As the second full year of FAC 51’s Whitworth Street tenure began, the management reshuffle saw Ginger’s departure and the commencement of what became known as “the committee years” as Mike Pickering handled booking and nights, Ellie Gray took care of PR and Penny Henry looked after the staff and special events. With reference to The Hacienda’s time honoured socialistic principles, all changes were put to a staff vote such as raising bar and door prices and Tony Wilson was later to refer to the period with a salutary epithet, “committees achieve nothing”.

Despite continuing levels of artistic creativity and musical diversity, The Haçienda remained in the doldrums financially. No longer the newest club in town and still beset by problems with the overspend and brewery deal related to the opening, Penny Henry remembers a regular activity of dodging the bailiffs being. Nonetheless The Haçienda continued to break new and upcoming artists, local, national and in the case of one soon to be international megastar, global. More of her later.

For the array of live acts performing at the club in ’84, the year marked a move away from the more post punk elements of the early Eighties as the major bands of the decade and the pre C86 generation began to break through alongside the acts on the touring circuit and the Hac’s innovative recruitment of legendary musical mavericks for special concerts. Reading the list back now, it seems unfathomable that the nights failed to sell out but such are the pitfalls for trailblazers. In short, back in ‘84 you could have seen Burning Spear, ACR (twice), Prefab Sprout (twice), The Cramps (twice – one sell out), Dead Or Alive (twice), Thomas Dolby, Spear Of Destiny (top of the 84 leaderboard with three separate appearances), Julian Cope, Orange Juice (twice), Grandmaster Flash, another Nic Cave visit, this time with the Cavemen, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions (twice), The Fall, The Go Betweens, Pete Shelley, Johnny Thunders, The Cult, Afrika Bambaata, Bronski Beat, New Model Army, The Cult, Lee Perry & The Upsetters and The Durutti Column with a full orchestra.

Yet beyond that majestic mix of live acts, the headline grabbing booking of The Haçienda’s 1984 had to be the debut performance of Madonna for the first time outside New York. More by luck than judgement as is often the case, Channel 4’s The Tube were looking to do an outside broadcast and Anthony H blagged producer Malcolm Gerrie into doing it at The Hacienda. Probably a less legendary event for those who were actually at the club in the late afternoon / early evening than for those who tuned in, nevertheless the broadcast and performances have passed into Manchester music myth. Some snippets. Madge, unknown outside the New York club scene at the time was booked as a favour to her then boyfriend Danceteria DJ Mark Kamins who was a friend and inspiration to the club and duly levered into the show’s running order. Her set was meant to only consist of “Holiday” but upon demanding two songs, The Jazz Defektors got bumped from their slot, something they have complained about for years, especially since they were “better dancers than her”. Rob Gretton, with a sharp eye for talented young ladies, offered her fifty quid to perform at the club that night and received a curt “fuck off” for his troubles. 

Many years later Tony W smoothly found himself opposite the aforementioned Ms Ciccone at dinner and having summoned up immense nerve reminded her of her debut Hacienda gig. She coldly dismissed him, as notably she had Rob, claiming “my memory appears to have wiped that”. Still thankfully she was never to amount to much, it was all downhill for her after that Hacienda appearance, and she was never to reach the same heights again.

One of the other Tube live bands that evening was “The Factory All-Stars” which brought together Bernard Sumner, Donald Johnson, Vini Reilly and other such record company cohorts. They were to return to the club for the second birthday party, taking place May 21st 1984 two years precisely to the day since the club flung open its doors.

Meanwhile during the year, the clubbing revolution which was to take hold later in the decade was taking shape. The Visits of New York breakdance artist Whodini with sets of dancers to John Tracey’s No Funk night in March was a harbinger for the growing rap and electro scene. Although Greg Wilson had retired from DJing at the start of 84 to concentrate on managing hip hop group Broken Glass, the sounds took an increasing firm hold of the FAC51 floor throughout the year and culminated in the launch of Mike Pickering’s celebrated and long running “Nude” Friday night residency on October 19th 1984. With a soundtrack of rap, soul, Motown, Salsa, electro, early hip hop and other such flavours, Nude was to set the bar for the burgeoning scene and attracted a new, more working class crowd to the club. No longer merely the preserve of Face reading fashion victims, Nude brought scallies, perry boys and commoners into the club along with a more black music crowd. Both Mike Pickering and Rob Gretton were delighted at this, the extension of the Hacienda’s audience and Friday’s soon became a major and highly successful night, although some of the staff and Factory Records devotees turned their noses up at what they termed as “déclassé” elements entering the club.

So onto The Haçienda’s second Christmas. John Tracey’s Tuesday “The End” had been the most successful night prior to Nude but lost its crowd when it was cancelled for a week to make way for an Elvis Costello gig, a salient lesson learnt by the club who never bumped again a successful club night for an artist.  Yet December’s main nights were pared off between Nude and a two part gig by The Jazz Defektors, making up for their Tube mishap at the start of the year whilst future Haçienda promoter Paul Cons made his debut at the club as a model at charity fashion show “Style In Our Time” earlier that month. 

So while financially still under the cosh, all in all a fairly good year for FAC51 as the first signs of the club’s future direction appeared within The Haçienda. The club had taken the plunge, not drowned yet and thanks to the largesse and laissez faire financial attitudes of Factory Records and Gainwest, was more than treading water, even if the flood of losses was far from being stemmed.

A change of management for FAC 51 The Hacienda as Howard Jones left. Mike Pickering took care of the programming and booking, Ellie Gray was in charge of PR and Penny Henry looked after staff and events.

