Rob Jones

Peter Hook is at the top of the tune table as a result of his allegiances with a brace of the most influencial performers in contemporary musical history. Joy Division and New Order have cast an immense wand upon pop practitioners that have followed their respective leads. Meanwhile, the input of Hook has been key to the output of the aforementioned acts.

Peter Hook and The Light are a busy band that include the main man’s son in amongst an astute quintet. The hero leads from the front taking on the core of the vocal duties while often displaying his bombastic bass brilliance. Meanwhile, his accomplices provide a platform for their own collective and individual skills. So what of the material on display? Well, quite frankly we are in the realms of the epic as at 8.20pm proceeedings kick off at a tightly packed Tramshed venue in Cardiff.

Hook and his crew are set to deliver the contents of the singles and b-side packages that constitute the Substance albums that were individually released to celebrate the achievements of both New Order and Joy Division. The crowd knew what they were getting in advance and there was set to be an evening of quantity and quality because apart from a quarter of an hour break the anthems flew off the stage until 11pm! At the same venue recently Sham 69 played for 45 minutes and left but Hook and company obviously enjoy the live experience as a near two and a half hour set was unleashed. This was certainly a value for money attraction!

The New Order section was the longer of the two sets; and that means the Midas of: Lonesome Tonight, Procession, Cries and Whispers, Ceremony, Everything’s gone Green, Temptation, Blue Monday, Confusion, Thieves Like Us, The Perfect Kiss, Shellshock, State of the Nation, Bizarre Love Triangle, True Faith and 1963. What we have is quite simply a selection of songs that prove that there was plenty to celebrate in the 80’s (although bad haircuts have to be ridiculed and Hooky had a few dodgy rooves during this decade! Did I? Yes, but no pony tails! Ha!).

The audience danced and sang as if time had stood still and the sonic survivors were back in the moment. The recall of lyrics was immense as every way one glanced there was participation. New Order united guitars with grooves and tenacity with technology. As a result the show could have closed there and then with a happy gathering delighting in the Friday night fever.

However, the intense and immense nature of Joy Division highlights were going to be explored. The more direct nature of the core of this work got a more vehement vibe going even though there is far more to this endeavour than raw power. The light and the dark plus the beauty and the beast surface . What ensued were the dynamic and dexterous pieces of a glorious jigsaw: The tail end of the 70’s entering a new era had the following numbers forging to the fore of post punk: No Love Lost, New Dawn Fades, Novelty, Komakino, These Days, Warsaw, Leaders of Men, Digital, Autosuggestion,Transmission, She’s Lost Control, Incubation, Dead Souls, Atmosphere and Love will tear us Apart.

The punters were glued to this phenomenal fare as the choreography became a tad more primal. I recalled memories of having a ticket to see Buzzcocks with Joy Division in support at the long lost Sophia Gardens venue in Cardiff. This November 1979 date was cancelled as not enough sales warranted for the concert to go ahead. Nearly, 40 years on and it is difficult to accept the fate of that far away night taking in to consideration the esteem with which Joy Division are now held (and, Buzzcocks are also a fine band who still tour to sell out events).

All in all the public were breathless at the end of a gig of Substance and style. Let’s just say that everyone present was Hook-ed!