With the current flurry of interest in punk, post-punk, new romantics, heavy metal, synth-pop and, God help us, PWL (until the weather waded in), it's hardly surprising that the most timeless of '70s and '80s acts, bands and movements are the ones still performing and releasing new music, writing books or making appearances on TV, radio or spoken-word platforms. More vociferous and passionate than most is the founder and bassist of Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook.
He's recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Lancashire in Preston in recognition for his efforts as a musician and producer of some of the albums probably sitting in many student bedrooms today. We'll resist the temptation to call him Dr Hook for now and simply say, 'well done'. Looking back at his body of work, the obvious stop off point is Joy Division. Far and away one of the UK's most important pieces of the Brit-rock jigsaw since the '70s, Hook's trademark bass soon became the familiar foil for Ian Curtis' mournful vocals, Sumner's powerful riffs, Stephen Morris' machine-like motorik drumming and Martin Hannett's austere production. Sadly, Curtis and Hannett aren't around to soak up the plaudits and admiration, but Hook is and remains determined to keep the legacy fresh in music-lovers' minds.
Later on this year, Hook will unleash his second book, this time dealing directly with life 'Inside Joy Division' rather than the hilarious, comedic and tragic portrayal of running a nightclub (Hacienda) badly. This new book should lift the lid on the wrangles and rifts, the laughter and bitterness usually experienced within any decent rock group. But with Curtis' epilepsy, inner demons, talent and emotional scars in the mix, things were rarely straight-forward.
In November, Peter Hook and The Light will follow-up the book release with a full-blown tour. Once again, the debut Joy Division album 'Unknown Pleasures' will fall under the spotlight, along with other JD rarities, but this time taking in towns not previously visited on recent tours. First stop is Coventry on 16th November, followed by the likes of Preston, Southend, Exeter, Stoke and Leeds before heading to Newcastle on the 30th.
We will have tickets for the Unknown Pleasures tour from 9am on Friday 20th July, with prices averaging £20.