Tag Archives: Peter Hook

➤ Ex-Blitz Kid Rusty Egan and friends dress 80s electro-pop in brilliant new clothes

Welcome to the Dancefloor, Rusty Egan, electro-pop, Blitz Kids, New Romantic, EDM, synthesisers,

Egan deejaying at Tramp this week: a nightclub launch for Welcome to the Dancefloor

AFTER FIVE YEARS OF BLAGGING, and five years of feuding with former collaborators, 80s Blitz Club deejay Rusty Egan’s own “electro-diskow” album, Welcome to the Dancefloor, amounts to a superb sonic landmark. He and his guest performers engage an impressive range of emotions by dramatically humanising the potential starkness many associate with electronica.

Welcome to the Dancefloor
Rusty Egan

Spookily, their energy rockets us immediately into that vast clean stereo soundscape that uniquely defined the new music of 1980. Here synthesiser chords are stretched and layered and cracked like a whip, as if by an invisible hand in another time and space, which of course was precisely the sound of London clubland when its youth culture erupted as a volcano of creativity. The album’s pacey opening track finds ex-New Order’s Peter Hook on The Other Side spinning through the Milky Way, his thin 80s vocal style querulous and wistful, yet poppily optimistic.

That era did after all abandon the overpowering noise of the rock stadium and the punk nihilists to celebrate a return to melodious singing voices and to arch lyrics meant for listening, while synthesisers defined a fresh musical ambience. Inexperienced young artists unsure about their singing ability half shouted, half vocodered their limited vocal range to re-imagine their teenage dreams on a different planet.

Egan’s collaborators: click any pic below to launch slideshow

While Egan has carefully selected 13 tracks reflecting the wide spectrum of synth possibilities, half are love songs in the spirit of the 80s generation who were dubbed by the press New Romantics. Nevertheless he has created a consummate showcase for electronic music, co-produced by Nick Bitzenis (aka Nikonn). He has had a hand in writing a majority of the songs, many co-written with Chris Payne (of Fade to Grey fame), these being subsequently endorsed and expressed by a handful of starry friends such as Midge Ure and Tony Hadley on tracks of their own.

Despite its title, this is not dance music that the funk nation would groove to. Laying down a dominant 4-4 beat is not conducive to free-form movement unless you think you’re Tik or Tok. Exceptions include Egan’s own pulsating title track with robo vocals as if by Stephen Hawking and knowing breaks parodying Tenek and the Human League; also the nippy number Hero, which gains spiritual resonance from Andy Huntley’s richly textured delivery.

➢ Listen online to Welcome to the Dancefloor
track by track

The stand-out track is Midge Ure’s transformation of an Egan/Payne song titled Glorious. He rewrote lyrics and melody so as to construct one magnificent crescendo filled with space and tension reminiscent of “Ohhhhh, Vienna!” A close second for reconjuring the authentic 80s is Egan’s own Wunderwerke, driven by his Trans-Europe vocals through classic synth sweeps, hypnotic repeats and bass stabs. Third comes Erik Stein on the astonishingly contemplative Ballet Dancer, basking in a wonderful waterfall of synths.

Like Brexit, Tony Hadley *is* Tony Hadley and here (without the Ballet) on the coltish lovesong Lonely Highway he canters to the top of a whole new hill as a crooner. What distinguishes this album is that it’s awash with affecting lyrics and fine voices to listen to in the name of electro pop – among the gentlest are Be The Man featuring the gorgeous inflections of Kira Porter; Nicole Clarke’s ethereal contribution to Love Can Conquer All; and Love Is Coming My Way, a second number from the silken-voiced Stein.

And just wait for the Chariots of Fire finale: Egan’s intensely personal track, Thank You, which unleashes a shock of the best kind. To describe more would be to spoil a gifted idea. It is emotional and all too evidently sincere. Thank you, Rusty.

Welcome to the Dancefloor, Rusty Egan, electro-pop, Blitz Kids, New Romantics, EDM, synthesisers,

Rusty Egan: co-producer, co-writer and much else – has created a landmark album in Welcome to the Dancefloor

➢ Pre-order Welcome To The Dancefloor as 180g vinyl LP and CD variants, plus bonus mixes, at Pledge Music. – All pledges immediately receive MP3 downloads of the album, with the physical products promised by Rusty Egan “once we reach a target” (unspecified). At worst, PledgeMusic clearly says it “will refund you if the Artist doesn’t reach their target”.

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
1980, First sighting of the Blitz Kids


2011 ➤ The ghosts of Fac and Hac walk tall again

Hacienda, Manchester, clubbing, Tony Wilson, Peter Hook, Factory Records

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.

Ben Kelly, Hacienda club, Manchester, clubbing, Peter Hook

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


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.

FAC 51, The Haçienda, record label, Factory Records, Hacienda club, Peter Hook❏ 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.

Artists who wish to send material for consideration
should e-mail artists [at] fac51thehacienda.com


24-Hour Party People, Michael Winterbottom,Factory Records, movie trailer,

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.

Peter Hook,The Hacienda, How Not to Run a Club,paperbackIn 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.

➢ Peter Hook’s own website