Mr T Brings us this…
Peter Hook & the Light …. Manchestaaa Eh Eh Eh? or is it A A A?
Every now and then one of those gigs comes up that you know is going to be special and that you know that you have to be at! Back in February I was made aware of a certain night in Manchester in Leafy October…
Peter Hook – YES!
Closer in its entirety YES YES!
Unknown Pleasures in its entirety YES YES YES!
Live in Manchester the home of Joy Division YES YES YES YES!
Tickets went on sale rather bizarrely at 1730 on 19th February and by 1732 I was the happy owner of 4 tickets and just the small matter of the summer to pass…
As they do, the summer came and went over 2 days in June and here we were on Halloween Eve. Leaving the balmy climes of Costa del Coventry at 1300 I was somehow manoeuvred into the passenger seat of Shazzers street Ka , regrettably not topless , to begin our journey to the sunshiiiinnnneeee in Manchestaaa . The very helpful man on Sat Nav kept us amused through the journey insisting that the journey was on the whole via A roads and more A roads . We passed through some delightful little villages the highlights being Shazzer shouting out Tittensore (unfortunately this was the village name not a request from Sharon for me to rub them better , Im sure if we were topless it would have been much different)! . Later on we passed through Marton and saw a beautiful church, anyway culture over…
Some 3 ½ Hours later on arrival at our destination we safely parked the Shazzer Mobile in a street conveniently located near to the venue and linked up with compatriots for the evening Willie and Tracey Williams , sadly this meant walking past the now defunct Jabez Cleggs (Home of many a fine soiree) continuing round the corner where we took up our alfresco seating in the KRO bar and watched the student population walk buy , a few beers and a very enjoyable Pork Schnitzel later we ventured to other side of road and joined a smallish queue at the venue noting fellow MIB Scott Howieson at the head of the queue. Doors opened promptly and we took our positions with Sharon and Tracey managing centre barrier spots.
We had found out earlier in the day that we were going to have a support act , despite the length of the PHATL set and at 1930 El Tel Eleven took the stage , a strange American Duo who based their all instrumental act on layering of sound and repeated loops . Although mostly respectful the audience were not entirely overawed by this performance, very obviously being there for the main act.
My gig buddy for the evening Willie Williams then got into a deep and meaningful Joy Division based dialogue with a Liverpudlian fan who was so stereotypically scouse every sentence starting Eh Eh Eh Dat Peter Hook…
A quick transition on stage and Peter Hook and the light walked the boards and we were treated to a New Order opening mini set, starting off with the wonderful Ceremony, Age of Consent, Love Vigilantes, Your Silent Face, True Faith, Temptation before the final track The Perfect Kiss. The sound was spot on even in our position and Mr Hook and many more were beginning to build up a head of steam.
A brief 5 minute break followed before returning to the stage for the first of the 2 JD Albums. Breaking chronological order they commenced with Closer, the audience lapping up every moment of it. Hooky’s voice works with the JD catalogue far better than with the New Order stuff, highlights for me were Isolation and Heart and soul. Ably accompanied by Jack Bates (Hooky’s Son ) on bass , David Potts (Guitar) Paul Kehoe (Drums) and Andy Poole (Keys). Closer was sadly over all to quickly but we were only half way through the evening and had Unknown Pleasures to look forward to.
Another 5 minute break, obviously not enough for Hooky to change his sweat drenched T – Shirt before the band reappeared for the original Joy Division Album Unknown Pleasures. Commencing with Disorder seamlessly running through to the final track I Remember Nothing. Personal highlight here was the middle section of New Dawn Fades, She’s Lost Control and Shadowlands . The crowd by this stage were totally in awe of the performance still wanting more and we were not disappointed.
A final 5 minute break before the last section of the gig which sent the audience into raptures comprising of Atmosphere , Warsaw , Transmission and Love Will Tear us apart at which stage some lucky fan (?) became the benefactor of Hooky’s sweat ridden T Shirt . Warsaw being my favourite track of the night!
2320 the gig was over, the crowd were buzzing and reminiscing on what they had just witnessed, time to briefly meet Alex Owen, Alex’s Dad (Mark) and one of Hooky’s crew who I had met in Leamington earlier this year.
Dodging the dodgy T shirt wheeler dealers we had a brief chat with Janet Taylor albeit through one of the magic busses steamy windows before repositioning myself in the shazzer mobile for a much quicker journey home , most of it singing Love , Love will tear us apart again.
So October ending the way it started with a Hooky Gig , November is here and its nearly time to get Wonky!
Special thanks to Shazzer , my gig companion and dedicated driver?
Thank you Peter Hook! Almost 3 hours of music you didn’t disappoint!
Words: Mr T.
Photos: Mr T and Shazzer.