Well having got this far you deserve something a little juicy…..

The infamous New Order post Technique Party at Real World Studios, Bath.

“Events would be definitely the trip down to bath to Peter Gabriel’s studio and the party we had for New Order at the end of August 88. That was pretty mad. You were playing a gig with a river running beneath the glass floor in a studio. I lost my mind.” Jon Dasilva

“I remember right at the beginning of it New Order, there was a very infamous party they had, well it was one of my best parties really. They’d been recording at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios and when they finished recording, they were like “We’re having a party”. We got two double decker coaches down from the Hacienda, this was right at the beginning so there were probably about a hundred heads and we were absolutely twatted before we even left. It was amazing. As we were getting near the place, people were getting off in these little villages and like Geoff The Chef getting off asking the way with a whistle and one of those little muslim hats on. In the end someone saw the lights and people were running across the field to get to it, they were just that desperate.” Mike Pickering

“I remember it all. God knows why? We decided to have a party to celebrate the end of Technique so Rob decided to bring everyone down from Manchester. Why did he do that? Two coach loads and [name removed] ordered 1000 E’s and he said to [name removed] “You sell em?” So [name removed] got em and I think he got em for eight grand and [name removed’s] idea was the two grand would pay for the booze. Once everyone was twatted, he was giving them away anyway. I think he woke up with a fiver and a sore arse.

“A lot of people did lose their minds at that. The one I remember is [name removed], he had a girl, holding her round the neck like that walking round the party with an axe. He wasn’t there, he’d gone, there was nobody there. A fire axe and her in a headlock and she was screaming blue murder and nobody knew who she was and nobody could hear her because of the music. Someone came and got me cos I was in the cottage so I went up and went “[name removed], what are you doing?” Took the axe off him and told him “let go of the girl, c’mon let go, let go.” So he ultimately let go and the girl ran off screaming, I put the axe away somewhere good and then he went off shagging [name removed] in the lake. You could see the two of them in the lake like that with their heads bobbing.” Peter Hook

“ Yeah, (laughs), yeah, I was there. The whole thing was quite bizarre because everyone was in such a haze about what we were going to do and being invited was pretty cool, and then two coaches going down there got fucked before they arrived so by the time everyone got there, they’d taken everything they’d brought with them. My main memory of it is being in the studio there, the one with the glass floor and it was quite a surreal party. One of the things I never remember about that do is that I have no idea how long it went on for?” Gary McLarnan

“We got in there and there were silver trays full of E’s going round. It was brilliant. It went on for about three days. I remember me and Graeme were Djing and Graeme was like “Mike, Mike, Can I go on now?” And I was like “I’ve only just gone on” and I’d been on six and a half hours. I didn’t have a clue. I was like “Ah shit, sorry, there you go.” It went on for about two, three days, it was one of the classic early parties.” Mike Pickering

“Rob came up with a great idea for storing all the booze away and he had these two girls giving the drinks out so everyone was allowed two cans of beer or a bottle of wine and then they all came in off the coaches, pushed the girls out of the way and ransacked the bar. There were people walking around with twenty bottles of champagne cupped in their arms. It was an annual pig fest. Everyone went fucking beserk. There was shagging everywhere, it was just outrageous. I went and locked meself in my bedroom.” Peter Hook

“Peter Gabriel never knew about it.” Mike Pickering

“There was hardly any damage. They repainted the walls. That was it.” Peter Hook

The United States Of Hacienda Tour

“I’d say actually going to New York with the Hacienda. That was an amazing gig. We kind of did this tour and it was a package really. We’d all just gone over there and like going over there on your own is like one thing but going over with a load of people who you know from where you’re from it was such a mad buzz, it was amazing. I’ll never forget that.” A Guy Called Gerald

“The United States Of Hacienda, I didn’t go on that but I got the T-Shirt. It’s one of my most treasured T-shirts. The thing is, I was 18, 19 years old then, just, and I was getting fifteen quid a gig and the idea of touring America was just….so far out there. That’s why when it started to kick off for me, it was just such an amazing change.” Sasha

“The United States Of Hacienda was brilliant cos that was tied up with a New Order tour of America and I remember having to DJ on the same bill as The Sugarcubes featuring Bjork, Public Image Limited, then me, then New Order. I was DJing on the tour and then the club coincided with that with Jon Dasilva, Gerald and a few others. It was great. I was playing American House music in a club in Manchester and then I was over in the Stares playing it back to them. I suppose we re-exported house music back to them.” Graeme Park

“Yeah, the United States Of Hacienda, we paid for them and we lost a lot of money on that. They just acted like primadonnas and we got treated like shit. I remember one night I offered a load of them out, Dasilva and Graeme Park. We were at a club in Detroit and they were taking the piss. I went in and told em “Outside now ‘cos I’m gonna leather the pair of yer, I’m fucking sick of yer, yer both a bunch of cunts”. “What’s up with you?” “Fucking outside now” and they were dragging me off them.