Tue 3rd The End (John Tracey, Suzanne from the Hacienda’s kitchen)

Wed 4th – Club Night with DJ Hewan Clarke

Fri 6th – Easterhouse

Sat 7th –  Disco with DJ John Tracey

Fri 13thA Certain Ratio

Fri 20th- The Wake, Del Amitri

Wed 25th – Kitchenware Records Live with Prefab Sprout, The Daintees

Fri 27thThe Tube Live : The Factory All Stars, Marcel King, The Jazz Defektors, Breaking Glass and Madonna in her UK TV debut.

The Hacienda gets on Channel 4 and Madonna gets her big break, courtesy of FAC51 pal and her then boyfriend, DJ Mark Kamins

Wed 1st  – The Chiefs of Relief (ex Bow Wow Wow)

Thu 2nd  –  Reggae night

Fri 10thBurning Spear, Spartacus R

Wed 15thThe Cramps, Playn Jayn

Wed 22nd – City Fun benefit with Membranes, Tools You Can Trust

Thu 23rdDead or Alive

Fri 24thThomas Dolby, Dekka Dance

Tues 28th – Spear Of Destiny

Fri 2ndDebris presents My American Wife

Wed 7thCook da Books

Fri 9thHewan’s Party with DJ Hewan Clarke

Sat 10thWhodini with DJ John Tracey and a whole host of New York breakdancers and rappers

Fri 16thThe Lotus Eaters

Thu 22ndJulian Cope

Fri 23rdJohnny Thunders and the Original Heartbreakers

Wed 28thReflex

Thu 29thThe Rochdale Performers Collective presents The Three Johns with live painting by Terry Duffy

Fri 30thOrange Juice, The Go-Betweens

Tue 3rdThe End

Fri 6thThe Chameleons

Wed 11thGrandmaster Flash

Fri 13thXmal Deutschland

Thu 19thNick Cave and the Cavemen

Thu 26thSpear of Destiny, The Shillelagh Sisters

Thu 3rdPrefab Sprout, Hurrah

Fri 11thDead or Alive

Thu 17thFashion show

Fri 18thPrince Charles and the City Beat Band

Mon 21stSecond Birthday with Factory All Stars and guests

Wed 23rdThe Cramps

Wed 30thMary Wilson

Fri 1stPaul Haig, Lloyd Cole & the Commotions

Tue 5thCabaret Voltaire

Sat 9thPA by Sharron Redd

Thurs 14th – Play Dead

Wed 20thThe Bluebells; Friends Again

Thu 21stKing with fashion show

Fri 15th“Funky Tunes & Half Price Booze” since Afrika Bambaata had cancelled.

Fri 22ndA Certain Ratio

Mon 25thAubrey’s Birthday Party

Fri 29thThe Fall, Life

Wed 4thNew York Night  

Thu 12thThe Go-Betweens, Microdisney

Thu 19thPete Shelley

Fri 20thZeke Manyika (ex Orange Juice), Colour Code

Fri 27thJonathan Richman

Fri 10thSection 25

Mon 13th – “From The North – FAC 121” – A residency of one week at London’s Riverside Studios with Factory bands, Hacienda videos, Peter Saville design and Hacienda hairdressers Swing all down in London.

Fri 17thSalty Sea Dogs Birthday Thing

Tue 21stThe Hometown Gig (4 Local Bands with a 30 minute set each)

Thu 23rdEasterhouse, James

Wed 29th  – Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, Marc Riley

Tue 4thThe Hometown Gig Number 2 (four more local bands)

Wed 5thSection 25

Thu 13thThe Cult

Wed 19thFreddy McGregor, General Smiley

Thu 20thLloyd Cole & the Commotions

Thu 27thWorking Week

Tue 2nd The Hometown Gig 

Thu 4th Afrika Bambaataa (rescheduled from 15 June)

Thu 11th Everything But the Girl

Fri 12th Nude Night (The start of Mike Pickering’s seminal Friday night which was to continue until October 1990. Mike was joined on the decks by DJ Andrew Berry)

Sat 13th – Hacienda’s Hot Night with DJ Hewan Clarke 

Tue 16thThe Hometown Gig 

Thu 18thThe Fall (rescheduled from October 25)

Fri 19thNude Night with DJ Mike Pickering & Andrew Berry

Sat 20th – Hot Night with DJ Hewan Clarke

Tue 23rdThe Hometown Gig

Fri 26thThe Gun Club

Sat 27thHot with DJ Hewan Clarke

Wed 31stBronski Beat

Thu 1st New Model Army

Fri 2nd Nude Night with DJ Mike Pickering & Andrew Berry

Mon 5th – Psychic TV

Tues 6th –  Communal Drop

Wed 7th Orange Juice

Fri 9th Nude Night with DJ Mike Pickering & Andrew Berry

Thu 15th – Alien Sex Fiend

Fri 16thNude Night with DJ Mike Pickering & Andrew Berry

Sat 17thCircus Circus  

Tue 20thThe Hometown Gig 

Wed 21stMarch Violets, Inca Babies

Thu 22ndNude Night with Mike Pickering, Andrew Berry and featuring Nasty’s Mime Act

Fri 23rdThe English Menswear Collection

Wed 28th – The Kane Gang


Tue 4th- Spear of Destiny

Wed 5th – The Mighty Wah!

Thu 6th – Style In our Time (Hair/Fashion Event), The Jazz Defektors, Frankie’s Angels

(Notably future Hacienda PR and Flesh promoter Paul Cons was one of the models at this event)

Fri 7thNude Lock Out Night with DJ’s Mike Pickering & Andrew Berry

Sat 8thDanceteria Comes to the Hacienda with DJ Mark Kamins

Tue 11thThe Year’s Best of ‘The Hometown Gig’ (four local bands performed)

Wed 12thDurutti Column with The Riverside Orchestra

Thu 13thLee Perry & The Upsetters