When I was making plans back in January of this year to make a return trip to New Orleans I originally was going to go the weekend before Jazz Fest. I already did the touristy trip two years ago where I spent nearly all my time around Bourbon Street and was looking forward to a trip focusing instead on beignets and some good live music, rather than watching a bunch of drunkards staggering around. Then I discovered that Peter Hook and The Light would be performing in New Orleans the week after I originally wanted to go. No-brainer to change those travel dates.
For the uninitiated Peter Hook, born Peter Woodhead (he took the surname of his stepfather) was the co-founder and bass player for Joy Division. When the band lost vocalist Ian Curtis to a suicide Hook and the remaining two members of Joy Division, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, carried on as New Order. Peter Hook left that band in 2007.
I am a big fan of “Hooky”. I think he is one of rock and roll’s all-time best bassists, pummeling his bass and creating a unique sound that no one has been able to duplicate. The high bass lines he creates is what he is so well-known for as well as his mesmerizing stage presence, hunched over his bass when attacking songs such as “Isolation” from Joy Division and “Everything’s Gone Green” from New Order. I saw New Order headline a show at Compton Terrace back in 1987 (with Echo and the Bunnymen opening!) and although the band was pretty lackluster live Peter Hook was the man onstage.
Peter Hook and The Light will be performing live at The Republic in New Orleans on Wednesday April 22nd. How awesome is this show going to be? This guy is 59 and is playing a monster set, opening the show with a set of New Order favorites then playing TWO Joy Division albums in their entirety for the second set, the band’s 1979 debut Unknown Pleasures and their 1980 follow-up Closer, the only two studio albums from that great band. The Light features Peter Hook’s son Jack Bates on bass, David Potts on the guitar, Andy Poole on keyboards and Paul Kehoe on the drums. The band formed in 2010 and has released one EP, 1102 | 2011 and two live albums to date. Peter Hook and The Light are well-known for playing the music of Joy Division and New Order, focusing on Joy Division’s work in 2011 and 2012, then shifting the focus of their shows to New Order in 2013, playing concerts where the first two New Order albums Movement and Power, Corruption and Lies were played in their entirety. The following year Peter Hook and The Light toured North America, this time playing the next two studio albums from New Order, Low Life and Brotherhood in their entirety.
To say I am excited for this show is an understatement! Here is a little sample of Peter Hook and The Light live, playing two Joy Division songs at a show in Croatia, “Ceremony” and “Digital”.