“It just got really uppity. They just disappeared up their own arse. It was a good time but I didn’t see much of them after that, I just went “Fuck em” and left them to it. They were arriving to clubs in limos, “Ah Hooky, how’s it going. Hey hold that for a stone man.” What a way to disappear up your own arse……” Peter Hook

808 State On Newbuild and Pacific State

“We definitely had a confidence about what we were doing. I wouldn’t call it an arrogance but there was definitely a confidence about what we were doing. Having a great engineer in Graham, having a producer and having all these pheripherals and having Martin as a figurehead bringing half a dozen people together. There was a confidence about the whole collective that naturally Newbuild was gonna happen, like they say the Hacienda must be built, well Newbuild should have been written.”

“That to me was proper acid house. It was real, dirty acid house. Because I still thought that the stuff that was coming from the US had a Prince tinge to it whereas the UK acid house was always a bit more dirty and raw.” Darren Partington

“Our attitude towards that music was that it was pretty disposable. I don’t think we thought we were making history, we thought we were making an acid house record and its importance would last two weeks, a month at most. We didn’t think long term with it.

“The way Pacific State happened was that we were trying to do something like Marshall Jefferson’s “Open Your Eyes” and we wanted to do a track with sort of that kind of mood. We were going to all these acid house raves that were going on in Store Street and all the places like that, there were a lot of illegal raves going on and that record was huge. Put that on at like three in the morning and it was something else, completely off the scale.” Graham Massey

“Once again, it was that thing, could we come up with something better, a completely killer end of the night tune.” Darren Partington

“You wanted an atmospheric, kind of warm, sweaty, tropical thing. “We’re gonna make a warm, sweaty tropical record” and we started doing that for a John Peel session. John Peel used to come in to a café that I used to run opposite Eastern Bloc John Peel came in there after shopping at Eastern Bloc, Alice and Martin who ran Red Alert, she used to bring John Peel up and take him round the record shops and he used to come in so we gave him white labels. He got really into it and started playing Newbuild and Let Yourself Go, those records and then he was like do you wanna do a session. We were like “yeah” and then he went “you’ll have to come down to Maida Vale” and we were like “whoah, we can’t make that kind of music with the BBC staff. We’ll have to make it in our studio.” John Peel was like “oh, I’ll have to see about that, I think we can do it, I’ll try and get a special dispensation. I’m sure it’ll be okay”. So we just booked the studio and started recording and then he rang up and said that it had got to be unionised and by that time we’d started about three tracks, one of them was Pacific but it was pretty basic at that point, pads, a bit of drum programming, not a lot really and it was kind of left on the shelf that one. Then we returned to it at a session when nobody had turned up I pulled a sax out because my mate had left his sax at the studio and I can play a bit. I thought the tune needed a bit of melody so I got the sax out and played over it and it sort of came together.” Graham Massey

Voodoo Ray – A Guy Called Gerald

“Voodoo Ray was totally designed for the Hacienda. That’s was the sounding ground for everything we were doing, even when I was working with 808 State, we always had the Hacienda in mind. It was kind of the place where you thought if we can play it in there that’d be really cool. I actually always wanted to bring the studio into the Hacienda, that was one of my ambitions but it was definitely a place where you’d look towards trying to make one of your tunes work there.” A Guy Called Gerald

“The first time we heard A Guy Called Gerald “Voodoo Ray” that haunting melody and the sparseness of it all. All these records nowadays are fodder for Now That’s What I Call House Music compilations but people forget that at the time they were unbelievable, hairs on the back of your neck, never heard anything like it records.” Graeme Park

“Playing and hearing Voodoo Ray for the first time, that was a moment. Manchester got its first real record of its own.” Jon Dasilva

“Voodoo Ray, that was one of the records I absolutely pestered Eastern Bloc into submission until they finally found me a copy. It was that record at The Hacienda for so long because no-one else had it. It was the record at the Hacienda, it was one of those defining records. It was that, Ce Ce Rogers “Someday”, there were a few records that really defined that 88 to 90 period and they were really hard to get hold of and I remember just craving those records so much that when I finally got hold of them, I wore them out.” Sasha

Hardcore Uproar – Together

“I had the idea for “Hardcore Uproar” when I met my partner, Jonathan Donaghy, who did actually come from Blackburn. I had a bit of an idea for a track and he pretty much put the finishing touches to it. We were pretty much raving in Blackburn but if I had to make a choice between Blackburn and The Hacienda it would have been the Hacienda hands down. It had become our dream to hear a tune that we’d done in that club, that became our aim after a while. We thought that if we did that we would just be happy forever and I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t that we thought that we were doing something cool or innovative with music.

