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Live / stage review

"Gruff, no-nonsense renditions of classics": Peter Hook & The Light at Foundry

Compared to Curtis’ dark baritone and Sumner’s understated vocals, Hooky's versions of timeless Joy Division and New Order songs unlock a whole new way of experiencing them.
15 April 2023 at
Hooky and the Light 2023
Jamie Hartle

On your average night, the Foundry would be filled with students singing and dancing along to cheesy pop hits, but Saturday night was a completely different occasion.

Packed with an older but no less enthusiastic audience, the venue saw Peter Hook and The Light take to the stage to pay tribute to the work of two of the most seminal British bands of the 70s and 80s: Joy Division and New Order.

The show starts with Hooky and his band running through a mini set of New Order’s classics works, including ‘True Faith’ and ‘Blue Monday’, beginning the night with some feel-good anthems to sing along to before an interval which will lead into a change of mood.

This is not a night for New Order – this a night to celebrate Joy Division. Beginning with ‘Disorder’, the opening track from their influential 1979 debut Unknown Pleasures, the tone is well established. As the night continues, the set rachets up the claustrophobia and existential dread that grew within Joy Division’s work with tracks like ‘Atrocity Exhibition’, ‘Isolation’ and ‘A Means to an End’.

After a third interval, the band come back for an encore consisting of ‘Dead Souls’ and a return to New Order with ‘Ceremony’, before wrapping up with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. The crowd are more than happy to join in, the timeless refrain echoing around the packed venue.

Vocally, Hook remained on the sidelines in both Joy Division and New Order. But compared to Ian Curtis’ dark baritone and Bernard Sumner’s understated yet engaging vocals, his gruff, no-nonsense rendition of these classics unlock a whole new way of experiencing them. And at 67 years of age, Hooky shows no signs of slowing down.

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