Gig review: No regrets as Peter Hook And The Light brings Salford’s snarling soul to Dublin

There’s something ironic about it when another veteran rock star from the Dirty Old Town visits Dublin and his guitar amp is knocked down with the words: “Salford Rules.”

eter Hook maintains a recognizable swagger in both Dubliners and Salfordians. The two cities don’t just share a song, they share a great attitude and love of music.

Of course Dirty Old Town was originally a 1949 song by Ewan MacColl and written about Salford, a city at the center of the Industrial Revolution and the birthplace of Hook. The song was later made famous by The Dubliners and The Pogues and since then the two cities have shared an invisible and glorious bond.

Salford is clearly engraved on every Hook movement and this Dublin crowd never loved that.

At the age of 66, Hook had lost his passion for rock ‘n’ roll. Appearing as Peter Hook And The Light, the man holding his guitar turned low as he commanded the attention of the packed house at the 3Olympia Theater in Dublin.

The audience includes fans who have been with Hook since Joy Division, New Order and Monaco his days until now. While the young people present recently discovered the artist’s impressive back catalog.

Each in the crowd sang the words of Monaco’s 1997 hit, What Do You Want From Me with unquenchable passion. While Joy Division’s Day Of The Lords, released in 1979, maintains its original quality with a growling bass.

Transmission, another Joy Division classic, is also a perennial favorite with audiences swaddled around in scarves and sweaters – a sight that was once unfamiliar in the final days of the franchise. Haçienda, the Manchester club once owned by Hook – where club members dress more casually than up.

There’s something comforting about older rock fans who arrive early enough for a gig like this. These songs are the setting for their youth, a time before children, even grandmothers, a time before responsibility. And here they are again, reliving that youth with a man on stage still reveling in the amazing experience of being a rock star.

It seemed only fitting that Hook’s son Jack Bates, 33, himself a gifted bassist, took over momentarily. If Hooky was there for mom and dad, Jack is definitely an icon of this new generation of fans. As Jack sang New Order’s 1993 hit Regret, his father strode across the stage and emphasized the famous riff. And all seems to be true of the world.

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As the lyrics say: “Maybe I forgot. Name and address. Of all the people I’ve ever known. There’s nothing I regret.” And this song can be a tribute to music fans of all generations.

Life is a tapestry of ups and downs, flaws and misjudgments of time, sometimes with luck. Through it all, we can forget all the people who come into our lives and get out of the way they came.

But as music fans, we will never forget great music. And tonight, that’s what Hooky and Light served with generous portions. The only thing most of us will ask when we leave, is when will they come back? Gig review: No regrets as Peter Hook And The Light brings Salford’s snarling soul to Dublin

Fry Electronics Team

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