“We didn’t realise it at the time but because we were ravers, we were probably on a much more commercial edge of house music. I’m trying to avoid the word cheesy but with our air horns, crowd samples and I don’t think my voice made things particularly underground which wasn’t deliberate. Looking back on it, we made a pop record. We thought we’d made a really underground piece of music which the Dj’s loved and got played in the right places but really it was very radio friendly and had catchy elements. It was aimed at the underground which was those bleeps but it did give it a commercial edge as well.”Suddi Raval

Eastern Bloc

“Well Eastern Bloc started as a stall in Affleck’s Palace and they were a very anarchistic bunch from Bolton. I think if you talked to all the record shops in Manchester there was a huge rivalry going on that energised it all. Eastern Bloc were arch rivals with Spin Inn, arch rivals with Piccadilly Records. There was a classic Eastern Bloc story when one of the Smiths albums came out. They went and superglued Piccadilly Records’ doors together. It coincided with a Smiths convention in Manchester and somebody was sent out to superglue their doors. They’d ordered about twice the stock in.” Graham Massey

“They did it when the Roses’ “Sally Cinnamon” came out as well. Don’t forget there were people involved in Eastern Bloc who were borderline psychopathic. They should have been on the Burmese border in the 50’s and 60’s them lot.” Darren Partington

“They were from quite an anarchistic background. Eastern Bloc wasn’t an unfriendly place though, in spite of all the madness.” Graham Massey

“Hostile maybe.” Darren Partington

“Eastern Bloc had attitude, a very Mancunian attitude but Spin Inn also had it in spades. You could be shamed out of Spin Inn for not knowing your onions. I never used to shop in Spin Inn because it felt intimidating and I’m sure a lot of people used to feel the same way about Eastern Bloc.” Graham Massey

“Eastern Bloc was a very important shop. If you were “in” there, you got the hot records and if you weren’t, you kind of got scoffed at. It was a bit like that. Some of the characters in there though. Justin Robertson was working there at the time, Nick Grayson, Mike E Bloc, Moonboots famously laughing at people asking for records that they had no chance of getting. I think that was part of the shop’s mystique, some people daren’t go in there. It was one of those places where you could lose all your street cred by asking for the wrong record.” Kelvin Andrews

“Eastern Bloc was a massive eye opener for us, we bought amazing records from there from Moonboots and everyone. Then we just became friends with a lot of people and then when Most Excellent came along we felt very much a part of that and we were just hearing good music all the time.” Tom, The Chemical Brothers

“Eastern Bloc did become the place, mainly cos it was the best record shop in town. It was the only one that had the right attitude, the only one that wasn’t sneering at you for not liking indie. Eastern Bloc was quieter at the time because it wasn’t cool to a lot of people and you could spend the time in there and you could play what you want. They also held a huge back catalogue and you could pick out stuff. That’s where I found that bootleg The Virgo Mechanically Replayed, Siedah Garrett “Kissing” and SLY “I Need A Freak” which all went on to become huge Hot tunes. I wouldn’t have found them otherwise but they had a policy of keeping things in stock. With Dry Bar it just became the perfect circuit for any DJ. Bar, Record Shop, taxi rank, there you go, life is sweet.” Jon Dasilva

“Eastern Bloc was really my place. I did a little bit at Manchester Underground but I had a closer relationship with the guys at Eastern Bloc. I actually had a credit card ripped up in front of me once in Manchester Underground and it sort of put me off from ever going back there again. I used to be a right pest at Eastern Bloc, if there was a certain record I was after I would go in there every single fucking day and I’d pester them until I could get hold of it. Things would come into Eastern Bloc in very limited quantities, like test pressings, there would be only ten copies and they wouldn’t be pressing them up for another three months.” Sasha

Dry 201 – The Factory Records / Hacienda Owned Bar

“The catalyst for the Northern Quarter was Dry, there was nothing else there before there. With Dry, Rob decided that we weren’t able to drink enough at the club so we needed somewhere with a bit more sociable hours so we opened somewhere where we could drink all day. Stupid, why did we open a fucking bar when we couldn’t make a club work. They seemed to think that they could make a bar work cos it was open longer hours, it was the most ridiculous concept. At least the Hacienda made a profit at one point, Dry as an entity never made a profit. Dry never made any money whatsoever. I think it made a hundred pounds profit one week and we all nearly fell off our chairs.” Peter Hook

“During the summer of 88, until Dry was built there wasn’t really a focus point for the scene. The whole scene became galvanised with the opening of Dry Bar the following year Dry made a huge difference, giving Manchester a sense of identity, having such a well designed, beautiful hang out.” Jon Dasilva

“Y’know what. I was never a fan of Dry. I never saw the point of opening a bar on the other side of town to the club. It didn’t click with me, I never saw the point. If they’d done it over by the arches which I think was the original idea. It was the beginning of that fucking awful bar culture.” Mike Pickering

Afflecks Palace

“I think that maybe the fashion thing in London was slightly earlier where from 88 onwards you could see Smiley T-shirts on Kensington Street Market but Leo Stanley who had Identity, On The Eighth Day… was the one who really jumped on the fashion bandwagon, the street clothes which then in turn drove Afflecks, people going in there.” Gary McLarnan

