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Peter Hook & The Light – Colchester Arts Centre, 08/04/2022

I’ll start with the shameful comment – I’ve never really listened to that much Joy Division or New Order. Not necessarily because I don’t enjoy it just I’ve heard “the hits” and never felt compelled to research any further. It’s time to correct that, diving in at the deep end with this mammoth two set performance featuring music from both bands.

It’s great to see Colchester Arts Centre completely packed out with live, original, music – what with the pandemic it’s been a while since it felt that busy. By the time Hooky and his band come out for the first performance the room is full. Billed as a set of New Order material the band impressed from the get go. It was interesting to see two bass players on stage at once although it totally made sense in context. Peter Hook’s lead driven bass lines make them stand out from other bands of a similar ilk. The vocals sound great too and it’s as tight as you’d expect a band led by a musician who’s been performing for this long to be.

After a short break they move onto a set of Joy Division tracks. There are a few more songs that I’ve definitely heard before, and some tracks get a big reaction from the crowd. The guitar parts are great throughout and the way the drums lock in with the bass despite the more intricate bass lines is impressive. When it comes to the encore they’ve definitely left the best til last, with Transmission, Ceremony and Love Will Tear Us Apart. By now the crowd are dancing around (I wonder how the grumpy guy who kicked me for moving out the way of someone felt by then!) and singing every word back.

I’ve got to say I’m impressed by their ability to perform a set this long day in, day out. Two lengthy sets and no sign of slowing down. Great stuff, I’ll definitely be deep diving into the back catalogue after that show!

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