Peter Hook And The Light returned to The Cockpit in Leeds after playing Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album but this time it was renditions of Peter’s work as part of New Order. In an unusual, but very welcome, chain of events the band performed their own warm up slot choosing to play entirely Joy Division numbers to loosen up the crowd.
They began their set with ‘Atmosphere’ which fittingly was the final release as Joy Division before they became New Order, after the tragic death of Ian Curtis. Hook’s vocals were his own style but they instinctively had a vague similarity to those of Curtis. As ‘Atmosphere’ ended and was greeted with rapturous applause Peter Hook’s legendary wit was on display as he asked the sound engineer to turn up every instrument except both bass guitars, which he wanted turning down in his monitor speaker, and then said to him “apart from that it’s perfect”. They then went on to play favourites such as ‘Leaders Of Men’, ‘Wilderness’, ‘A Means To An End’ and ‘She’s Lost Control’ before leaving the stage.
When they returned Hook’s sense of humour was again on show as he walked up to the mic and said “the support band were shit weren’t they?” In this set they played New Order’s Movement album in its entirety. Hearing Movement live highlights the similarities to the Joy Division material but it also shows that the quality of that band wasn’t diminished by the lost of Ian Curtis they merely altered their style. The atmospheric natural of the pulsating rhythm of the instrumental parts alone was truly gripping. This set gradually built towards its final flourish which was ‘Denial’.
When they returned they began playing tracks from the Power, Corruption & Lies album. This album is more upbeat and the crowd visibly picked up and began moving and singing along. Not even the fight which broke out at one point distracted them from their enjoyment, in truth it was only a minor scuffle but the atmospheric music added more trepidation to the situation. The audience were clearly having fun and it was interesting to witness the varied reactions within them. The majority of people were lost in the moment as they relived their youth and danced like they would have if they were in Hacienda during the height of New Orders fame. It was also nice to witness the younger members of the congregation experiencing New Order for the first time as they would have been too young to go see them live when they last toured. Everyone became more and more responsive until they peaked during the final song of the gig which was inevitably ‘Blue Monday’.
The decision to start with Joy Division tracks before moving onto the first two New Order albums really highlighted their progression as a band. Whilst listening to them play Movement the sonic similarities to Joy Division were clear but as they moved onto Power, Corruption & Lies the progression away from Joy Division towards classic New Order was audible.