“Yeah the Oldham Street scene was definitely the catalyst for what became the Northern Quarter. I remember Leo at Identity, that was the big place, that was the place cos that drove the whole fashion for The Hacienda. Y’know on the seventh day, on the eight day god created Manchester. Jesus had long hair, Manchester, all that kind of stuff. It was very much a big part of the scene. “ Mike Pickering

“Musically, I think that’s where it propagates. People were going into Afflecks, hanging out in the hairdressers, hearing about all these parties, all of which tended to be more illegal than the last.” Gary McLarnan

“It seemed to grow really quickly. It mushroomed from a few hundred people into a few thousand in no time at all. There were similarities in the atmosphere to the Hacienda but the Blackburn do’s were on a bigger scale. There was an element of risk because they were illegal parties but there was a massive excitement about just waiting for that car to go past and join the convoy onto this illegal acid house party. That risk did add a bit of a buzz to them. It was also that the parties were full of people from all over the UK. I remember clearly going up to people and asking them “Why have you come up here from London?” And I loved their answer, to this day I still love it, they said simply “To dance.” I remember thinking “God, I suppose that’s why I’m here. I’m lucky I’m down the road” but to think there’s a guy from London, there’s a guy from Edinburgh, there’s a guy from Bristol, there’s a guy from Cardiff and they’ve come here just to dance. Even though I was firmly in the thick of it, I was able to stand back a little and think, wow, dancing is actually causing this. Everybody needs to be here every week, even with the fact that they were risking everything. People did get arrested and did get in quite serious trouble. It was that hold that it had on people from all over the country that added a real sense of excitement.” Suddi Raval

“I remember Graeme and I weren’t into it because we thought club music should be played in a club but for us to have 1200, 1400 people under a sweaty roof was far better than standing in the middle of some daft field. We called it a bit “Acid Ted”. It just wasn’t for us. I did a couple of them. I did that Joy. Most of ‘em got cancelled anyway.” Mike Pickering

“I was more involved with Blackburn towards the end. I think I’ve taken a lot of credit for being involved in it but really I only got right towards the end of it but of course that was when it was at its biggest and I did some sets there that kind of reverberated across the country and really got my name solidified in that sort of culture, the raves and the illegal sides of things. I can’t really take credit for that, there were a lot of local lads there who spent years building that scene. I think it started off with 40 people in someone’s garage and it wound up with 10,000 plus there on a Saturday night.” Sasha

“I’ve got names for some of the old Blackburn dos but really I associate the names with the venues more.Unit 7, The Abbatoir, you can imagine what that smelt like. One of the best ones was the one next door to Blackburn Rovers football ground. It was such a big room that once you got into the warehouse, it was such a big room that even though you were in the same room as where the soundsystem was, you actually couldn’t hear it properly. It sounds like I’m exaggerating but all you could hear was a distant thud. You looked down to the other end of the warehouse and there were just these glowing lights and lazers which was just an incredible experience. You just walked towards the distance, that’s where the people were gathered, it was just this huge, huge place. You could have thought it was many, many thousands there but at that party I’d reckon there were about five thousand people there.

“The biggest one was at Nelson which was about ten thousand which coincidentally was the place where we recorded Hardcore Uproar’s crowd samples. That was the last party of it’s kind, after that the police did really drive it underground cos they were arresting people after that. It was the last one of its kind and that’s where we recorded the crowd that night. That was in February 1990.” Suddi Raval

“Manchester itself had the Hacienda, which then was like nowhere else on earth, there were the DJ’s around at the start of the scene who’d all been around for a few years and then also New Order, who brought a bit of that drug and sub culture to it. Then here were other clubs all around the North West cos’ people couldn’t get to the Hacienda. And parallel to that Blackburn started and all those people round areas started to set up that kind of thing.” Gary McLarnan

“The scene developed at other clubs like Konspiracy and Thunderdome because people began to see that they could do it themselves, do their own nights. You’ve got a scene, people meeting outside the Hacienda, going on to The Kitchen and it was important that it went beyond the Hacienda like that.” Jon Dasilva

“All the clubs in Manchester had different identities, the Thunderdome was absolutely nuts. The energy in the city in the city at the time was just insane. I can’t put my finger on a scene since then that’s been so vibrant in terms of the freshness of what it was and how the people in Manchester just embraced it.” Sasha

“Konspiracy was an heavy club, volatile would be a good way to put it. It was like the Thunderdome, it should never have happened, that shouldn’t have worked, being in the middle of a council estate just outside the town centre but it was more about that it could have been anywhere once you were in there, than where it was actually, a real rough arsed part of Manchester but the fact that it worked it meant a lot to the people that were actually in there. Like the atmosphere was awesome.” Darren Partington

