Let's FAC the Music and Dance - Peter Hook Makes History with New Manchester Club and Venue Launch

Posted: 22nd January 2010
Peter Hook and the Light

If you don't know your Manchester history then here it is:

The recorded history of the city can be traced back to the 1st century when the Romans built a big fort on a mound and fought off the unwanted locals. It was eventually destroyed, bar a pile of stones.

In the 19th century the city became a commercial centre during the Industrial Revolution and was awarded city status. Many factories were built to meet demand though many now form part of the affluent housing stock.

In the 20th century Factory Records invested in an old yacht showroom, converted it into one of the most important club and venues North of the equator and fought off the unwanted locals - it was eventually destroyed by gangsters, bad management and excess. It was also the location of many happy times and friendships.

In 21st century Manchester, another building previously owned by Factory Records (its HQ) has been converted into, what is hoped will be, the most important club and venue North of Wilmslow. Locals definitely wanted. And, to mis-quote a previous tagline oft used by the directors of that previously important nightclub, FAC 251 must be built - the bloody thing opens in 2 weeks!

If you read Peter Hook's 'How Not to Run a Nightclub' book [check the review in the 'Related Reviews', right - Ed], you may notice that its author is not too enamored with the idea of opening another club anytime soon. So in 2010, Peter Hook is opening a new club in the old Charles Street office-building, previously occupied by his beloved and beleaguered 'employers' until 1992 when the whole ship ran aground. It all makes perfect sense of course - Peter Hook LOVES music and he knows a lot of other people who do as well, particularly 'live' music. The trouble is, it's hard to get a gig in the most important musical city in Britain, so Hook, designer Ben Kelly and Funktion One have pooled together to save a building synonymous with providing a consistent stream of talent during its heyday.

The 450-capacity venue will play host to upcoming local bands as well as the occasional DJ nights and opens on Friday 5th February with performances from Hook, Mani (Stone Roses), Rowetta (Happy Mondays/ X Factor) and Howard Marks (as The Light) plus sets of Revenge, Monaco, New Order and Joy Division songs AND new material with his Freebass project. On the 6th, Stonelove (original Hacienda indie club-night) returns with a soundtrack of 70s NYC funk and 80s Electro-pop and Hook, Shaun Ryder and Little Boots DJ sets. The full line-up for the following weeks will be published in due course.

You can be certain of one thing of course - it won't be like any other nightclub, except The Factory, the original indie club in Hulme circa '78 (only much better), The Hacienda, the original nightclub in Whitworth Street circa '82 (only much better) and run by experienced club-owners Tokyo Industries (Digital in Newcastle and Brighton being amongst their assets). I reckon they're onto a winner.

Paul Pledger