Gary Flockhart: Hooking up with Peter in crowded house

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THIS week’s column was supposed to be about Peter Hook, about his gig last Saturday in Edinburgh, a city he has fond memories of, having played here many times, including during Joy Division’s now legendary show at The Odeon, Clerk Street, on October 6, 1979.

For the record, Hooky told me on the phone that that’s not the best show he ever played in the Capital.

No, that was when he visited The Playhouse with his next band, New Order, on September 11, 1986 (“We had a riot,” he laughed, before adding, “No, but we really did have a riot. It was f****** great. Really funny. I remember fighting in the car park with the audience... it was wild. A proper, intense riot. It was fantastic”).

So this column’s still about Peter Hook but not in the way I’d originally intended.

Reason is, I didn’t stick about long enough on Saturday to justify giving a proper review of the gig. The reason? Liquid Room was unbearably busy.

Hooky – so I was told – requested that the upstairs balcony be closed, which meant the crowd were packed-in, downstairs, like proverbial sardines.

I couldn’t stick it out in the sweat-soaked venue more than 25 minutes.

Claustrophobic, couldn’t see a damn thing, and it hardly helped that a large number of punters in attendance appeared to be utterly plastered.

Pity, because Hook and his band, The Light, sounded great from the little I heard.

So you see, what was probably going to be a rave review of the gig – during which Hooky and his band ran through a selection of Joy Division songs before playing New Order’s first two albums in their entirety – has turned into something else. A complaint.

“The venue is well-under capacity tonight,” I was told by a bouncer on the way out.

As you can imagine, I’ve been to dozens of gigs at the venue over the years, and I’ve never experienced anything like that before.