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Peter Hook Responds To New Order Without Him

I realize this is ancient history by now and I missed the story when it broke but I saw Hook perform Unknown Pleasures at Webster Hall last year and was bitterly disappointed. People can have bad ideas and people can perform lousy concerts, but the news that the following night he accepted $10,000 to allow a stranger to play with the band is really bad -that isn't done.

Last week New Order reformed without their bassist Peter Hook.

Here is Hook's statement in response: "I first I heard about this on Monday and it has taken me completely by surprise,” the statement reads. “Everyone knows that NEW ORDER without PETER HOOK is like QUEEN without FREDDIE MERCURY, U2 without THE EDGE, SOOTY without SWEEP!

"On a more serious note, I do not understand the decision THE OTHER THREE have taken. I wish they had approached me first. I do not agree with the methods they have used and feel it would have been courteous and professional to have spoken to me in advance of the announcements. It is very sad.”

Next some quotes from a Rolling Stone interview:

"Them reforming as New Order, if you’re gonna ask me I’m gonna say it’s not New Order. It’s some members of New Order going out as New Order. It’s like me saying I’m going out as Joy Division. Their opinion might be different, but it’s a very tricky situation to be in and it’s  because it was presented like a fait accompli."

"Ultimately it’s my music they’re playing so it’s not the end of the world. I was instrumental, excuse the pun, in New Order for 34 years and they won’t take that from you"

So let's take another look.

Things were bad between Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook because Hook bought the Hacienda Club and reopened it under Sumner's nose.

Hook was upset with New Order because the other three ganged up on him in a limited liabilty. Hook owned 25%, the other's owned 75%. He was always voted down.

So Hook thought, "fuck it, I'm gonna tour with Unknown Pleasures let's see how they like that."

They didn't and reformed without him.

Now Hook threatens to go out as New Order himself.

Now, he is touring with Closer and I would rather get no closer than that

My problem? Hook wasn't very good at Webster Hall. He was lazy and ordinary and then his other escapade up in Boston puts him in the bad guys column.

Two footnnotes. Moby will be singing "New Light Fades" and "Insight" with Hook.

The other: here is my review

After an essentially useless documentary about bassist Peter Hook’s second band, New Order, we got an essentially useless run though the seminal album Unknown Pleasures originally released by Peter Hook’s first band Joy Division, at Webster Hall last night.
Here is the problem: Original lead singer and lyricist Ian Curtis dealt in depression and release from depression, Hook deals in anger. And it isn’t such a great fit. It is as if Hook forgot the lessons he had learnt in New Order. the songs lack suppleness, nuance, gradations of darkness. It’s like Hugh Cornwell leaving the Stranglers for JD. Peter attacks the songs with a dangerous gusto, he has a two note range plus a scream and from the version of “Disorder” -the first song on the album though he had performed four songs before settling into Unknown Pleasures, Peter can’t provide the cathartic ending. He can’t sing it at all. And for all Hook’s attempt to lead his back up band the Light through the song, the Line are not Joy Division. They get the attack fine but they can’t take the song anywhere. It isn’t bad but it is inert and since at the heart of “Disorder” is a rush of emotion, if you don’t have that rush of emotion what you do have is… Interpol?


Peter looks like the sort of middle aged hard man you meet at working class pubs in Moss Side, who after three pints of bitter grabs you by the scruff of your neck and asks you if you wanna take it outside. Unfortunately, he sings that way as well. When he lets loose, on a set closing “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again”, he charges the song turning it into an anthem where none exists. A line as passionate as “there’s a taste in my mouth as desperation takes hold” is throttled by the neck. the Light, an anonymous, irrelevant, buncha kids who come across like contract killers who are there to perform the hit and step back into the shadows, can’t save a thing, they can’t walk an old lady across the street safely. They’re kinda transparent..


When I first heard Peter Hook was playing the album for its 30th Anniversary I was more than thrilled, I was seriously considering visiting my big sister in Manchester for the weekend and catching it. But now I’ve seen it, I don’t think it was such a great idea at all. Hook woulda have been better after creating a setlist out of the Joy Division catalogue. Even with seven additional songs, building to and away, “I Remember Nothing” was never a great idea, not all songs off an album do or should translate live.

Also, the entire concept of covering your old bands stuff is naff. Remember a coupla years ago when the Doors had Ian Astley sing Jim Morrison’s lead on tour? Well, this isn’t that bad but it is similarly iffy. Not even as crap an idea as reuniting the Faces with Mick Hucknell. Imagine Dave Grohl playing Nevermind. That’s what this was like.

Hook coulda

a) Formed a supergroup for back up. Lotsa people would have signed up.

b) Used Interpool the way Brian Wilson used Wondermints

c) Get New Order to play with him.

Those are the negative, now here are some positives.

1) I’m watching Hook play “Insight” and man, I do I do believe he’s not afraid not at all.

2) And first song after the encore? “ATMOSPHERE”!!

3) Yeah, that’s Hook’s son on bass.

d) the 15 second clip of Ian Curtis recording “Isolation” was devastating.

4. Though I disagreed with huge chunks of it, I loved Spin Magazine’s Reyan Ali review, here is the link

5. And let me steal a bit: “Things particularly picked up with the shows last five songs, beginning with Hook’s wild trilling during “Interzone.” It was odd to see a man so content with being stoic before moving his voice maniacally and enjoying it.” I agree with about half of that statement.

6. And finally, the penultimate song in the set, the best moment of all a beautifully lit -the entire show is beautifully lit, dance music stomper “Transmission” which loosens up the audience for just about the first time.

Hook wasn’t bad.

Hook wasn’t good.

Hook wasn’t.

A month from now I’ll have forgotten I saw a performance of an album I’ve respected for 30 years.w




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