REVIEW: Peter Hook and the Light, Leadmill

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IT was always going to be a gamble to take Joy Division’s music back on tour.

Original bassist Peter Hook knew the risks. Would he tarnish the band’s legacy and open himself to ridicule? But Hook is an emotional guy who clearly believes this fantastic music should be back on stage.

Forget comparing his band to the original. This was a revival where the focus was on the songs, not individuals. And as the band picked its way through Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division’s debut album, and a sprinkling of Warsaw songs, it became clear this could work. Hook sings passionately while his band successfully re-create that haunting and mesmeric Joy Division sound. Highlights were a cracking version of New Dawn Fades and Shadowplay, while the encores from the Closer album were an unexpected bonus. By the time we reached the finale of Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart, the place was rocking.

Hook threw his shirt into the crowd, admitting he was almost crying, and we all remembered why Joy Division were so good.

Rob Hollingworth