“It wasn’t all about the Hacienda. Thunderdome was very important to us cos we had a connection to it. Darren and Andy used to do the Saturday night there. There was a different kind of music which came out of the Thunderdome which I think led onto what became jungle and that kind of thing. It was a much more urban, darker music and it wasn’t party music. Thunderdome was about heaviness and a dark atmosphere.” Graham Massey

“Thunderdome was Jimmy Muffin’s do, I was resident there, at a club called Hypnosis and Sasha used to warm up for me. It was great. I used to Dj and people used to come up and give me presents. I remember one night I got a mountain bike. My dad’s still got it. Just came up and gave me it. I remember one night someone gave me an acid tab in my drink. That wasn’t as nice.” Mike Pickering

“Thunderdome on the other hand was the scariest thing I’d ever seen in my life but I continued to go. It was in this really dodgy area, full of dodgy people, I didn’t know at the time what people were doing but people were doing smack and whatever, scary people in scary parts of town but I still went. There was something about being young and very naïve and unaware of what dangers there might have been. I remember going to parties in some really dodgy places and I can’t believe I used to go to some of those things. You have no fear when you’re a kid do you and it was like I really had no fear.” Suddi Raval

“ I did do Konspiracy a few times as a guest which came through my connections in Eastern Bloc really. I met Chris Jam and Tomlin from the Jam MC’s via knowing the lads in Eastern Bloc, just chatting on the counter and buying records really. They used to say “come down, we’ll give you a date”. I think that was really the first time I’d DJ’d out of Stoke.” Kelvin Andrews

“Konspiracy, when I think of it now, my memories of it are like a sci-fi film, walking down all these paths. It was really strange, like the design, all these winding corridors, they did design an original dance venue but cos it had the trouble it didn’t last that long. There, the whole thing with like the Jam MC’s doing their really curious, mysterious, moody vocals over dark house music, like Wild Times, the Derrick May tune, which I still remember as a very abstract piece of techno, it was just something else. Memories of it are almost dream like they really are.” Suddi Raval

“Konspiracy was crazy. Along with Mike E Bloc I put that ID World Tour party on there and there were 2,500 people locked outside, 2000 people inside and a load of door staff told us they didn’t have any money for us. It was super shady you know. You didn’t argue with them really. That night was 89 / 90, 808 State and Candyflip live. People were fainting, there were too many people in there but the night after I had twenty hotel rooms booked that I couldn’t pay for so I legged it to Cyprus and disappeared for two months. To tell you truth, a lot of people disappeared at that point. It was getting quite rough.” Kelvin Andrews

“The Hacienda was a very levelling place and very mixed. If you went to Hot or the Hacienda on a Friday night, the cultural mix of people was really diverse. You’d have people you wouldn’t think would be into the scene, like taxi drivers, nurses, doctors….” Graham Massey, 808 State

“At the beginning, it was just brilliant in the club. I remember I just used to look at people and you know when you want to just know everybody cos everybody just looked so great and I didn’t know anybody, then a year later I knew everybody.” Rowetta

“There were guys like Bobby Gillette and Alfonso, the unsung heroes of the scene who no-one had ever heard of but without the pied pipers leading the scene then it wouldn’t have continued. You need those kingpins, on dollar, on that level, on the shopfloor. You needed people to look after it, like Eastern Bloc, it was a nice place to hang out, provided you were on the in.” Darren Partington

“The change was that people just used to turn up at nine and go straight on the dancefloor at nine o’ clock. They’re not being cool, weren’t milling around or waiting for a tune they liked to go on the dancefloor.The whole feel of clubland changed there and then. You could barely hear the tunes for the whistles and the cheers. It was a rush.Jon Dasilva

“One thing I’ll also never forget is week in, week out, especially on the Fridays, the anticipation of those nights began in the middle of the week. Like when I used to turn up outside before the doors open there was already an amazing anticipation and atmosphere in the street. People were getting out of cars and out of taxis and running to join the queue which was already snaking round the corner over the canal. It was the enthusiasm which was all around you and the fact that once people got in, they ran to the dancefloor. That doesn’t happen nowadays. I suppose now everyone’s got so much choice and takes so much for granted that I don’t suppose you’ll see those sort of days again.” Graeme Park

“The Hac was a massive driving force, for me personally, ideas came thick and fast. I was good mates with bands like Evolution, Love Decade, 2 For Joy, K-Klass, and it’s incredible cos every single one of us charted because we’d all been so inspired. We were all so taken by it, it became our equivalent of that Sex Pistols gig. That was a legendary thing where all these big bands came out of it but we went to the Hacienda, and a load of bands came out of it. And if not bands, graphic designers, djs, fashion designers, all doing their own things, it inspired us all.” Suddi Raval

“They were wild and exciting times. You certainly weren’t thinking that it was going to go on for decades or anything like that, mainly because you didn’t think you’d be able to do it for decades.” Jon Dasilva

