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Peter Hook on the Hacienda’s legacy: “It was a home for Manchester music”

The New Order and all round Manchester legend on the Hacienda's lasting legacy

By Nick Reilly

Crowds at the Hacienda (Picture: BBC)

As Manchester’s legendary Hacienda nightclub turns 40, legendary ex New Order bassist Peter Hook has reflected on the club’s role in shaping British music.

The influential nightclub opened in an old Manchester warehouse in 1982 and shaped British culture until its eventual closure in 1997. Run by Factory Records, it gave birth to the rave moment and acid house scene that would sweep the country and eventually the continent.

“Its legacy comes in just how many clubs it went onto influence,” Hooky tells Rolling Stone UK.

The legendary Mancunian is now a leading voice on new BBC documentary The Hacienda: The Club that Shook Britain.

“In my mind, it provided the perfect home for like minded people to go and party together. If the New Romantics had their own space in London, then the Hacienda was ours. It was a place where Factory Records acts could meet up, and it eventually became a home for Manchester music.”

Situated in a semi-dilapidated warehouse on Manchester’s Whitworth St West, the club was the brainchild of Factory Records – who bought the venue’s empty shell and enlisted designer Ben Kelly to turn it into a successful nightclub.

While that success translated into huge queues who waited outside the venue every weekend, as Hooky recalls, its emotional impact last far longer in the memory.

Peter Hook (Picture: BBC)

“It’s hard to explain what this club meant to people until it shut,” Hooky recalls.

“We were obviously known for the huge parties, but we’d have people coming into celebrate their engagements, weddings and then come back to celebrate their children being born. It mean a huge deal to people.”

Still, the venue’s success would eventually turn out to be something of its undoing. Dance music’s hand-in-hand association with drugs meant that the good times turned sour in the late 1980s as Manchester’s drug gangs began muscling in on the venue.

“I remember one time someone radio’d up to me and said ‘Hooky, there’s a guy down here chasing security with an Uzi’. The only trouble is that I was too far gone to do anything about it!”

The venue eventually closed its doors in 1997 due to financial difficulties, but the memories live long in Hooky’s memory.

“Every Saturday night at the Hacienda was unlike anything else. It had its faults, but at its peak it really was the best place to be. If I could go back anywhere, it would be there.”