With New Order away in Ibiza recording “Technique”, the band album that was to set the scene for acid house’s “Fine Time” later that year, back at The Haçienda homestead things were seen to be developing nicely although without the benefit of hindsight, no one could really have predicted the seminal, era defining summer which lay in store.
With regular nights at the club busy and the image of The Haçienda as an empty ish former Yacht showroom at the end of Whitworth Street was fast becoming buried as the club increasingly became one of the UK’s if not the world’s most high profile venues.
Aside from Zumbar, there were fewer live gigs than previous years as FAC51 concentrated on the emerging dance music strains which were set to take over the world. Nude with Mike Pickering and Martin Prendergast was continuing to lay down the blueprints for the scene, the diverse Wide combined funk soul and house on a Saturday and the forthcoming indie dance cross over was prefaced by the first appearances of Temperance Club with Dave Haslam at the venue.
Yet if one night continued to define The Haçienda’s eclecticism it was Zumbar’s continuing run as its cabaret and vaudeville influences mixed comedy, fashion. LGBT+ chic and some cutting edge live acts in what many see as FAC51’s most artistic night of the period.
Over its six months occupying the Wednesday night Zumbar welcomed Dollar, Ruthless Rap Assassins, Kiss AMC, White Dove, Frank Sidebottom, The Amazing Orchante, Brookside’s Jimmy Corkhill, The Wee Papa Girl Rappers and ended its illumintating and influential run on 29th June.
As Spring became Summer, as acid house established it grip on both club and the imaginations of the nation’s youth, early tracks such as Sleezy D’s “I’ve Lost Control” and Phuture’s “Acid Trax” became the template for the new movement.
February’s Northern House Revue at Nude with live apparances’s from T-Coy, T-Cut and Groove, featuring Graeme Park in his first performance for the club.
With The Haçienda becoming cited in the media as the Northern pivot for what was to become termed the Second Summer Of Love, whilst Shoom and Future showcased the sounds in London, Nude welcome Kid N Play in early May in a high profile booking but it was the establishment of Hot on Wednesdays from July.
Short lived but absolutely seminal, Hot was year zero for the new movement in many ways. From there everything changed. Jon Dasilva and Mike Pickering took charge of a balearic infused acid house night which saw striped podiums at the club for the first time and attracted a country wide crowd including Glasgow’s Slam and Liverpool’s James Baillie all of whom were later to set up their own clubs.
As Ecstacy also hit the scene, although not as widely in later years and Graeme Park who returned in August to deputise for Mike in his first holiday since 1982 described the difference as “quite amazing. There was really something exciting starting to happen.”
Meanwhile Mike observed “When Ecstacy hit it was like a Mexican wave that swept through the club over a three week period. I could just stop a record and put my hands in the air, and the place would erupt. The whole club would explode.”
Hot would run for just the summer but has passed into legend. A few events to the end of the year saw the infamous Victoria Baths party in November and the last Hot in December but the influence of the night would remain over FAC51 for many years.
With all this activity at the club, New Order had long decamped from Ibiza to Real World Studios in Bath (itself the scene of a legendary out of town Haçienda event in the summer) and finished Technique which was released in the Autumn to widespread acclaim as the harbinger of the new scene.
Fall also saw the Peter Hook produced “Elephant Stone” by The Stone Rose and “Bummed” by Happy Mondays released as Manchester’s bands continued their ascent across the world.
New Order and The Mondays were to combine with ACR for the now legendary 17th December G-Mex concert and the equally legendary Disorder after party at the club where Creation’s Alan McGee became a dance music convert overnight.
After a great year for The Haçienda, the Christmas nights were exceptional and as Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, Jon Dasilva and Dave Haslam brought in New Year, The Haçienda’s standing had never been higher.