New Order out of order, says Peter Hook

New Order's reformed group minus Peter Hook
New Order's reformed group minus Peter Hook
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THE last time I spoke to Peter Hook, the iconic bass player who made his name with post-punk heroes Joy Division and electro-pop legends New Order, he ended our chat with a precious gem of an anecdote.

It was one from the vaults, a tale of fighting and rock ‘n’ roll. The Playhouse, Edinburgh. Some time in 1986.

Hooky urged me not to press for the exact month because the memory was hazy, but he did describe it as the best gig New Order ever played.

“We had a riot,” he laughed. “No, but we really did have a riot. It was f****** great that one. Really funny.

“I remember fighting in the car park with the audience... it was wild. A proper, intense riot.

“They f****** hated us, they hated New Order. It was fantastic.”

New Order, back on the road for their first British tour in six years, visit the Usher Hall on Sunday, sans Hook.

When Hooky left the band in acrimonious fashion in 2007, he declared that New Order were finished - and to this day the fallout rumbles on.

Frontman Bernard Sumner went on to form Bad Lieutenant, a group that would eventually enlist the services of every latter-day member of New Order bar Hook in its line-up.

It remained as such until last year, when Sumner and co accepted a request to play two benefit gigs as New Order, enjoying them so much they opted for a full tour, again without Hook’s involvement.

Drummer Stephen Morris admits that no real efforts were made to get Hook on board once the decision to reunite was made.

“Well, not really,” he says. “We started off doing it, thinking this would just be a small charity thing.

“It was really the occasion that made us do it as New Order. It was for Michael Shamberg, who was Factory America, he produced all the New Order videos and it was just to raise money for him.

“Originally we were going to do it as Bad Lieutenant but Gillian Gilbert got involved and we just said ‘Well, this is New Order really, isn’t it?’ It’s just kind of snowballed.

“Hooky’s not spoken to us in God knows how many years, and never told us about any of the things that he was doing. So no, there wasn’t [any effort made].”

For their live return in the Capital, New Order will be fronted by Sumner, alongside original members Gilbert and Morris, and aided by guitarist Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman, who has the responsibly of providing that signature Peter Hook bass-line.

It’s a big ask, but Sumner reckons New Order are coping just fine as they churn out classics like True Faith and Blue Monday without their former member.

“It’s hasn’t been that difficult,” he says. “Tom’s doing it and Tom’s already done it in Bad Lieutenant. We’ve got someone else to play [Hook’s] parts, because there’s nothing else we can do.

“[Hook] said it’ll never work, that it’ll be Queen without Freddie Mercury...”

So far, the reviews for the New Order comeback gigs have been very positive, with most critics agreeing that the band are on terrific form and don’t seem to miss the legendary bass man.

So might we even expect new material to follow?

“Possibly,” says Sumner, “but we’re just concentrating on the live dates for now.”

New Order, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Sunday, 7pm, £35,www.usherhall.co.uk

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