Sometime members of New Order, Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses appear at the exhibition in the city's Dr Martens store...

NEW ORDER bassist PETER HOOK, former STONE ROSES and current PRIMAL SCREAM bassist MANI and BEZ from HAPPY MONDAYS were among the stars who turned out to the launch of a rock exhibition at the new DR MARTENS store in MANCHESTER last night (May 21).

As reported last week on NME.COM, the ‘So Much To Answer For’ exhibition includes a Buzzcocks smashed guitar from their debut Free Trade Hall gig supporting the Sex Pistols in July 1976, Mani’s John Squire-designed paint-spattered guitar from The Stone Roses‘ 1989 NME cover shoot, previously unpublished photographs of Oasis, Noel Gallagher’s Supernova guitar and the ‘Wonderwall’ gold frame, as featured in the video and cover artwork.

Speaking at last night’s launch party, Peter Hook confirmed to NME.COM that the long-awaited New Order album is almost finished and will be released in August, followed by live dates in September.

He added that seeing so many “old faces” in the room reminded him of the recent recreation of Manchester’s legendary Hacienda club for the film ’24 Hour Party People’, which he said he enjoyed more than the real thing, which Hooky co-founded: “It was the greatest night I’ve had in the Hacienda. You didn’t have to wonder whether the bouncers were gonna kill someone, whether the bar takings were gonna be down, or getting my mates in. I never wanted it to end. It was exactly the same, except the outline areas were bigger and that’s what made it seem more dreamlike, because it was right, but not quite right.”

Of his current activity, Bez said: “I just follow my nose as always. I wouldn’t recommend the lifestyle to anybody. If I could give any advice, I’d say go for something more secure and look for a lifetime job. But if you like the edge, then this is the lifestyle to live.”

Also at the exhibition were Happy Mondays associate Karl ‘Fat Neck’ Power – who was immortalised in the song ‘Fat Neck’ and gatecrashed Manchester United’s official team photograph in Munich in April – and members of Alpinestars and J-Walk, who perform a show that is tied in with the exhibition on June 7 at Manchester’s Planet K club.