a tribute act show?
“I didn’t know what to expect both with the Joy Division albums and now with the New Order ones. I was very happy that the people that have come seem to enjoy it and so many were vocal about that after the gigs.”
“I thought the gigs would be full of old bastards like me, but they’re not. It’s nice to know that your music still crosses over the age barrier. Weirdly Joy Division are so popular now with the younger generation.”
Hook will be performing seminal New Order albums, Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies on the tour, in track order and including singles and B-sides such as Everything’s Gone Green, Temptation and Blue Monday not included on the releases.
The Light was originally intended as a one-off memorial to Joy Division’s Ian Curtis at in Manchester but the reaction of fans and critics alike to the renditions of Unknown Pleasures and Closer in their entirety has convinced Hook that it’s worth giving New Order the treatment too.
“It’s New Order’s music with no flab and no bullshit. As The Light we’ve transcribe the songs faithfully and we play them as they were recorded on the albums. Like with the Joy Division album performances, we’re staying very true to the record.”
Despite praising Liverpool’s Sound City for giving smaller bands a platform, Hooks believes that the glut of new bands don’t come under the scrutiny they deserve.
“In truth, there’s absolutely loads of new music nowadays and if anything there’s far too much. It’s like an avalanche of music. See you used to rely on tastemakers like John Peel to sift through it for you; nowadays you get hit by so much that it becomes a bit counter-productive in a way, the sheer volume of music and bands out there makes it harder for everyone.
“It’s both an advantage and disadvantage of the new technology and level playing-field that is the internet – it makes it easier for new bands to be heard but harder to be picked up and promoted.”
With a loyal following, two albums that defined their genre and knockout review of previous The Light gigs, these new gigs should have little problem being heard above the noise.
Peter Hook and the Light
East Village Arts Club