Peter Hook & the Light

Published on May 29th, 2018

Poster by Andrew McGranahan

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that too much of a good thing is bad. Peter Hook and The Light are a perfect example. For those not initiated: Peter Hook was in Joy Division, a post-punk band from Manchester that had a dodgy following based on their name, but were incredibly influential. Their singer Ian Curtis committed suicide, and his mates took a decidedly different turn, but ultimately for the better, in forming New Order. With hits including “Blue Monday,” “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Age of Consent,” New Order embraced dance music as well as alternative rock and punk, reaching into more scenes and subcultures than Joy Division. But New Order has had several starts and stops, leaving individual members to purse their own projects. Currently, they are together, but minus Hook, who apparently prefers to stay busy, given his prolific touring with The Light and a trio of well-received memoirs.

This incarnation of Hook’s road show will pay homage to both Joy Division and New Order and let’s be honest here, why not? If people absolutely love what it is you have done, don’t you owe them the opportunity to see you perform your life’s work? This group’s recorded output says as much: six live records culled from standout dates and one studio EP, from 2011, containing three re-recorded Joy Division songs and a previously unfinished, unreleased track of theirs, “Pictures in My Mind.”

The split legacy bred harsh words and litigation between Hook and his former comrades, but a legal peace, at least, has prevailed since all sides settled in 2017. And whatever bad blood might have existed among the band principals, Hook has consistently rewarded his fans what they want since 2011. So, really, it’s nobody’s fault that Peter Hook and the Light have basically sold out all of their shows and been joined on stage by a who’s who of alternative rock weirdos? If you can write a great song and take pleasure in performing it every night to people who want to pay you to hear it, that’s a love that will never tear you apart.

Peter Hook & the Light play June 2 at the 31st year anniversary party for Respectable Street in West Palm. sub-culture.org ~ Tim Moffatt

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