44 years late – I got to hear Pete Hook play live.

On November 2nd 1979, I went to see the Buzzcocks in the Village Bowl at Bournemouth. I know , because my diary tells me so.

I was in the bar, enjoying a beer (the week before my 18th birthday). I remember somebody coming in and telling us to get into the other room to watch the support. I was more interested in my pint.

My diary records that the band I ignored  was Joy Division.

I wrote down the band’s name – because of the talk on the bus home.

Never mind the Buzzcocks…

It’s taken 44 years to hear live some of  the songs they were playing that night.


But to the gig

Peter Hook, Joy Division (and New Order’s) bass player, played Hammersmith Odeon last night.

Hook plays lead bass, he often provides the melody. Jack Bates (Hook’s son) provides the rhythmic bass sound and works with the drum and guitar of Paul Kehoe and David Potts. Martin Rebelski provides keyboards and programming.

It’s a good taught sound from a band who’ve been around for 13 years.

More than 150 minutes of music made this a marathon for the band (and for the ageing audience). We weren’t complaining – too busy enjoying ourselves.

Martin Rebelski played a short , challenging support set (never ignore the support band).

Damon Albarn helped end the first part of the set.

It was a gig that crossed the generations and it’s nice the following morning to see the video of Damon playing “Aries” already up (I’m the bloke in the audience with the orange shirt).


Joy Division set brings gig alive

Nice as it was to hear familiar New Order songs, the gig didn’t really catch light in the first half.

“Stop fucking about Hook”,

shouted an elderly gentleman immediately behind me. I politely concurred.

Part 2 of the gig was about Warsaw and Joy Division. It  ended with a saccharine singalong of “Love will tear us apart”.   But before it came my highlight.  Hook dedicated “Atmosphere” to Ian Curtis. The opening bars of Hook’s bass on that song are some of the most moving I know. It was the right choice.

The crowd was up for it. “She’s Lost Control” , “Dead Souls” and “Transmission”  really got us going.

I haven’t seen grown men (and women) throwing themselves at each other as we did – since my growing up days . Come to think of it, the people I  bounced off last night may have been bouncing with me in 1979.

Great music stands the test of time. I never quite got New Order – and this gig didn’t change that – but I got Joy Division – (Warsaw as they were in this picture).

Thanks to Peter Hook and the Light for a great night out. I may have bought my ticket three times, but it was still value for money for this “Johnny-no-mates”.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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