Arts and Culture

Stars reminisce on iconic Manchester club The Hacienda ahead of new documentary

Crowds flocked to Manchester’s HOME centre this week to celebrate the premiere of a new documentary about the legendary Hacienda nightclub – featuring a number of familiar faces.

Releasing in the 40th anniversary year since the club first opened, the documentary combines archive footage with first-hand testimony from a range of the venue’s key players and regulars, including stars such as Noel Gallagher and Shaun Ryder.

The documentary itself attests to the extent of the nightclub’s cultural impact, and the number of fans who took an interest in attending the film’s first screening only reaffirmed this with as many as 6,000 people applying for tickets.

Among those attending the screening was Peter Hook, of Joy Division and New Order fame.

Speaking on the venue’s enduring legacy, he said: “We’ve created a place in people’s hearts that I think will stay there forever.”

He said inclusivity and unconventionality was something at the forefront of the club’s ethos.

“People would spit at you in the street because you were wearing a dog collar…those people that came to the Hacienda needed somewhere to go.”

Good old days: Peter Hook shared his memories of the iconic club

This message was echoed by other attendees, including DJ Kath McDermott.

As a resident DJ at the Hacienda’s gay clubnight, she said that the venue helped to inspire others to put “queer in the centre of clubbing” in a way that Manchester had never seen before.

Speaking to those involved in both the prime and decline of the venue, it becomes clear that the Hacienda was a labour of love. Designer of the club’s iconic interior, Ben Kelly, said what made the club special was that “it was not driven by a commercial remit.”

And it is because of this that he believes the Hacienda could never exist today.

He said: “I dont know what young people do now…it’s all become such a commercial, opportunist, sort of
money-driven world.”

But Peter Hook drew on the guidance of his friend and founder-manager of the nightclub, the late Tony Wilson, to suggest that all that is needed is someone willing to challenge the status quo: “Tony said, if it’s not there, let’s f*g build it. And that’s what he did.”

‘The Hacienda: The Club That Shook Britain’ will air on BBC Two at 10:15pm on Saturday 5th November.

Images courtesy of BBC

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