The performance was a exercise in utter sacrilege. Peter Hook is infamous for his unique and fantastic bass playing skill but on this occasion he decided to let his back-up bassist do all the work, leaving Hooky to stand there with a bass round his neck in his classic legs-apart stance and attempt some interpretations of the sonorous baritone of Ian Curtis’ voice. Even with a mass of vocal effects and the keyboardist sharing vox duties, Hook barely cut the mustard.
To say it was like watching a Joy Division cover band is being generous, particularly when the original member requires lyric prompting for every song; whose small amount of audience interaction was indecipherable; and who only played his trademark instrument for 25% of the show. (Yes, it became so arduous that by mid-set this reviewer began timing how long Hook decided he wanted to play bass for.)
That’s how much Hook gave to this ‘celebration’.
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