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Spotlight On: Peter Hook & The Light

Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2023 at 16:00

Jimi Arundell

Written by
Jimi Arundell


Peter Hook & The Light is led by the legendary bassist of both post-punk instigators Joy Division and dance innovators New Order. Now heading up his very own group, Peter Hook plays the best from both of his former groundbreaking groups.

Next year sees Hook and his band play the entirety of both editions of the Substance compilation albums, covering the entirety of all Joy Division singles and all singles released by New Order between the years 1981 and 1987. The worldwide tour includes unmissable headline dates in the U.K. during October and November.

Tickets go on sale at 10:00 on Friday 17th of November – CLICK HERE to set your event reminder with Gigantic.



Salford-based band Joy Division formed in 1976 and was amongst the first wave of post-punk. With their wiry guitar riffs, dark and atmospheric style plus their severe aesthetic, they became the definitive template of both the look and sound of all who followed in the movement.

Bassist Peter Hook, together with guitarist Bernard Sumner, drummer Stephen Morris and the late singer Ian Curtis would begin playing together having been inspired by the ferocious energy of the Sex Pistols when they appeared at the infamous Free Trade Hall show in Manchester. Adopting an austere image and drawing on The Velvet Underground, German electronica group Kraftwerk and even the dark poetry of Jim Morrison; they were a marked difference from the nihilistic yet blunt punk explosion and the bloated prog rock that dominated the musical landscape.

Initially named Stiff Kittens before changing their title to Warsaw (inspired by the David Bowie song "Warszawa”), they settled on the now familiar name Joy Division after Curtis read Ka-tzetnik 135633’s novel House Of Dolls and released their An Ideal for Living EP. Curtis’ intense onstage presence combined with his cutting lyrics focussing on such dark subject matters as urban decay, the holocaust, the nature of oppression and William Burroughs’ writings attracted a devoted following with many recognising them as the first-ever cult band.

Joy Division would be amongst the first to sign to Tony Wilson’s newly started label Factory Records after they appeared on his Granada Television programme, So It Goes. It was the start of a relationship that would take them to global fame and continue long into their second incarnation as New Order. Entering the studio in 1979, they would team up with maverick producer Martin Hannett whose penchant for wild sonic experimentation and uncompromising nature would push the band to produce their seminal debut album Unknown Pleasures. Complete with Peter Saville’s iconic cover art of radio signals from a pulsar, Unknown Pleasures is considered by many critics as one of the greatest albums ever released.

Intersected by their singles “Transmission” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”; the second album Closer would be released two months after the death of Curtis whose mental health problems were negatively affected by the mounting pressures of fame and worsening epileptic seizures that led to his tragic suicide in 1980.



Surviving members Sumner, Morris, and Hook reconvened as New Order later in the year. Recruiting Gillian Gilbert on keys and synths, they would pursue a more electronic direction inspired by krautrock and Italo-disco to become a precursor to dance music.

It was a difficult transition at first, with first album Movement heavily indebted to their former post-punk sound and released under the shadow of Curtis’ death. It would even feature the re-recorded single “Ceremony” which was the last song to be written with their former frontman. However, forays into New York’s club scene would embolden the re-incarnated band to further develop their synth-pop sound and in 1983 they would release the revolutionary song “Blue Monday” whose futuristic blend of sci-fi sounds and sharp motorik drumbeats would see it become the best-selling 12” single of all time. New Order would also release their Top 10 album Power, Corruption & Lies in the same year and following LPs Low-Life (1985), Brotherhood (1986) and Technique (1989) would define the synth-pop sound of the decade.

New Order would release their compilation album Substance 1987 in 1987 which included all their singles till that date, followed by retrospective record Substance featuring Joy Division’s singles "Transmission", "Komakino", "Love Will Tear Us Apart", and "Atmosphere" plus select B-sides a year later.

Despite working with New Order even after their hiatus into the new century, strains between Sumnar and Hook became too much to bear, and the bassist split from the group in 2007. He started his new project Peter Hook & The Light four years later starting with the 1102 2011 EP which included re-workings of Joy Division material such as the previously unrecorded song "Pictures in My Mind". They continue to tour the world, playing to packed out audiences including a recent show at Eventim Apollo where they performed their biggest ever London show at the 5300-capacity venue.

Peter Hook & The Light kick off a global tour in 2024 which sees them play both the Joy Division and New Order Substance albums. This means you can look forward to hearing such seminal songs as "She's Lost Control", “Digital”, “True Faith”, “Bizarre Love Triangle” and many more landmark anthems performed live.

It still amazes me how enjoyable it is to play the Substance LPs. The contrast between Joy Division and New Order is very apparent but both complement each other very well. My only frustration is not being able to play more of our records each night. I am totally looking forward to the next phase. So, let’s enjoy some Substance and get ready for the future. Lots of love, Hooky.


📆 Tour Dates:

Peter Hook & The Light tickets are released at 10:00 on Friday 17th of November.




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