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PETER HOOK

PETER HOOK AND THE LIGHT LIVE IN MANCHESTER – WHAT HAPPENED?

On Friday a very special evening was taking place in one of Manchester’s most famous boozers and RGM were lucky to be there to see it unfold.

This evening, 200 lucky ballot winners headed to the Star and Garter to see an intimate performance of Joy Division classics as well as a few tracks when they went by their former name Warsaw. The iconic pub was the ideal location for such an event, having played host to a number of famous Manchester bands over the years and of course being home to the well known Smiths disco nights.

The evening was divided into two parts, the first being a Q&A hosted by Manchester Evening New’s very own lifestyle editor Dianne Bourne who did a fantastic job of keeping the panellists in check when some of the stories relayed became a little colourful!

The panel was made up of some of Joy Divison’s most valuable player. Peter Hook the one of the founding member was joined by Phillipe Carley the photographer famed for taking that iconic shot of Curtis (which now adorns the side of the Star and Garter, recreated by graffiti artist Akse.)

Also on the panel was Joy Division roadie Carl ‘Twinny’ Bellingham, and Ian Curtis’s best friend Kelvin Brigg’s whom Curtis met in primary school when they played on the same football team (speaking of which it was confirmed last night for anyone in doubt that Mr Curtis was a red!).

The panel spoke passionately about Ian and the impact he had on each and every one of them. Hooky spoke emotionally about how each and every gig he does is one in the bag for Ian and when asked if Ian were here today what do you think he would say to you, Hooky replied ‘I told you so!’ The panel all agreed that even in the early days of playing gigs in tiny venues amongst smashed bottles and carnage that they had something incredible, and were always destined for bigger things.

The second half of the evening was a live performance by Peter Hook and the Light. It was all the more powerful following on from the live discussion, and I think we all felt a little closer to the band and the history behind the music. Hooky was on magnificent form, his powerful vocals reverberating across the tiny dance floor, made me think that this is what it must have been like in the early Warsaw days, these songs in intimate spaces are just something else that I am struggling to put into words for fear of not doing this evening enough justice.

The set list left no one short changed. A twenty five song set also featuring some Warsaw tracks ‘Leaders of Men’ and ‘Failures’. The set list as based on the very first Joy Division gig and ended in a full on sing-a-long of the anthemic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

The entire evening was for a very worth cause, arranged by Headstock to raise funds for mental health charity Shout and as of this morning, Hooky announced that last night had raised an incredible £20,000 for the charity which will go a long way in helping those in need.

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