AS HIS former bandmates put plans into action for a Hooky-less New Order reformation, Peter Hook and The Light rouse a packed out Ritz with a three set back-to-back career spanning epic.
Punters were treated to a full run through of Brotherhood, a record which saw New Order flit between 80's disco beats and a grittier rock
A Joy Division hit-packed opening set starts up with Atmosphere, brooding into a flawless performance of Digital before delving into the darkness of Isolation. The crowd grows as the set plays out and Hook plays the role of Ian Curtis. 24 Hours skips along into She's Lost Control as Hooky impresses his adoring following with basslines that will be etched eternally into Mancunian musical folklore. It almost comes as a relief when Love Will Tear Us Apart doesn't feature. It still sits quite uncomfortably that Hook attempts to imitate Curtis' inimitable vocals.
The highlights of tonight's show, though, lie firmly with the rare outings of New Order's Low-Life and Brotherhood. Released in '85 and '86 respectively, both marked the peak of New Order's progression from the dark post-punk Joy Division era into the electronica that cemented them as one of Manchester's most iconic bands.
It is surprising then that many of the twenty or so tracks have never been played before. As ever, though, Hook looks totally unfazed and with his signature bent right knee stance bursts through second set (Low-Life) opener Murder, sailing then through Lonesome Tonight and basking in the melodica driven fan-favourite Love Vigilantes. The Perfect Kiss is drenched in sweetly synth and is a high point of the Low-Life set. Hooky and co. delve into the deepest corners of the album with a haunting rendition of Elegia and the menacing Sub-culture squeals into Face Up. By now, Hooky's devotees are bouncing along to every note and shouting back every word.
Punters were treated to a full run through of Brotherhood, a record which saw New Order flit between 80's disco beats and a grittier rock. The album is often remembered for its huge single Bizarre Love Triangle, but as Hook and his backing band proved, it is a record which stands as one of New Order's most well-rounded efforts. Weirdo and the beautifully played All Day Long were both highlights of the third set of the evening. Unbelievably, the crowd matched Hook's seemingly never ending stamina pound for pound 27 songs later. If that wasn't enough, Hooky returned to the stage to rapturous applause for a rousing rendition of State of the Nation.
30 songs after the night kicked off, Temptation gave Hook and his flawless bass performance one last hurrah before a fit to burst Ritz crowd filtered out into the night following this super-long walk down memory lane with one of Manchester's most iconic musicians.
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Photo credits to Craige Barker (http://www.crashfoto.com)
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