“We were rebels. It wasn’t a money making thing. A lot of good people lost a lot of money.” Mike Pickering

“No I’d never do it again. But if it was 23 years ago and Rob walked in the room going I want to run a club, I’d do it then. I’d never change that. I had some fantastic times in there, I has some of the scariest night of my life as well. You lay in bed on a Friday, Saturday night thinking “God I hope that phone doesn’t ring”. The responsibility, when the drugs got involved was just too much ‘cos you were dabbling with peoples lives. And then the gangsters were there, you just couldn’t do it, you know, I didn’t have the balls.” Peter Hook

“ Tony’s thing was that it was all based on anarchy, “The Situationalist’s Review” which was typically an anarchistic Italian piece.” Mike Pickering

“In between ‘82 and ‘87 before it all kicked off the Hacienda was always half empty, there was hardly anyone in there at all cos I used to get the train up there to Manchester from Nottingham to go and see bands like Aztec Camera and there’s be no-one there. If it wasn’t for house music, it’d probably have shut a long time before it did.” Graeme Park

“It was wonderful, it was wonderful prior to acid house. People didn’t come in there for a while but we still had a fucking amazing time. 150 people, it was very secret society, it was great. The Nude night, my Friday night started about 85 / 86 and that was fucking packed, even from the off. My first thing was that I wasn’t having any door policy. The only door policy was that I wasn’t gonna let fucking idiots in who wore ties.” Mike Pickering

“It wasn’t a secret really, it was fucking cool. You could say that in 86 and 87 when they were trying to kick it off that was when it was a secret but it had reached fruition by 88. There was nothing underground about that, the place was packed and everyone was off their tits.” Peter Hook

“Of all the members of New Order, Peter Hook was definitely the one that was the most pro-active. He was the one that would always come down, mainly cos he used to say he wanted to work out how much money he was losing.” Graeme Park

“Well but you see the thing is The Hacienda was like going in the bookies and saying give me 50p on that horse and losing it. Then going I’ve got to get my 50p back now and putting a quid on. Ah fuck, now I’m down a quid, I better put two quid in. One minute it’s fucking 50p and the next minute it’s fucking £8 million.” Peter Hook

“I suppose New Order also influenced it by giving the club gravitas and making it cool. We filled it with a bunch of lunatics, waving their hands in the air. It made perfect sense really.” Jon Dasilva

“If New Order hadn’t gone to New York to work with Arthur Baker they’d never have gone to Studio 54 or the Paradise Garage and you could argue that if it hadn’t been for those clubs, maybe the Hacienda would never have ended up how it was. And, as for Ben Kelly and what was his bizarre design at the time, like what the fucks this, the influence of that has been immeasurable really cos most clubs and bars now have some subconscious reference to Ben Kelly’s design of the Hacienda. So maybe because of New Order the Hacienda ended up looking the way it did and also being the size it was.” Graeme Park

“I just remember it was like nowhere else, the atmosphere, the size of the place, it always looked massive when you first went into the Hacienda, when you looked down from the balcony it always looked massive with everybody dancing to everything” Rowetta

“Initially, the scene was very small. You were only talking about a few hundred people really in what is a very big city but those few hundred people it changed their lives. It wasn’t just Manchester as well. The Wednesday night, the Hot night was a national night, a national event almost. You had Slam down there from Glasgow who’ve gone on to do great things with Soma Records, James Baillie who did Venus, Daddy G from Massive Attack, loads of future promoters as well, James Barton for example. The Hacienda really was Manchester’s acid house culture at the time.” Jon Dasilva

“ The Nude night was the big night, that was always the main one. Hot was fun, like we put a swimming pool in there and it was a fun night but the Nude night on Friday was the house night.” Mike Pickering

“Hot was year zero for acid house in Manchester, it really was in terms of the scene as we know it. It was a combination of the club, the music, the crowd and certain chemicals. The whole feeling of clubbing changed. It wasn’t from the first week, it was two or three weeks in that it really kicked off. I came out of the DJ box one night, went downstairs and it was completely exhilarating. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on really at the time.” Jon Dasilva

“Nude was going for a couple of years before 88. We used to get 1600 people in but once ecstacy kicked it, the change happened over a few weeks. I likened it once to like the top end of the club, the change in the characters who were there it was like a Mexican wave coming down from the main bar, it was amazing. However there were a lot of people who stopped coming then, who were replaced by other people. The club itself became a lot whiter.” Mike Pickering

“Hearing that angular electronic funk from the kind of acid house, Detroit thing for the first time in about 86 at the Hacienda and it not being busy there but then just going “Oh My God, everything’s changed. That’s changed now.” It was the beginning of the future.” Kelvin Andrews

“It was amazing. It was like being attached to something when it first started, you felt like it was more exciting than discovering something after a while. It was revolutionary, it was the most exciting thing that I’ve ever seen going on. It was different, overnight something had changed and everything that used to be was irrelevant. It was like “We don’t know what we’re doing but we know it’s better than that” Danny Spencer

