Live Review: Peter Hook & The Light

4 March 2015 | 4:15 pm | Chloe Mayne

"It's fucking hot! Is it always this hot here, or is it only when we play?"

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The sonic clock wound itself back a few decades as Peter Hook brought his Light to Hobart's Wrest Point Casino over the weekend.

Hook has made a solid name over his 30 years of musical endeavours that casts an incredibly dense shadow; it was an appearance thus riddled with expectations higher than the ominous casino tower.

As a co-founding member of Joy Division, Hook anchored one of the greatest post-punk bands of all time, an icon now emblazoned in monochrome waves across the chests of a cult following that spans the globe. More specifically, as the band's bass player, Hook was responsible for the brooding urgency that cut to the heart of the Joy Division melancholia.

After the tragic death of Ian Curtis, Hook and his fellow bandmates came together to form New Order who, with their electronic interpretation of the post-punk stream, solidified their place as some of the most important musicians of the era. Since splitting with the group a few years ago, he's picked up a new live troupe and continued to tour the songs of both of his former bands. As the sole original member, questions of relevancy were always going to arise. Fortunately, Hook swept away the cynics from the outset.

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It was a marathon set from the band, who opened with a set of classic Joy Division singles such as Digital. As one exuberant dancer flung himself to the fore, others very quickly followed. By the time Hook returned to traverse the discography of New Order it was as though a high school disco had unfolded, bodies lunging and flailing and tearing up and down the aisles with abandon. The former segment of this set contained Brotherhood, New Order's third album, in its entirety. While not the most engaging record as a whole, the strength was in the precision and power of the live band; the addition of a second bass player, while not indispensable, drew attention to Hook's famous riffs. The lead guitarist was a prodigy with an incredibly Sumners-esque voice, which made the concert feel close to the original.

"I'll tell you one thing, Hobart," roared Hook between songs. "It's fucking hot! Is it always this hot here, or is it only when we play?" This was met with a thunder of applause, the potency of which only increased as he launched into another New Order record, Low-life. The set picked up considerably from here, Hook relaxing into his role enough to indulge in drum-pad solos and drawn-out jams that almost bursted with intensity. After a demand for an encore that can only be compared to the noise of a football match, he returned with the well known single True Faith. The closer of the night couldn't have been anything but Joy Division's pinnacle track Love Will Tear Us Apart, at the end of which Hook tore off his sweaty shirt and hurled it into the dancing swarm. It was a highly lauded evening from Mr Hook and his musical troupe, made all the better by a very enthusiastic turnout by New Order fans the island over.

Chloe Mayne