Love Will Tear Us Apart was me and my mates’ anthem when were teenagers.
Sadly Ian Curtis had been dead at least seven years by the time I was ‘dancing’ to the Joy Division classic in The Warehouse nightclub on a Friday night in Leeds.
So it was nothing short of emotional to hear it sung - and played - by the heart and soul of that seminal band, original bassist Peter Hook, at The Cockpit.
The 56-year-old is touring Joy Division’s first album, Unknown Pleasures, with him as frontman of his band The Light.
His son Jack Bates now takes on the lion’s share of playing what are iconic basslines with guitarist Nat Watson, drummer Paul Kehoe and Andy Poole (keyboards/programming) completing the line-up.
The gig was a sell-out, with an audience ranging from men and women who were probably there first time round to those who wished they were.
And finally those who couldn’t have been because they wouldn’t have even been born.
Around 500 of us stood shoulder-to-broad shoulder in the middle room of The Cockpit, almost a perfect recreation of what a Joy Division gig might have been like, except a lot busier - famously only 30 people paid to see their first effort in London in the late 1970s.
After a warm-up with Joy Division staples Glass and Digital, Mr Hook took us through the entire Unknown Pleasures set.
Looking at times uncomfortable, then over-confident and bizarrely even a little intimidated to be centre stage, Hooky picked up where Ian Curtis left off.
The upbeat bass of Disorder immediately set the tone.
Nat Watson’s guitar sent the hairs on the back of your neck on edge - Bernard Sumner would have be proud.
Or he might have been if there hadn’t been a recent falling out with Mr Hook over leaving him out of a reformed New Order, but that’s another story.
Hooky’s singing - he often did backing for many of Joy Division’s and New Order’s tracks - ranged from the evocative (Disorder) to an almost primal scream (Day of the Lords).
While I assume this meant he couldn’t take on his full bass duties - his son is a chip off the old block - I felt a little cheated as I yearned for the pleading tones of his semi-acoustic bass.
And his over-the-top posturing.
But the emotional momentum was building as songs, which are achingly simple in sound but so deeply complex in lyric, began to seep into the audience’s subconscious.
The gentleness of Insight lulled us momentarily, before New Dawn Fades and then She’s Lost Control drew us into the dark heart of the second half of the album.
Ian Curtis’s lyrics could’ve been written yesterday - they are still so raw and fresh.
But this wasn’t a misery fest, and in fact there was much comedy to be had.
The teenage Curtis devotees behind us with their ‘epilepsy tribute dances’ were one source of amusement - a quip about the men’s toilets being packed due to a lot of “dodgy prostates” another.
On Shadow Play, Hooky (there were football-style shouts of “Hooky, Hooky, Hooky” through the night) came into his own.
Right arm thrust forward and upward like a musical general, bass slung low around his thighs, the man IS Joy Division incarnate.
The punky Interzone and I Remember Nothing finished the album off, but not the set.
Love Will Tears Us Apart, Transmission, and Decades followed - the crowd left in a state of euphoria.
It was the encore of New Order classic Ceremony and Mr Hook’s sensitive plucking of his high end bass notes which left a lump in your throat.
Peter Hook and The Light will be touring the first two New Order albums - Movement and Power, Corruption Lies in January.
Gig: Thursday, Nov 29, 2012.