“I moved to Manchester from North Wales as we were travelling once a month to go to the Hacienda and I moved to primarily to get closer to the music really and I was just lucky to be there 88 through to 91 / 92, just living and breathing that whole explosion. I moved into a block of flats where Jon Dasilva was living and he got me to do some warm up slots for him, I got some lucky breaks. He really helped me get on and as the rave culture exploded and illegal warehouse parties and Blackburn, The Midlands, I started doing those things. It all spiralled for me from there. At the time I would just do any gig that I could get really.” Sasha

“It gave a focus to my life really, it was what I wanted to do. It made perfect sense to me to become a DJ. I’d been making music myself and though I kind of turned my back on that in a sense and wanted to reinvent myself as a DJ and it hit all the right buttons for me. Although the thing with DJing is you almost don’t need any musicianship, rather than it being cool to be a musician, it became cool to be a non musician.” Jon Dasilva

“I was quite young when I got into it, like 14 or 15 when I first got into the music, way too young to ever get into a club and when I saw it, a couple of years later, that this club existed down the road, it blew my mind, it completely blew my mind. I loved the Hac so much I just went all the time, sometimes I went five nights a week. It was only like a couple of quid to get in there when it wasn’t a big night. It’s fair to say that it blew my mind and while it was blowing my mind, I didn’t realise that it was inspiring me to make music and having this subconscious effect on me.” Suddi Raval

“Ah it was amazing. There were all sorts. The thing that was great about it was the names, everyone all of sudden had all these fantastic names as if they were in a fucking James Ellroy novel or something. Geoff The Chef, Eddie Beef, Bobby Gillette, y’know, Jimmy The Bacon Slicer, these are all true nicknames. There were a lot of characters in there and you’d get people who were bankers being mates with ex-football hooligans and criminals hanging out with doctors. It was fantastic.” Mike Pickering

“Manchester was dying for a change. Growing up there in the 70’s there had been a lot of inventiveness going on but it just seemed to be always following London back then. There were always things brewing in Manchester but it all just came to a head. The generation that I grew up with had been through the 70’s and early 80’s and by the end of the 80’s they’d probably had enough of Thatcher and all the stigmas then went along with that period.” A Guy Called Gerald

“Manchester was very Eighties back then. The thing that we liked about it was coming out of that horrible naff Eighties thing, that Eighties culture of big hair and acid house sounded like nothing to do with that. It was a kind of an alien type of music. When you heard that in a club, you could pledge your allegiance to this new thing.” Graham Massey

“You had a huge change in technology in 86 / 87 where 808’s, 303’s, 505’s, all became available and it enabled people to spend much less money to make that music. All of a sudden the little nippers gave us a cheap way of making acid house music and that enabled people like A Guy Called Gerald, 808 State to sit in their flats and make music. They could never do it before. You’ve got a circumstance affecting people’s creativity and that to me was like a revolution, it was like another punk. So that is sort of English Acid House.” Peter Hook

“I did a night before that on the Friday at the Hac which was the Chicago House night and that was quite early 87 with Adonis, Fingers Inc, Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard and that was really fucking early. They didn’t have a clue really, they were like “Wow, people like our music outside of Chicago gay clubs” which was amazing.” Mike Pickering

“Rob Gretton and Mike put on this night in at the Hacienda in ‘87 and on this night there was every fucking acid house DJ and it was before it had all gone off and nobody came. Rob loved being ahead of the time at The Hacienda, along with Mike and everyone else so I think that to the people that mattered in Manchester that cultural change had already happened. They were just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.” Peter Hook

“Manchester is the sort of place where you can feel like you’re part of something. I suppose Manchester imbued us with the spirit that we could get up and do stuff. The most amazing thing was that you’d hear a good record in a club and the person who’d made it was dancing next to you.” Ed, The Chemical Brothers

“There was an open mindedness about it all. People like Graham Massey. The Hacienda was a massive catalyst cos people would go socially and it would just change everything that they thought. Massey was in a band called Biting Tongues who were signed to Factory at the time and one day he just came into Spirit Studio and said he was making house now. He’d been to the Hacienda and literally 808 State was born overnight.” Kelvin Andrews

“There was an enormous civic pride at that time. You would be supported almost like a football team if you managed to get something going and there was a general energy about the place that encouraged that kind of thing. It was a very inclusive culture and it gave you a sense of self empowerment. There were a lot of people around to support you and there wasn’t really any jealousy about.” Graham Massey

“Manchester back then was about having a laugh, bouncing from this scene to that scene and as a place it seemed different. Because Manchester is so compact, you really did know everyone. You’d let on to someone and it was like a little village in a way.” A Guy Called Gerald

