The hook who brings joy and order to the masses

When you hear the name Peter Hook, you’re more likely to think of the legendary Joy Division bassist than you might a nightclub DJ. However, Hook has managed to reinvent himself for the umpteenth time, as the remnants of Joy Division continue their soul-searching to find themselves three decades after the death of the band’s lead singer Ian Curtis.

Joy Division’s output, including hits like ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and ‘Ceremony’, in the late 1970s pioneered the post-punk movement and very arguably planted the seeds of the 1980s Manchester music scene. However, the band’s story took a distinct turn for the worse following Curtis’s suicide in 1980, after which they were plagued by drug abuse, alcoholism and assault as the three remaining band-members tried to redefine themselves.

“If I hadn’t given up drinking, I’d be dead,” Hook said in an interview with GQ Magazine. “It was all day, every day. I don’t know how I got through it, to be honest.”

The death of Curtis effectively gave birth to New Order, which was basically the same band without the deceased singer. Success was varied, and despite the occasional mega-hit like ‘Blue Monday’, the band’s reputation suffered. The police were actually called to Roskilde in 1984, for instance, as Hook and his band-mates created so much anger following their late, drunken and off-tune performance that they needed protection from the angry Danish crowd.

Despite having continued releasing records until the mid-noughties, the band were marred by melancholy and cocaine, as fractures appeared between band-mates.

“This was one of the problems with New Order,” Hook told GQ Magazine. “When you weren’t drinking, you had no escape. If something happened in the group, I’d get twatted. When I got angry, I’d get rat-arsed.”

New Order first broke up in 1993, had a reunion five years later – during which time Hook had never been far away from the frontpages due to his four-year marriage to comedienne Caroline Aherne (1994-97), the creator and star of The Mrs Merton Show and The Royle Family – before breaking up indefinitely in 2007 following a fall-out between Hook and frontman Bernard Sumner. It seems that the band chemistry of Joy Division couldn’t be recreated in New Order, and that this eventually led to their downfall.

“New Order didn’t have that raw, emotional power that Joy Division had. It was always going to be a struggle to fill the gap that Ian left,” Hook explained to GQ Magazine. “New Order was a car that had one back tyre that kept going. You’d pump it up and it would be alright for a bit, and then: bump-bump.”

The controversies didn’t stop following the band’s break-up. Hook released his memoirs, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, in which he heavily criticised his former band-mates after they decided to continue New Order without the former bassist. It got to a point when Sumner publicly told Hook to “go away and do something else, and don’t bitch about us anymore”.

Who knew that “something else” would line the pockets of his disgruntled former band-members. Hook’s new-found band, Peter Hook and The Lights, were initially panned by critics as a ‘last ditch gasp’ and labelled as “grave robbing Ian Curtis” by fans. However, Hook proved them all wrong by selling out concerts, filling up auditoriums and bringing commercial success back to Joy Division’s celebrated album Unknown Pleasures.

Now that Hook has found some inner peace, he’s decided to briefly put down the bass and pull out the turntables. This time around, though, there will be no repeat of the Roskilde riot, off-key alcoholic riffs or police interference – just classic Joy Division and New Order tunes to take you back to an era we all remember with joy, even if the band’s recollections are a little less orderly.

Peter Hook (New Order/Joy Division DJ Set)
Friday 23:00;