On Saturday, February 14, Peter Hook brings his band, The Light, to the Astor Theatre to play the much-loved New Order albums Low Life and Brotherhood from start to finish. SHANE PINNEGAR tunes in to Hooky’s story.
Since Peter Hook formed The Light a few years back, he’s taken the band out to perform two complete albums at a time, this tour focussing on New Order’s third and fourth albums, plus an opening set of Joy Division classics.
The bassist calls it “the history of Joy Division and New Order,” adding bitterly that, “I didn’t want to become something I wasn’t. I felt that if you go out doing a greatest hits set, that you’re actually saying, in a funny way, that you ARE the band.
“And it rankled with me, shall we put it that way? I can think of a very good example: there’s a group called New Order who actually pretend to be something they’re not. What I’m doing is a celebration of the music – I’m not pretending to be the group because I could never be the group. I wouldn’t have the gall to pretend otherwise.”
The ongoing bitterness between Hook and his former New Order bandmates Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, who are touring as New Order without inviting Hook, is immediately apparent and rears its head repeatedly through our conversation.
“What they did was disgusting,” he spits, “and I really do hope that the fans realise that and treat them accordingly, because they don’t deserve your support if they go around acting like that.”
Hook says The Light play the old songs “absolutely, 100 per cent faithful” to the records, before continuing, “we’re celebrating the records. We’re celebrating the genre of the long-player records that I grew up with and that was integral and very important to my life.
“The best moments I’ve had in my life have been when I put on a record – you sit there and listen to an LP and you go off into that wonderful world in your bedroom, sat there with your thoughts.
“It’s not easy to play a record, start to finish: it demands much more concentration from the audience in the same way that it demands much more concentration from the group. Playing a greatest hits set would be much easier, mate, and probably much easier for the audience. But I hate to say it, it wouldn’t give me much satisfaction.”
Peter Hook & The Light have received glowing reviews around the world for their live shows, a feat which makes Hooky proud indeed.
“I suppose the greatest revenge for me has been to play the material, and then have journalists turn around and go, ‘oh my God, you play it better than New Order’,” he laughs. “Which won’t be very difficult because they’re not New Order!”
Hook enlisted former bandmates from Revenge and Monaco to create the band, and when he decided to sing, brought his son Jack in on bass.
“He is very, very good at playing the way that I did and the way that I do, to be honest with you. It does make me laugh, though, because he plays them differently. I say to him, ‘Jack, you’re playing that wrong’. He turns around and he goes, ‘I’m not,’(laughs). God, he reminds me of a 25 year-old arrogant me!”