❚ THE PRESTON-BASEDLaboratory Project is “a utopian vision” as an antidote to the reign of Simon Cowell’s production-line X-Factor performers. The label and studio aims to support artists with integrity, skill and soul to break into the music industry. A new album Taste Masters 3 is being launched tomorrow, Dec 17, at Manchester’s Fac251 venue with seven acts from the north-west promoting the album release on Jan 1.
Shapersofthe80s featured the Lab and its founder Tony Rigg when an earlier album Taste Masters 2 launched last spring, presenting Dresden, The Salford Jets, China White, Jimmy Docherty, Antistar, Super 8 Cynics … Last autumn the original album Taste Masters 1 included Drama King, Evenhand, Fez, Helvelyn 2, Osiris — both albums are still available for download.
Contemporary rock: Pangaea
The Laboratory project is promoting tomorrow’s showcase as a “World Class Live Music Event” featuring these acts:
The Hacienda today: the former nightclub’s dancefloor is a carpark beneath a block of flats. Click image to run rare video footage as Tony’s son Oliver Wilson reflects on the legacy of his father’s nightclub
❚ BIG NEWS OUT OF MANCHESTER, recently named the UK’s live music capital by the PRS. After a week or two of wrinkles comes a smart new website and the very clear announcement: “Haçienda Records is the official digital label of FAC51 The Haçienda and based exclusively at fac51thehacienda.com. Crossing all forms of indie and dance genres, the label has initially been an outlet to publish the output of Peter Hook but with the new revamp and full establishment of the label, Haçienda Records is also gearing up to release new and established artists on a monthly basis.”
❏ May 18–28, 2011 — Haçienda Records launches its new website with an exhibition of original memorabilia titled The Haçienda Then and Now, at the Richard Goodall Gallery in Manchester. Some FAC51 artworks on show are for sale at the gallery, along with original club posters.
Industrial light and magic: Ben Kelly’s design for the Haçienda interior in its heyday — plus that treacherous step onto (or off!) the dancefloor. Two views, idealised as silkscreen prints by Morph & Ben Kelly 2011, available through paulstolper.com
MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS TO PREVIEW AND PURCHASE
❏ Haçienda Records initiates a new cataloguing series that starts with HAC 001, Man Ray’s Summer 88 EP (Jan 2010). The new website contains all Man Ray and Freebass releases to date, plus Basement Jaxx, 808 State and many other Factory mixes.
❏ Man Ray’s new EP Tokyo Joe (Hac 006), released exclusively on the website, is a reworking of the version made for the opening of The Factory club in Manchester in February 2010.
❏ The Light’s debut EP 1102 /2011 is released May 16.
❏ Graeme Park, the Haçienda’s resident Saturday night deejay in the 80s, contributes a mix of classic and modern acid house and disco, as Then Haçienda Now, plus his Vinyl Fixation Vol 1.
❏ “Mancunian Rock Royalty” Hooky and Rowetta presided over world premieres of The Light’s rendition of Atmosphere and the unreleased Joy Division track Pictures In My Mind Friday on BBC 6 Music’s Radcliffe And Maconie Show, April 29.
❏ Haçienda Record’s releases for June and July are Humanizer’s This Tiny Universe EP, and Richie G’s Baum…./Titten, a double header of German and underground resistance-style instrumental techno.
Face of Factory: Steve Coogan plays Tony Wilson in the all too ironic docu-drama, 24-Hour Party People
❚ BASSIST PETER HOOK was a co-founder of the rock band Joy Division in 1976, originally named Warsaw, with vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist Bernard Sumner and drummer Stephen Morris. After the death of Curtis in 1980, the band reformed as New Order. Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures, was released in 1979 on Tony Wilson’s nascent label Factory Records, the story of which became the most priceless rollercoaster ride in UK rock history. The label attracted a roster of idiosyncratic acts, plus luminous talents such as graphic designer Peter Saville and architect Ben Kelly who created the landmark nightclub the Hacienda, which opened 29 years ago next Saturday, dubbed with its product number FAC51, and with Hook as co-owner. All are parodied in Michael Winterbottom’s 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, and some feature in Anton Corbijn’s 2007 film Control about the life of Curtis.
In 2009 Hook told the tale of FAC51, in The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, in a very personal memoir of the 80s which is far sadder, funnier, scarier and stranger than anyone could imagine. The Sunday Times Culture review called him “a born anecdotalist”. i-D has an interview here. In 2010, Hook opened a new venue in Manchester, FAC251, in the former office of Factory Records designed by Kelly. This week the digital record label follows.
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MORE INTERESTING THAN MOST PEOPLE’S FANTASIES — THE SWINGING EIGHTIES 1978-1984
They didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did.
“I’d find people at the Blitz who were possible only in my imagination. But they were real” — Stephen Jones, hatmaker, 1983. (Illustration courtesy Iain R Webb, 1983)
“The truth about those Blitz club people was more interesting than most people’s fantasies” — Steve Dagger, pop group manager, 1983
“See David Johnson’s fabulously detailed website Shapers of the 80s to which I am hugely indebted” – Political historian Dominic Sandbrook, in his book Who Dares Wins, 2019
“The (velvet) goldmine that is Shapers of the 80s” – Verdict of Chris O’Leary, respected author and blogger who analyses Bowie song by song at Pushing Ahead of the Dame
“The rather brilliant Shapers of the 80s website” – Dylan Jones in his Sweet Dreams paperback, 2021
A UNIQUE HISTORY
➢ WELCOME to the Swinging 80s ➢ THE BLOG POSTS on this front page report topical updates ➢ ROLL OVER THE MENU at page top to go deeper into the past ➢ FOR NEWS & MONTH BY MONTH SEARCH scroll down this sidebar
❏ Header artwork by Kat Starchild shows Blitz Kids Darla Jane Gilroy, Elise Brazier, Judi Frankland and Steve Strange, with David Bowie at centre in his 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes
VINCENT ON AIR 2022
✱ Deejay legend Robbie Vincent returned to JazzFM on Sundays 1-3pm in 2021… Catch Robbie’s JazzFM August Bank Holiday 2020 session thanks to AhhhhhSoul with four hours of “nothing but essential rhythms of soul, jazz and funk”.
SEARCH our 800 posts or ZOOM DOWN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX
UNTOLD BLITZ STORIES
✱ If you thought there was no more to know about the birth of Blitz culture in 1980 then get your hands on a sensational book by an obsessive music fan called David Barrat. It is gripping, original and epic – a spooky tale of coincidence and parallel lives as mind-tingling as a Sherlock Holmes yarn. Titled both New Romantics Who Never Were and The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet! Sample this initial taster here at Shapers of the 80s
CHEWING THE FAT
✱ Jawing at Soho Radio on the 80s clubland revolution (from 32 mins) and on art (@55 mins) is probably the most influential shaper of the 80s, former Wag-club director Chris Sullivan (pictured) with editor of this website David Johnson
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