Peter Hook, founding member of Joy Division and New Order, returned to Liverpool last night with The Light in-tow to preform the two classic Substance albums in a single set, and he proved a lot along the way.
With Hooky‘s on-going, looming legal issues with his former bandmates, it was an emotive move for Hooky and his fantastic backing outfit The Light to push forward and take on the New Order catalogue and a move that seems so right, tonight we’ll see the man preform almost three hours of delicate New Order and moving Joy Division numbers.
After the night’s opener “In A Lonely Place”, it’s evident that we’re getting a peak at not-just a great setlist full of classics but also at a band who would be able to play them so well. After thumping out two more, Hooky pulls back to the mic to quickly state the following song would be dedicated to Eric’s founder Roger Eagle, and proceeds into “Ceremony”.
I’m at the front moments later, as Hooky & co. hit their stride for one of the greatest portions of any setlist ever, the time that the riches of the New Order come alive and it bleeds together greatly. “Temptation” leads the pack, followed by the anthem “Blue Monday” and then the hit of “Confusion”, the crowd keeps their energy levels at bay, providing the uphill trip through a chaotic and masterful catalogue of songs will allow them too.
“Thieves Like Us” and the tricky “The Perfect Kiss” showcase more than before, the one-two punch of electronic greatness also gives thought to the venue, while usually I hold lack of confidence and enthusiasm for the O2 Academy, tonight it showed a gleam of light. The open-plan setting was a delight for those wishing to see how the New Order work is done.
Just a few more songs, notably “State of The Nation”, “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “True Faith” and finally “1963”, and we’re done. After a gigantic first half, Hooky takes a well-earned break.
The end of the set is almost euphoric, “Transmission”, “She’s Lost Control” both perfectly show the ability of Joy Division and very few can ever hold it’s true nature, Hooky is one. Ending with the duo of “Atmosphere” and finally a chaotic sing-a-long of the eternal “Love Will Tear Us Apart” prove a number of things, especially that the crowd were here for the latter half of the show.
The love for Hooky shines at the end, and it should. The legend has had a tough few years now behind him and still lives to bring enjoyment into the lives of his fans, an honest man armed with the catalogue of two distinct bands can never and will never go wrong, instead it will provide a wonderful look into a setlist and show like no other.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by James Ainsworth.