Peter Hook and The Light: Tokyo York 5/7/14

Peter Hook and The Light: Tokyo York 5/7/14

Tonight Tokyo is transformed into a late 70’s/ early 80’s dark, grungy indie-rock venue, albeit both the musician and the crowd have aged considerably. Still, everything other than the majority of the crowd members is youthful- as ‘Movement’ and ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’ in their entireties are given a new lease of life on the live stage and middle aged men bounce around in typical energetic ‘lad style’. So poignant was the level of sustained love for both Joy Division and New Order, held by these fans throughout the years.This love was certainly celebrated in raucous style tonight, by older and younger fans alike.

Hooky and The Light opened with ‘Atmosphere’, a mellow but emotionally intense starter which I felt most heartbreakingly pays homage to the memory of Ian Curtis. The band play a support set brimming with Joy Division classics; though ‘Isolation’, ’Transmission’ and ‘Disorder’ particularly go down a treat. Though Hooky’s singing wasn’t at all bad, it was The Light’s instrumental sound which really captured our ears. With Tokyo’s Funktion-One sound system, the outstanding Joy Division bass lines (which, oddly weren’t played by Hooky himself) were given a dark, brooding power like I’d never heard before.

After a short interval in which the bewildered bar staff fail to cope with the descent of men in need of draught beer, the band start up with first New Order single ‘Ceremony’ and proceed into ‘Movement’. Its an eerie listen- Ian’s ghost is manifest within its mournful and afflicted ambience and the whole album is an uncanny reflection of Joy Division’s melancholic post-punk. The album is also a state of purgatory within the set. It is a grieving stage for the loss of Ian, before we are carried to the synth-infused, danceable state which is ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’. Hearing the sonic transformation in full was a fantastic experience. It was very special to hear every song on each album individually celebrated for its artistic value; songs which, were you to see New Order live, would be missed. Gems are often lost in the lengthy New Order back-catalogue, such as ‘Your Silent Face’ with its magical, glittering synths.

The size of the metamorphosis is felt most strongly in their encore, where they play a perfect selection of New Order hits; ‘True Faith’, ‘Temptation’ (which gained the second most ecstatic response of the night) and finally, the mammoth 80’s club track I thought to be the guaranteed closer- ‘Blue Monday’. However, even as this hopelessly dancey track ends, the band remain on stage, and the actual fantastic finale is ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, hinting that truly, it is the music of Joy Division which is celebrated with the deepest reverence.

Clearly everyone has had a tonne of fun on this Saturday night in York, including Hooky, who tells the crowd of his enjoyment- you can tell he shares a sense of understanding with his fans, united in their love of the same musical heritage.

Peter Hook and The Light play New Order’s 1985 LP ‘Lowlife’ and 1986’s ‘Brotherhood’, at two special UK dates at The Ritz, Manchester and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.

Sophie Brear