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Peter Hook at the Royal Oak, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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It’s the hits, and more, for Peter Hook & the Light this year.

The former Joy Division and New Order bassist has been performing thematic shows of his old bands’ catalogs since 2010, recreating entire albums and releasing his own live sets along the way. This year Hook and company are taking on the “Substance” compilations from 1987-88, featuring non-album singles and assorted rarities, a mix that works for aficionados and neophytes alike.

Hook famously sued New Order after his 2007 departure from the band, settling out of court, and he’s written books about both it and Joy Division. He remains dedicated to the music, however, and is happy to share the “Substance” of both bands with audiences that have proven truly rabid over the years...

• Hook, 62, says by phone that performing the “Substance” albums in their entireties “was a little bit of a worry at first, but they do actually complement each other very, very well. When you get to Joy Division you’ve got a much darker, much more intense feel. The tracks are less commercial. But when you play them live, one after the other, they do actually complement each other. It goes down very, very well.”

• For Hook, one of the great ironies and pleasures with what he’s been doing with the Light is that it allows him to play Joy Division material in the U.S., where the group was about to tour when frontman Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980. “We’re able to take Joy Division to many places that Joy Division never made it to,” he notes. “It’s very strange to think we only just got to Europe and we never went very deep into Europe, either. Not making it to America was one of the saddest things because Ian was so influenced by American music -- by the Doors, by the Velvet Underground, by Iggy Pop and the Stooges. So I’d like to think I’ve achieved Ian Curtis’ ambition, which is to take over the world.”

• Despite the very public falling out, Hook is confident that New Order’s legacy and reputation were not tarnished. “Joy Division was never stained by arguments about money or ego, at least,” Hook notes. “But even when we had our differences in new Order, when you played you had that release. It was only the other aspects of being together that were problematic -- as much on their part as it was on mine. I was as much of an ass*** as everybody else, if you like. But the music is the great release. Playing it is wonderful. It hearkens back to better days, shall we say, when you were unified and together and you all had the same ambitions and the same musical taste. But people change in every relationship as they go on. It’s quite a human thing. We’re certainly not the first to have that, and we won’t be the last.

If You Go

• Peter Hook & The Light

• Thursday, May 3. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Royal Oak Music Theatre. 318 W. Fourth St.

• Tickets are $25-$55.

• Call 248-399-2980 or visit royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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