The Manchester Scene Beyond FAC 51

And So it Goes Along - Konspiracy, Thunderdome and Blackburn

“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

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