This year marks the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s incredible final album, Closer.
Released two months after the tragic suicide of frontman Ian Curtis, Closer is not only one of my favourite albums, but a post-punk masterpiece and one of the greatest sophomore albums of all time. To celebrate the album and life of Curtis, Joy Division is releasing a special vinyl edition of the record, with the band’s surviving members also commemorating the milestone in various ways. Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris are holding a tribute live stream with United We Stream to kick of the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The benefit will feature interviews with The Killers Brandon Flowers and DJ/writer Dave Haslam, along with live performances from the likes of Elbow and Kodaline.
Estranged bassist Peter Hook is going a different route and premiering the previously unreleased concert film, So This Is Permanent. The concert is a special recording of a gig Peter Hook & The Light performed at Christ Church in Curtis’ hometown of Macclesfield, England in 2015. The gig includes Hook and his band playing every song Joy Division ever wrote, including their early work as Warsaw, and is as close as any of us are going to get to a Joy Division reunion.
‘We played every Joy Division song,’ Hook told Consequence Of Sound in a recent interview. ‘It was such a crazy thing to do to. I can’t believe it – four hours. These were 450 tickets, and it was subscribed. In fact, over-subscribed by 10,000. That’s how many people wanted to see it. It was such a wonderful thing to do. We were scheduled to play on May 18th in Glasgow – sold out gig Barrowlands – but we’ve lost that now. So, we’re hoping to show that concert in full on the Internet, and hopefully on the Joy Division sites, which will be absolutely wonderful.’
The performance will stream for 24 hours, beginning today at 9pm on both Joy Division’s YouTube and Facebook pages, along with Peter Hook & The Light’s Facebook page. There’s no charge to view the performance, but Hook would love for fans to donate to the Epilepsy Society in honour of Curtis.