27 Jan 2013
From Movement to Power, Corruption and Lies 
Review by moist of the recent Manchester Cathedral gig by Peter Hook and the Light:

Two church visits in one day! One a funeral, one a celebration - both chances to remember old friends.

Unlike The Light's earlier Joy Division Reduxes, this one was never going to be easy - charting the transition between the first two New Order albums: Movement to PC&L, Curtis to Sumner, live to 'sequence'.

But Hooky's band manage to pull it off again with a vocal strength that belies the obvious range difference twixt Sumner and Hook, a stunning guitar prowess that was never there in the original live event, a subtle interplay between the duelling basses (funny - I seem to remember nowt but complaints from Hooky the producer/engineer when faced with two bass players!) and the overall confidence of a well-toured, bedded-in backline.

Perhaps it was time, place and occasion (or old age) but I found myself revisiting not the studio recordings of these classic albums but all those live occasions related to them: gigs attended - Squat, Comanche, Ritz, Brum; tapes collected - Tiffany's, Utrecht (or was it Amsterdam); videos watched - Glastonbury 81, BBC 84; Sessions heard - Peel 81 & 2.

Then I realised what was missing then and is present in abundance now: Enthusiasm. From everyone. Finally.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column