So to Manchester last night to see The Light play at the Factory. Fronted by Peter Hook, the band performed songs from Joy Division’s second album, Closer, on the 31st anniversary of singer Ian Curtis’s death, no less
Somewhat, surprisingly Hook, the former bass player in Joy Division, didn’t play bass last night, but instead stood centre stage where he sang all but two of the songs (Rowetta of the Happy Mondays sang the others). He did a fair interpretation of Curtis, growling like a tomcat cornered with a stolen piece of meat and angrily shouting in the right places, although he lacked the vocal range to render the more tender moments with much meaning.
The best bit? The encore where the band re-visited Joy Division’s punk roots, banging out a quartet of Warsaw songs and a rollicking version of Transmission.
Fitting tribute for Curtis or tribute band? Definitely the latter in my opinion, New Order actually played quite a few Joy Division songs towards the end of their stage career, but I never thought I’d here the likes of Ice Age performed live. Hearing them in the former-HQ of factory records belted out by one of the original members to the band to a pogoing audience was indeed a good way to celebrate their music.