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Peter Hook and The Light: Salford The Lowry 2011

Peter Hook and The Light Salford The Lowry 2011 ticket

Friday 18/11/11

This was not an easy one but was highly enjoyable nevertheless! Taking the Eurostar to London on the afternoon of the 17th and staying at my friends Jonathan and Rhian for the night, then hiring a car and driving North with a first stop in Macclesfield to pay my respects to Ian and see the memorial stone that has replaced the original one. Then a second stop in Manchester, this time to pay my respects to Martin, Rob and Tony. It was really good to see the headstone for Martin's grave there - a big thank you to Lindsay (Reade), the guys and everyone who participated! Then I finally made it to Salford Quays. The Lowry is a modern venue with different theatres, bars and restaurants. A light meal that was going to be my lunch and dinner and I guess I was the first one waiting for the doors to open - 1h30 early... Hooky came to the memorabilia booth to sign some books / CDs. I had a good laugh when seeing the special t-shirt "promoting" New Order's reformation!

Peter Hook and The Light 11022011 signed CD

After the break following the support act, the Quays Theatre was filled with fans of all ages. Peter Hook and The Light got on stage around 8:30pm - Hooky dedicating the gig to an aunt who had just passed away ("another star in heaven") - and played some early songs: "No Love Lost", "Leaders Of Men" and the powerful and moving "Digital". The three songs were delivered with all the required energy! Then they moved to "Unknown Pleasures". "Disorder" had the exact same microphone problem that can be heard at the beginning of "Ceremony" on "Still"! "Day Of The Lords" was brilliant - one of Hooky's favourites if I am not mistaken and I totally agree - and "Candidate" was also excellent. Rowetta joined to sing "Insight" and an excellent "New Dawn Fades". The band was on top form with a special mention to the guitarist! Hooky and the guys gave superb renditions of "She's Lost Control" and "Shadowplay", with raw energy, making both songs perfectly fit in, especially as they are to be followed by the scary "Wilderness" and energetic "Interzone". They ended the first hour of the gig with "I Remember Nothing", a wonderful song, with an open space in it which was perfectly delivered. I imagine I had a big smile during the whole intermission.

Salford The Lowry 2011 poster

Hooky and the Light were back for "Closer". They naturally started with "Atrocity Exhibition", with an introduction on drums, then "Isolation" with its obvious dance beat, and the wonderful "Passover". Rowetta joined again for the powerful "Colony". A superb "A Means To An End" which was followed by even more superb "Heart And Soul", "Twenty Four Hours" - simply fantastic! - and "The Eternal", a kind of quiet climax. "Decades" was a little strange though, mainly because of a very different keyboard sound and the song had a dancing side to it which could surprise. They were off and quickly back for 6 more songs!

Peter Hook and The Light playing Salford The Lowry 2011

The first encore was "Dead Souls", followed by the haunting "Atmosphere" beautifully sung by Rowetta, then by "These Days" and "Novelty". By this time everyone was standing, and Hooky and the lads had made it clear they were happy to play Joy Division songs and to play them for audiences that do not believe this great music is only a thing of the past, but that it is a living thing. So they played a fantastic "Transmission", Hooky's voice still making a very good impression, and "Love Will Tear Us Apart" dedicated to the audience. In my humble opinion it was the best rendition of this song I have heard/seen live, rather far above New Order versions.

Peter Hook and The Light playing Salford The Lowry 2011

Do not get me wrong: New Order were/are a fantastic band, but I understand Peter's desire to play Joy Division songs which was quite infrequent with New Order. I wish I could also have seen New Order - as they claim to be called - when they played in Paris - or Brussels - in October but I could not. What I like in The Light performance / attitude is the pleasure to be on stage playing for people - the gig lasted around 2 hours 10 minutes - surely a kind of record! I was also impressed by the changes in Hooky's singing between early songs (still totally or partly punk), the "Unknown Pleasures" songs with anger or violence in them, and the "Closer" ones with a more resigned tone.

Peter Hook and The Light playing Salford The Lowry 2011

But if this was the end of the show, it was not the end of my day: I had to drive back to London, sleep a couple of hours and get an early Eurostar to Paris, then a TGV for Dijon, where I had long planned attending 2 concerts, but of a different kind: the Keller quartet, their friend cellist Miklós Perényi and violinist D Grimal playing Béla Bartók quartets, his violin sonata commissioned by the great Yehudi Menuhin, some Ligeti, and Veress and Kodály cello sonatas! Some sort of a busy weekend?

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Update 2021-02-19    Copyright © Michel ENKIRI