“I do scratch my head about how vibrant it was and the music that came out from all different directions. Manchester during that period of time, all those people getting together and it really was a movement of sound. To me it was all focused around the Hacienda, Factory Records, Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton, all those characters that made this happen, the bands and the DJ’s, it’s just amazing. For so much to come out of such a small group of people, it’s just incredible. It has to be something to do with the culture there, the people in Manchester.” Sasha

“There’s a certain sort of can do attitude about Manchester, regardless of whether it’s legal or not, and that risk taking carries a lot of weight. Like I know back in the fifties, people that I sort of associate with, people like Tosh Ryan and Bruce Mitchell had the same mindset that you saw in promoters in the late 80’s , like “why not? Why shouldn’t we do it? And you think about that from a situationist point of view, if it can be done, why don’t you do it? It’s that attitude that I think distinguishes Manchester. Glasgow seems to have had it a bit as well, and there are only a few places in the country where the club scenes had that kind of level of get up and do it and it was definitely very prevalent in Manchester.” Gary Mclarnan

“That disestablishmentarianism and the individuality of the town you’re asking me about, well Manchester’s never given a fuck what anyone else does really. They haven’t really. None of the Factory bands ever looked at any other band and said “Oh yeah, we’d like to be like that.” Even if they were shit, they still had their own minds and that was certainly true of the club as well.” Mike Pickering

Revisiting the Manchester scene of two decades ago it’s impossible not to be reminded of “bliss that was to be alive but to be young was very heaven” yet even Wordsworth would have found it difficult to capture the all conquering, all comers style and panache of Manchester’s unique cross cultural explosion in the late 80’s and early 90’s which sprang from The Hacienda, Oldham Street’s early bohemian chic, an avid record shop culture, a good few older heads cum social misfits and a whole variety of circumstances and events.

Combining a multitude of influences and nuances, Manchester took on the influences of the small US scenes and early doors Ibiza, then breaking bands and new dj talent, plenty of narcotics and the odd conspiracy theory, namely that the army ran all the E’s, the whole scene was down to the kids of the Sixties getting into positions of power, and that it represented a whole new anti corporate, anti capitalist reaction to Thatcher and the scourge of Eighties yuppie-dom, to name but few.

Not that Manchester prior to 88 was always the cultural wasteland

Put this against the artistic background cultivated by the likes of Factory Records and The Royal Exchange Theatre and the rebellious traits of the city and the scene is classically set for a pivotal, revolutionary moment.

Not that Manchester prior to 88 was always the cultural wasteland which it has been far too lazily characterised by some, yet the shoe-gazing, wrist-slitting indie dominance of the local scene meant the Manc acid house phenomenon grew incrementally from what was a very small network. A part of The Hacienda’s sound-track from 86 onwards, house and acid culture slowly came to fit the sensibilities of the independently minded city which became internationally famous for not only the clubs, the music (and the football) but also for it’s buccaneering, wild, untamed spirit of adventure.

Yet whilst Manchester was cementing its world-wide reputation as one of the foremost musical cities around as acolytes and disciples spread the vibe, Manchester’s compact, village-y city centre made it an intimate, social culture where “in yer face” doesn’t describe half of it. The scene expanded from not only the Hacienda but from now mythically treated haunts like Afflecks Palace, Eastern Bloc and Dry 201 as Manchester began to lay claim to both the true working class art forms, music and football.

So The Acid House Years, which in Manc terms is more a generic term from 87 to 90, as FAC 51’s Citadel and Manchester’s politics of dancing rejuvenated and regenerated the city, the city’s fame and influence on the developing scene rippled across the north, the country and as Italian house records were latterly to remind us, to everybody all over the world.

With the Hacienda a central but not solitary hub of the scene, Manchester had taken in Detroit, Chicago and New York and spewed out its own sauntering, surly Mancunian most monster as records, fashion, clubs and town’s café culture coincided in an uncontrived blend of time, art, place and characters which I’ve often liked to compare as the closest thing to live theatre I’ve ever been immersed within. At 15 in Manchester in 1988 (and just about able to blag into the Hacienda, certainly Dry was never a problem), there was some luck in landing in a happening that even then felt like it rivalled Paris or San Fran 68, London 76 for an authentic, the rules do not apply, standing in the way of control, getting away with it youth revolution.

An authentic, the rules do not apply, standing in the way of control, getting away with it youth revolution

So here, pieced together as an extensive oral history, is a whole rogues gallery of DJ’s, club owning rock stars, artists, singers, and industry bods, listed below in “role call” which takes in many major Manc acid house faces riffing on the city, the clubs, the tunes, the parties and the cultural shift that was Manc Acidica in a “you’ll swear you were there” deconstruction.

Expect a not atypically Mancunian tale of establishment baiting, piss-taking, risk-taking, camaraderie and untold shenanigans, yet within all the devil may care, throw it to the all hedonism, I can’t escape the fact that there is and was a very special something about Manchester back then, something to fall in love with, something to believe in, something independently willed that made the world look to Manchester and something that at times made us feel like the coolest bastards on Earth

……You may call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one……