Hacienda Classical, Don Valley Bowl, Friday, August 17: Event producer and legendary Joy Division bass player Peter Hook talks to The Star

Legendary Joy Division and New Order co-founder and bass player Peter Hook
Legendary Joy Division and New Order co-founder and bass player Peter Hook
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You may remember Peter Hook as the leader of Mrs Merton's houseband, his bass guitar hanging so low it narrowly defied scraping the BBC stage floor.

To the initiated however he is the bassist and co-founder of two of the UK's most seminal rock bands - Joy Division and later New Order.

A past Hacienda Classical in full swing.

A past Hacienda Classical in full swing.


Not widely known is that 'Hooky' and the band virtually bankrolled the legendary FAC51 Haçienda club, associated with the rise of acid house and rave music in the Madchester era of the 1980s and early nineties.


"It was a magnet for people as it was the only place to go in the post-punk era." recalls the 62-year-old. "It was like a hostel or haven for like-minded people."


While those heady days may seem a distant memory, the sounds, songs and vibe are currently being given a new lease of life with Haçienda Classiçal - a fusion of the original hits played by the venue's original DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering, and the 70-strong experimental Manchester Camerata orchestra.


"When the idea was first touted I thought it was s**t - why would anyone consider doing that?" blurts the bluff Salfordian, who is producing the show, now is in its third year. "But Graeme knew it would work and it was his enthusiasm that would see it through."

'Hooky' salutes the crowd.

'Hooky' salutes the crowd.


Sheffield's own legendary venue the Leadmill is hosting the event at the 7500-capacity Don Valley Bowl with tickets selling fast.
And Graham sees a lot of similarity and kinship between the two cities and the two venues.


"I saw it as a great compliment when The Leadmill brought a coachload of Sheffield clubbers over to the original FAC51 back in 1988," he adds
"I've a great soft spot for Sheffield and great memories. Way back we played a club and were helped with unloading our gear by The Human League. I remember Phil Oakey's hair getting in the way!"


So what can we expect to see at the event?


"A lot of the songs in those days were one-hit wonders and so few people ever saw them performed live. But they were still songs people have grown up with, danced to with their boyfriends, girlfriends, got married to etc," says Hooky.

Peter Hook playing at the Hacienda Classical.

Peter Hook playing at the Hacienda Classical.


"With this production It's found a whole new audience. From old blokes, to young kids, so the gigs are a family atmosphere.


"It's also wonderful keeping the the Haçienda name going and also keeping alive the memory of the place and colleagues such as Tony Wilson, Graham and Mike.
"Supporting a 70-strong orchestra it's in keeping with the Haçienda in that it's not going to make loads, but it's fantastic the whole thing keeps going. What's important to me is celebrating good music, a good attitude and having a good time."

The Haçienda Classiçal on Friday, August 17, is one of three Leadmill events taking place at the Don Valley Bowl over that weekend. George Ezra performs on the Saturday with 90s Britpop band Ocean Colour Scene on the Sunday. Tickets from www.leadmill.co.uk

Hacienda Classical producer Peter Hook applauds the audience.

Hacienda Classical producer Peter Hook applauds the audience.