Review: Let’s Rock, Southampton Common, 6 July 2024

Review: Let’s Rock, Southampton Common, 6 July 2024

Pictures by Rhona Murphy. Words by Catherine Collins. Additional reporting on Peter Hook & the Light by Lewis Maclean.

What a week!

A general election resulting in a new Labour government, England in the quarter-finals of the Euro 24 tournament, and retro festival, Let’s Rock, back in Southampton.

Dr & The Medics

As the rain stopped, Dr and the Medics opened the event on The Common with their cover of You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), with The Doctor informing the crowd that in all the years they’d been going, he had never performed in the rain.

Well, he has now – as yet another shower came down in time for Spirit in the Sky.

The afternoon passed quickly with sets from Jason Donovan, China Crisis, Altered Images, Kim Appleby, eXTC, From the Jam, Black Lace, and a DJ battle where Pat Sharp was the victor.

As England conceded to Switzerland, Peter Hook & The Light took to the stage for an energetic set, which included hits Blue Monday, True Faith, and Tempation, amongst others.

Peter was kept abreast of the score by the crowd, and as he launched their penultimate track, World in Motion, he dedicated it to the game in progress – which was 1-1 as the final whistle blew.

As they finished with Love Will Tear You Apart, the revellers were hoping that their love for the England team wouldn’t be torn apart after extra time.

The jubilant crowd of more than 12,000 people were rewarded as England won 5-3 on penalties, after 30 minutes of extra time failed to separate the two teams. They will now proceed to the semi-final of the Euros on Wednesday.

Human League

The show continued into its final hours with Level 42 playing a selection of their top hits, such as Running in the Family, Hot Water, and Lessons in Love.

Finally, as the day came to an end, Human League took to the stage for a little over an hour – performing plenty of crowd pleasers, including Mirror Man, Fascination, Don’t You Want Me, and an encore of Being Boiled and Together in Electric Dreams!

Peter Hook & The Light

Additional reporting on Peter Hook & the Light by Lewis Maclean.

The Lets Rock the 80s festival has been gracing Southampton Common for quite a few years now. It has outlasted other music events and has become familiar with hosting classic 80s pop music.

So it was a pleasant surprise to find out the line-up this year included guitar band royalty Peter Hook & the Light. If those who don’t know; Peter ‘Hooky’ Hook was the Bassist for legendary Manchester (Salford) band Joy Division, and revolutionary dance pop rock pioneers New Order.

I have seen Peter Hook & The Light three times now and each time is an absolute treat for fans.

Hooky is not afraid to delve into the classics Joy Division songs like  She’s Lost Control and even obscure Goth Rock ballad Day of the Lord. The beauty of it all is this is anyone’s last chance to see the closet thing to Joy Division available.

As much as I relish hearing moody atmospheric Joy Division classics, there is also the unexpected bonus of hearing absolute classics Love Will Tear Us Apart and New Order era anthems like Blue Monday and True Faith. There are few other songs on earth that will get a crowd dancing.

Hooky has no end of classics in his back catalogue, and even found time to knock out the Monaco hit What Do You Want From Me?, dedicating it to his former keyboardist who had sadly passed away.

It’s worth remembering as the bassist, he wasn’t always the vocalist on many of these songs, but he still sings them and in his own unmistakeable style, thriving off a stage presence of what can only be explained as pure charisma.

It was a sunny day outside and England were on the brink of football success against Switzerland. Hooky asks the crowd for the score, tense voices chant back that it’s 1 all. Then as he launches into opening chords of eternal England football hymn , World in Motion , you realise. Shit. This was his as well?

After the song ends he asks again: “What’s the score now?”

Someone in the crowd shouts back: “Still 1 all.” Hooky replies: “Ah, f** it.” [this was pre penalty shoot out].

In fac,t the banter and jokes from Hooky are pretty constant at gigs, scattered at a leisurely pace in-between songs.

They might as well be called Peter Hook & the Light cabaret. They are bloody brilliant and I can’t wait for the next gig!

Level 42
Kim Appleby
Jason Donovan
The Human League
The Human League
From The Jam
China Crisis
Black Lace
Altered Images


Squeeze (Co-Headline), Bananarama (Co-Headline), Martin Kemp (DJ Set), Go West, From The Jam, Nik Kershaw, eXTC, Jason Donovan, Kim Appleby, Altered Images, Red Box, Dr & The Medics + more TBA


UB40 feat. Ali Campbell (Headline), ABC, The Boomtown Rats, Go West, The Real Thing, Nik Kershaw, The Christians, Jason Donovan, Jaki Graham, Musical Youth, Neal X of Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Red Box + more TBA


Let’s Rock Scotland (Saturday 10): UB40 feat. Ali Cambell (Headline), Lulu, ABC, Heaven 17, Big Country, Go West, Skids, Toyah, Odyssey, Jaki Graham, Thereza Bazar’s Dollar + more TBA

Party at The Palace (Sunday 11): Ronan Keating, Bananarama, Callum Beattie, Generation GBX, The Farm, Mary Kiani, Livin’ Joy, Sweet Female Attitude + more TBA

Tickets on-sale now priced from just £35 via &

  • In Common is not for profit. We rely on donations from readers to keep the site running. Could you help to support us for as little as 25p a week? Please help us to carry on offering independent grass roots media.