How not to run a club

Some things are so great that they live beyond their years. They become more than stories. They become the things of legends. The best of these legends are what happen on that perfect (or disastrous) night out.

Peter Hook’s Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club is the biography of Manchester’s infamous club. Hook is best known for playing bass in Joy Division and New Order, as well as now running the FAC251, continuing the story of dance in Manchester. The club had its rise during Manchester, and its fall during Gunchester – a time filled with gun violence and gangs.

For the first few years of the club’s existence, they only seemed to succeed in live gigs. The sound was pretty shit, but some really fantastic bands walked through those now iconic doors. The FAC51 website has several of these shows online to watch for free. But the shining years at the Hacienda was after they ditched the bands and took on the DJs. Madchester was born in absolute brilliance. Acid house is definitely an acquired taste, but it was the right time for a new immersion of dance and rock music.

It can be difficult to decide if the stories from Hook is fact or fiction, but that’s half the fun. Reading Hacienda is like hearing stories of the war from your grandfather. Fact can be stranger (or just funnier) than fiction. Hook is not the most likeable of narrators, but that’s possibly the strength of this book. There’s a sense of listening to a man sitting in a pub reliving the golden years. His stories might sound like tall tales, but he captures your attention with every word.

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