Peter Hook & The Light perform New Order’s ‘Movement’ & ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’ Live at 53 Degrees Thursday – we asked you to supply the questions...
LEP: The concert on 28th February 1980 at The Warehouse, Preston, was the 12th last concert for Joy Division and has been released on CD. It included the call for the last bus to Burnley. Do you remember the night and have you any other memories of playing in Preston?
I remember it very well. We wound up doing a few gigs in Preston because Rex Sargeant, our roadie, had a band called PR5 and he actually used to bring New Order, Section 25 and all those groups over to Preston on a regular basis. Rex ended up living with me for a long time actually, and I seem to have developed something of an allegiance to Preston which is quite odd in a lot of ways. I remember that gig very well, I wrote about it in the Joy Division book, everything went wrong, the PA was awful, our equipment was all over the place but we bore it with a surprising humour. Tony actually put out the bootleg recording because he liked the fact that you could hear everything going wrong. We found out it was the beer pump which was blowing the amps in the end and while we were trying to fix our equipment, some girl got up on stage and announced that the bus was leaving. Backstage after the gig, we were in quite a good mood but the promoter said he wouldn’t pay us so as the dressing room doubled as a food store, I kicked the lock off the freezer and we took 30 frozen chickens as payment, Ian took them home to Debbie as I remember it. When we played 53 Degrees last year, the partnership with UCLan and the music management course does give Preston much more presence for me now as well. It’s great because when we do 53 Degrees we get the kids involved with the running of the gig, doing all sorts of things from roadie-ing to promotion and it gives them real experience of putting on a gig.
Steve Tomo: I saw Joy Division support the Buzzcocks at King George’s Hall, Blackburn (October 23 1979). You blew them off stage. Do you remember the tour?
Yeah we blew them off stage nearly every night. It was quite odd really, Buzzcocks seemed to be at, can I say, quite a comfortable part of their history, I think they were taking it a little bit for granted and their audience for granted, which I don’t think you should ever do. One of the main reasons New Order split up in 2006, was that certain members of the band were in my opinion taking the audience very much for granted. Earlier on I have to say however, Buzzcocks were very supportive of our development as a band. Richard Boon always helped us out and obviously Martin Hannett had produced their debut EP. People forget they staged the Free Trade Hall Pistols gig and later on supported the Pistols not only at the second Free Trade Hall concert but also the Pistols’ last appearance in Manchester at the Electric Circus. Our first gig as Warsaw also came supporting them in May 1977. On the tour, I think Buzzcocks had become a bit too used to the good life while we were at the top of our game, there’s a lesson there - never have a support band that can upstage you, which happened many years later on when Outkast supported New Order. It was our first real tour and there were a lot of japes and pranks on that tour between the bands, the maggots and the mice having passed into legend by now.
Helen L: The third New Order gig was at Scamps, Blackpool (September 5, 1980) – do you remember what it was like starting out again with Ian and do you have any memories of playing in Blackpool?
“Yes I do, I remember that gig, it was terrifying, it was in a basement disco with a very bemused audience, I have a tape of it actually. It was quite weird, we played “Homage” for the first and I think the last time live. We’ve actually returned to playing it with The Light recently. It really is a great song. The early gigs for New Order were very difficult really, we were all still very much in shock at Ian’s passing and moving on without him was tough on all the members of the band, the crew and also everyone at Factory. I actually have a great fondness for Blackpool, our last North West gig as New Order in 2006 was at the Tower Ballroom and I recently also played Unknown Pleasures at Rebellion Festival in August at The Winter Gardens. I spent all my youth in Blackpool sleeping in cars on the Prom so I have many, many memories of Blackpool. Also Section 25 were based over there so that kept us in with a foothold over there. It’s actually one of my favourite places on Earth.
MW: On January 3 1981 you played the Tatton Community Centre in Chorley; why would anyone want to be in Chorley on the third day of a new year? Any memories of the venue or the gig?
Yes it was done by Rex Sargeant again, and it was more or less to promote his group which was PR5, it was a bit of a favour for Rex in truth. I remember the gig being quite strange actually, it was in a British Legion Hall, there wasn’t very many people there, only a couple of hundred at most, probably a lot of them were Rex’s mates but yeah it was a good gig. You have to remember it was very early days for New Order and we were just finding our way as a live band, we were quite frightened actually of playing live back then and we were feeling very, very vulnerable.
Mark Taylor: You played at the Leigh Open Air Festival on 27th August 1979 – what do you remember about the line up or the event and was there a lot of competition between the up and coming bands on the bill?
