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Peter Hook at the Gloucester Guildhall

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

Peter Hook

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IT'S an album which came to define the post-punk era, deemed by many to be the most influential debut record ever produced and one which has gone down as one of the most seminal in musical history.

So when Peter Hook and his band The Light take to the stage at the Guildhall in Gloucester on Sunday night to perform Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures in its entirety, you can be sure that fans of the band and its successor New Order will be out in force.

Years have passed since the album was first released in 1979, but the bassist, affectionately known as Hooky, hopes to recreate the rawness of the material and the studio mastery of producer Martin Hallett which gave Joy Division their distinctive, ground-breaking sound by playing the songs in the order in which they appear, with a few early, never-heard-live-before tracks thrown in for good measure.

For fans, it's the stuff dreams are made of. The original members of the band – which include Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and vocalist Ian Curtis as well as Hook - never performed the album in this way, making The Light's live performances even more of a must-see event.

But it's the very fact that the band does this that fuels a rift between Hook and his former band members that refuses to go away.

"I never asked them if I could perform the Joy Division stuff," admits Hook, who left New Order in 2007 amid a cloud of bad feeling.

"Everybody can sing your songs. You can't stop someone going into the town centre and signing your song just like you can't stop U2 singing it on stage. It's only when they record them that you can intervene if you want to.

"We'd always had a pact that if someone left New Order, it wouldn't carry on under the same name, just as we had with Joy Division. We'd said from a very early stage that if someone left, we would change its name, and that's exactly what we did when Ian [Curtis, the lead singer] died.

"I'd got the point where I felt things were over for New Order, but they carried on without me. Basically, I didn't want them performing as New Order. It sounds like a pedantic argument but there were business implications which I felt weren't handled properly.

Sad, for the two who could be described as the Lennon and McCartney of the dance music generation, especially when you consider they'd been friends since the age of 11.

"The fracas at the moment has gone so far that it's beyond just picking up the phone and talking to each other," Hook concedes. "I know we should just meet up and sort it out, but neither side is holding out the olive branch and I just can't see how it would ever happen."

New Order finally split in 2009 but the band reunited in 2011, without Hook.

Speaking about the reunion at the time, Hook said: "Everybody knows that New Order without Peter Hook is like Queen without Freddie Mercury, U2 without The Edge, Sooty without Sweep!"

Perhaps one day we'll see the rift swept under the carpet and the band members performing alongside each other again, as it should be. For now, we'll have to content ourselves with the next best thing.

Peter Hook and The Light appear at the Guildhall in Glouceser this Sunday. Tickets cost £22. To book, call 01452 503050.

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