Peter Hook & The Light: The Cockpit, Leeds

If, like me, you are a huge fan of Joy Division but you are too young to have ever seen them live then seeing Peter Hook and The Light is as close to the real thing as you will ever get.

They played to a sold out crowd which was predominantly people who were of an age which meant they could have seen Joy Division and New Order play at the times they were touring. Apart from the people who will have followed Peter Hook throughout his career there were also a fair few who were far too young to have been present at such gigs in the past. For these youngsters this was a really special occasion as there won’t have been many opportunities, if any, to see a member of Joy Division or New Order playing their songs live.

From the moment the entrance music, which was ‘Dirty Old Town’ by The Pogues, started this was a fantastic night. Peter Hook came on stage with very little fuss and along with his younger looking band went straight into ‘Dead Souls’. With its long intro this built up the suspense as the crowd tried to guess if Peter Hook’s singing would be any good, or if he would be attempting an Ian Curtis impersonation. When he began the vocals it was clear that his singing voice was in some ways similar to Curtis but he was in no way attempting an impersonation. This made it feel even more like a Joy Division gig.

Whilst each song seemed very close to the original there were also moments where it seemed like an extra layer or element had been added, and to great effect. This could possibly have been down to Peter Hook seemingly only playing bass when he felt like it. During ‘Dead Souls’ the crowd were assessing the performance and taking it all in. When they played the second song ‘No Love Lost’ the audience accepted and embraced them and people began to bounce and sing. After every track they played the applause was emphatic and appreciative especially after ‘Day Of The Lords’.

They were the first band I have ever seen perform three encores, and each one was perfect. Normally for a band to perform three encores would be seen as too much and over indulgent, but not on this occasion. I would have happily stood there until they had performed the entire Joy Division back catalogue. The second encore was a real highlight, the final two songs of it were ‘Transmission’ and then ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. As they performed ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ it felt like you had been a part of something very special as the hairs on the back of your neck stood on end.