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Plaques for Tractor

Rochdale studios set up by John Peel and used by Joy Division honoured

  • 23/09/2009
  • Georgie Rogers
Peter Hook (Photo by PA)

Two blue plaques are being unveiled today in Rochdale at the former music studios set up by broadcasting legend John Peel.

The late DJ forged an afinity with the town after working in a cotton mill there.

He later invested in new technologies and equipment for Tractor Sound Studios, which would become a power house for Factory Records' bands Joy Division, New Order, The Happy Mondays and other north west bands including The Fall, OMD and Echo And The Bunnymen.

Tonight (23 Sept) Peter Hook has promised to perform several Joy Division tracks when he takes to the stage at the Broadwater Center with the Blackpool band Section 25, in a gig to honour the studios.

The Joy Division and New Order bassist also ran the studios at one stage, when they were called Sweet Sixteen.

He told BBC 6 Music why they were so special: "It was the ethos of the studio which I thought was wonderful."

"It was next to a music shop so basically there was a great little community because if you got bored, you could go into the music shop, or if you needed anything you could go in the music shop and vice versa.

"Then us old fogies are coming down to indulge ourselves and to show them how it shouldn't be done."

Peter Hook

"The people in the music shop kept you interested in the studio, so it was nice little striving community in Rochdale at the time," he explained.

The show supports a local charity called The Back Door Project.

"It's a music project which specialises in giving young kids in Rochdale a different way out," he said. "It teaches them that you can work in music. It's just about supporting those kids really.

"There's a lot of people coming down and we've got three young groups on from the Back Door Project, and then us old fogies are coming down to indulge ourselves and to show them how it shouldn't be done."

Recently Hook toured with Section 25 and together they dipped into the back catalogue of Hook's former bands, playing half a set of songs by Joy Division and New Order, which he loved.

"Since New Order split up, I've not had much of a chance to play and it was great to be able to get out and just dust off a few Joy Division and New Order standards and the boys indulged me," he said.

As to future touring with Section 25 , he explained: "It was really nice to be treading the boards again and it was really enjoyable so you never know in the future maybe."

Hook revealed he is currently busy focussing on Freebase, a project with fellow bassists, former The Smiths member Andy Rourke, Gary 'Mani' Mounfield of Primal Scream and Gary Briggs, former singer of Haven.

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