New Order launch John Peel Day

The DJ's life is celebrated today

New Order kicked off the celebrations for John Peel Day with an extra-special set filled entirely with Joy Division songs.

Gigs are taking place all over the UK today (October 13) to mark the first anniversary of the iconic DJ’s death.

And playing the special launch show at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall last night, they acknowledged the fact that Peel had been the first person ever to their original incarnation by playing an entirely Joy Division-filled set – the first time they have done so since the suicide of Ian Curtis in 1980.

From the stage singer and guitarist Bernard Sumner said that they would have got “nowhere” without the support of Peel.

And before the show, bass player Peter Hook explained their decision: “We’re only playing Joy Division songs, we thought he would have liked it that way. We’ve been flirting with it for ages, talking about doing a Joy Division set, because we thought the contrast would be nice, and I just decided for this to do it. But it’s worked it, sounds good and it’s interesting. We’re playing two songs tonight we’ve not played for 25 years.”

As well as favourites ‘Transmission’, ‘She’s Lost Control’, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and ‘Atmosphere’ , the six-song set featured ‘Shadowplay’ and ‘3 1 G’ , the first song the band ever wrote together.

New Order were introduced by Fergeal Sharkey of The Undertones. Other artists performing were Super Furry Animals, Venetian Snares , Misty In Roots , Jawbone, Laura Cantrell and The Fall.

Highlights from last night, as well as from gigs all over the country, will be broadcast on Radio 1 tonight from 7pm.

What are you doing to honour John Peel Day? Email news@nme.com and let us know.