Peter Hook & The Light have announced a US tour that will see them perform the lauded and much-loved Joy Division albums ‘Closer’ and ‘Unknown Pleasures’. If the states is a little too far or a little to expensive for you (and it definitely is for us right now) then you can catch the band as they perform The Complete Works of Joy Division in Macclesfield, Monday 18th May 2015. Tickets are priced at £35+BF, and are set to be released very soon. You can sign up for email alerts on relevant ticket selling websites.Tickets for the performance will benefit the Epilepsy Society and the Churches Conservation Trust.
I used to think that the best music was music that had already been made, released, and celebrated, often by bands or singers that had subsequently disbanded or dissolved for differing reasons. To some extent, i still feel that way – Stax and Motown in their heyday, ‘real’ rock n’ roll, the Psychedelia of the 60s and it’s perfection in the 70’s, punk, garage rock, shit even Hip-Hop’s ‘golden age’ in the 90’s. Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, The Byrds, The Beatles, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Neil Young, Sabbath, Nirvana, The Clash, The Smiths, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Wu-Tang Clan. For a long time, all of these artists (and more) were far superior to anything i could hear on the radio, on TV, or in the charts.
Disorder (Unknown Pleasures)
Because the classics are classics for a reason, right? It’s painful to admit, and kind of strange when you think about it, but these ‘dad-era’ bands are, for some, quite essential in forming a sense of identity and attitude in turbulent teenage years. This foray into the past, this nostalgia, can be a declaration of individuality, or it can be a indictment of and disdain for the stuff that we are constantly told to buy, listen to, and wear, by industries, society, and culture at large. We all grow up though, and i was no exception. I started looking around and forward instead of just constantly back; there is plenty of great music around today, and plenty of great artists to discover and enjoy – you just need to look a little harder, and open yourself up to new shit. Maybe you’ve always known that – or maybe you had to learn it too. You get older, but this music stays with you…and then you really start listening.
Atmosphere – (Made widely available on ‘Substance’)
Regardless of lessons learnt, the bands that I discovered reaching back have always stayed with me – and I’m sure i’ll find more classics in the days and years to come. Joy Division, however, were probably chief among all of my personal discoveries. Shouts to my pops for that, I stole numerous CD’s from him and never gave them back.
She’s Lost Control (Unknown Pleasures)
Millions of others discovered Joy Division too, either as they were emerging, or through a similar nostalgia for a time they never knew – depending on your age. Their influence and legacy is well documented, as is the inventiveness of Tony Wilson, Peter Saville, Martin Hannett, and Factory Records as a whole. Joy Division gave a distinctive and original noise to a distinctive and original record label. Wilson scoured the in and around the greater Manchester area for music and talent, whilst Hannett’s eccentricity and unorthodox production methods gave bands like Joy Division a raw, distinctive sound. Saville designed a plethora of sleeves and covers for various Factory Artists, including the art for Joy Divisions ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and the follow-up ‘Closer’ – released after Curtis’ death.
Digital (A Factory Sample)
The bands versatility, this unique sound, and the ability to express haunting, anxious, angry and raw emotion, continues to inspire musicians, artists, and mere mortal music lovers the world over. Curtis’ dark and poetic lyrics, Sumner’s guitar work, Morris’ drumming, and Hooky’s steady bass lines, tweaked just enough by Hannett’s brooding and atmospheric production, helped Joy Division to forge that sound of profound pain, power, and passion.Ceremony (Still, Heart and Soul, Bootleg)
Later re-recorded by New Order (listen here)
Ian Curtis’ suicide – words fail, and ‘tragic’ can only say so much- imbued the story of the band with a palpable melancholy and though it may be difficult to admit, or perhaps insensitive to say, the narrative of the troubled artist, and of a life extinguished too soon, captures hearts and imaginations.
No Love Lost (An Ideal For Living)
Though celebrated albums like 1979’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ may have been plastered onto numerous deadout Topman and Urban outfitters T-shirts, such co-opting is perhaps reflective of the bands enduring appeal, and of the music’s ability to inject these narratives of despair with shots of inspiration, to puncture pain with episodes of pleasure – to tear love apart – to speak for people without a voice, and with people who want a conversation.
See you in Macclesfield.
*Can’t really leave this one out now
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Single)