It was Sunday night, and The Gov was packed – the full house sign was up. I haven’t seen it so packed like this at The Gov and it was definitely a tight squeeze getting through the crowd. The Gov was absolutely buzzing, and it was really good to see big crowds back at The Gov supporting live music.
Tonight, was the second to last stop on Peter Hook & The Light’s sold out Australian tour celebrating the iconic and classic music of Joy Division and New Order. The focus of this show was Joy Division’s landmark albums Unknown Pleasures and Closer keeping the music of this much revered band alive. For new fans and old fans it was very much a celebration of this music performed by someone who was there right from inception of both bands.
With a back catalogue as strong and rich as this the show spanned nearly three hours and having an abundance of riches to choose from there was literally no time for a tour support with Peter Hook and The Light taking the stage just after eight o’clock. The band were super tight and ploughed through the set with plenty of intensity with the first set featuring a selection of New Order songs. As a fan there were some interesting selections including Thieves Like Us, Leave Me Alone,Vanishing Point, Regret, Crystal and Temptation. What would have beeninteresting is hearing why ‘Hooky’ picked these songs and what was it about them that resonated with him given the much publicised and talked about history with New Order. No doubt the time crunch wouldn’t have made that possible but it was interesting as Hooky emphasised the lyric “oh, it’s the last time, oh, it’s the last time fucking Adelaide.” Hooky asked what day
After a short break the band returned to play Unknown Pleasures in full, from start to end and Hooky really did come into his own delving in to this iconic album. Even though the set list might have been a bit predictable there was still a sense of anticipation of how they’ll play these songs. The crowd reactions to hearing certain songs or their favs was interesting, taking that in and seeing what that album meant to them. Disorder set the tone but highlights for me included the likes of She’s Lost Control and Shadowplay. Once the closing riff of I Remember Nothing petered out the band left the stage for a short break before returning for their third set.
Returning for their third set playing Closer in full, an incredible follow up considering the dizzying heights their debut reached, the intrigue and interest did not wane. It was a common theme right throughout the show for Hooky to let the music do all the talking being relatively reserved and not really engaging with the faithful only albeit with the occasional thank you adding to the mystique of these songs. The intensity of Atrocity Exhibition and Isolation was compelling as was Twenty Four Hours and Decades. With the band disappearing backstage before the encore it was hard to believe there was still more to come.
The encore featured four big ones with Atmosphere, Ceremony and Transmission. At this point a sweaty Peter Hook removes his sweaty shirt giving it to a lucky fan down the front before playing the hit everyone was waiting for Love Will Tear Us Apart complete with audience sing-a-long topped off a solid night of classic and iconic Joy Division and New Order songs.
Live Review By Rob Lyon