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Return of the Eighties

Jenny Messenger

haciendaPeter Hook
The Haçienda: How Not to Run a Club
Simon and Schuster, 2009
224 Pages
ISBN 978-1847371355

Those too young to have experienced neon legwarmers and New Romanticism need not despair: the 80s are back in full force. Following on the heels of phoenixes from the shoulder pad era including Coleen Nolan, Slash, and even Michael Palin, Peter Hook, co-founder of the bands Joy Division and New Order, brought the revival to Oxford this week on his promotional tour for The Haçienda: How Not to Run a Club.

The crowd at the interview, mainly middle-aged men, had a definite air of ageing raver. They obviously appreciated the book’s cover—its garish black and yellow stripe conjures a drink- and most likely drug-fuelled rave—but one quickly begins to wonder if anyone else could.

One also wonders what Hook is doing penning a book at all: he freely admitted that he is no writer, and the rise and fall of the “birthplace of acid house in the north” does not seem the most innovative fodder. While Hook’s take on the decade might have enlightened those who missed it the first time round, repetitive event listings and filler make this a read only a true fan would enjoy.

However, riding the crest of the revival, Hook has also released a compilation of classic Haçienda music that boasts genuine quality and (limited) success with a younger market. Hook, it appears, should forgo his foray into literature and stick to the acid.

Jenny Messenger is a second-year classics student at Worcester College, Oxford. She is an editor of ORbits.