Peter Hook, Curtis’s former bandmate in Joy Division, shared the gig to mark 40 years since the singer’s death
To mark 40 years since the death of Ian Curtis, the musician’s former bandmate Peter Hook has shared a recording of a gig with his band The Light in which they played every Joy Division song.
The three-hour show was recorded at Christ Church in Curtis’s hometown of Macclesfield in 2015. So This is Permanent was streamed for the first time ever earlier today, and is available until just tomorrow on YouTube (it will be sold as a DVD from June). Fans were encouraged to donate to The Epilepsy Society, as Curtis had epilepsy.
“It was the church that Ian used to go to as a kid, he was in the choir,” Peter told NME. “We got involved and did a charity gig to save it, which we did – it’s still there. We played every Joy Division song ever written and recorded in one go. It took over four hours and I was immensely proud of it.”
“Due to lockdown we can’t play right now, but we can share this celebration. It was oversubscribed by 10,000, but there were only 400 people there because the church was in quite a derelict state. Everyone who was there knew what they were there for. The atmosphere was great. Howard Marks came along and introduced us, God rest his soul.”
He added: “It was tough, it was completely stupid and ridiculous, but in the end we did it and it felt absolutely wonderful to play the whole library of my absolutely favourite band.”
Ian Curtis died by suicide on May 18, 1980, aged 23.
Hook’s other surviving Joy Division bandmates, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, are also hosting an event to celebrate the life of Ian Curtis. Moving Through the Silence: Celebrating The Life and Legacy of Ian Curtis begins at 8pm tonight and raises money for Manchester mental health charity Manchester Mind to help mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. Performers and panelists at the event include Brandon Flowers, Maxine Peake, Elbow, LoneLady, and more.
Watch So This is Permanent below.