No not really there was no competition from the bands. It was one of the first festivals we’d ever done, and I remember it being bitterly cold. It was a great line up that combined the best of Manchester and Liverpool bands, Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, A Certain Ratio and it was billed as “Zoo Meets Factory Half Way”. There was quite camaraderie between Liverpool and Manchester bands back then, and there is a lot of that today as well so no it wasn’t aggro between the bands at all. Although I do remember Martin Moscrop from ACR taking the piss out of me saying I sounded like the laughing policeman during the soundcheck of “Leaders Of Men”, ruined that song for me for years that did.
Barney Farmer: New Order started playing Joy Division songs and you played Unknown Pleasures in its entirety - does this means you have come to terms with Ian’s death and can you know enjoy the songs again
I can I do enjoy it and there is also the thought and sentiment of Ian hanging over the Joy Division material which in some ways is nice these days. It’s nice to be reminded of him although there’s still the great frustration that he isn’t here, and there was always a lot of guilt at Factory about what happened. That was why we ignored the material for so long in truth. In a funny way, me doing it with The Light seems to have spurred the others on to play Joy Division as well so in a way it has brought it back. All the remaining former members of the band now play Joy Division which I think is a good way to celebrate not only the music but also Ian.
GL @GLPNE73: If he could rerecord one album, which one would it be and why? #Sensiblemusoquestion
I’d have to say Republic, because it was such a horrible time for everybody involved, with the pressures of Factory and also The Hacienda, that the record and recording process suffered. I would like to go back and make that sound more like a New Order record and less like an Electronic record, more like how “Technique” sounded. They were sad and difficult times, we didn’t want to be around each other and Stephen Hague who produced it did his best but we were all recording at different times so it was a very, very difficult and fraught time recording that album.
Mike Hill: You head the MA in Music Industry Management and Promotion course at the University of Central Lancashire. Do you lecture, what is your role and do you enjoy it?
I suppose first and foremost my roles is as a mentor, I come up with ideas to give the kids practical experience as well as experience in the classroom as the first thing you get asked when you go for any job is what actual experience you have. By getting the students involved with our Preston gigs its one of our ways to make sure that they get practical experience, as well as them also being with The Factory club in Manchester. I do enjoy it, it’s great to go over and meet the students and be able to give them advice and assist them.
Phil Cun: Why have you chosen ‘Movement’ & ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’ to play? Do you feel these were the two records that most captured your style?
Well having started off with the Joy Division albums which we have been touring since 2010, it seemed logical to then move on to the New Order albums and singles from the 1981 to 1983 period. At the start of this year, we played New Order material for the first time, playing Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies the first two albums, and now we’ve taken the show to North and South America before embarking on this UK tour. The initial gigs went really well, we played two sold out shows in Manchester and London and the reactions from the recent dates have been really great. The band have become a lot more comfortable with the set and its being going really well. It’s my plan to go through every record I ever wrote before shuffling off this mortal coil and now having performed “Unknown Pleasures”, “Closer” and “Still”, now we’re doing “Movement” and “Power, Corruption & Lies” and then we will move onto “Brotherhood” and “Low Life”.
Youdirtyoldman @Youdirtyoldman: do you know the way to San Jose?
Yes I do. Of course.
Derek Des Webster @derekdeswebster: Do you like owls?
Yes I had one down my chimney once, which frightened me a little because the owl was so big. My wife actually bought me lessons in flying owls for my birthday so I’ve learnt to fly them from a glove so they don’t hold the same fear for me now. It’s quite enjoyable and relaxing to do actually, gets you away from things; I think that’s why she bought me the gift.
BT: Why do you play your bass so low?
Well you’ve got to have a gimmick, like my mother always used to say, although it does give me a very bad back, I had been inspired to get a long guitar strap by Paul Simonon from The Clash, so I suppose you could say that it’s all Paul’s fault! There have indeed been some trips and a few bum notes along the way but to me unless my bass is down by my knees it just does not feel right to me. I have to say I’m very pleased to see my son holding his bass low too, although I did have to warn him about the back issues with playing like that.
LEP: Finally, after years of being asked the same questions is there any question you’ve never been asked? What is it and what’s your answer?
Yeah there was a few even on this one. There are so many, there’s always a question, but never an answer.
Peter Hook & The Light - Performing New Order’s ‘Movement’ & ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’ Live at 53 Degrees on Thursday, October 31. Adv: £20 . Support: Slaves of Venus. 16+