On Saturday 2nd of June The Haçienda heads home to Manchester for a night at the Albert Hall, and a standout cast of Derrick May, A Guy Called Gerald, Justin Robertson and Jon Dasilva have been enlisted to curate the musical offerings. Famous for being the club where acid house and rave grew from a spark into a forest fire, the Haçienda legacy is unquestionable, and the energy that it inspired will return once again in this latest instalment.
Few electronic musicians can boast more legendary status than Derrick May, one third of the Belleville Three credited with having invented Detroit techno back in the early 80s. Testing the waters in a new form of electronic dance music through experiments with school friends Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, May became a pioneer of the genre as well as the first calling point for future generations of techno historians, and remains a champion of the sound when playing out today. Having been at the start of the techno-revolution, his experience, knowledge and understanding of the essence of house and techno is surely surpassed by none.
Derrick may be an intimidating name to line up alongside, but Moss Side native Gerald Simpson aka A Guy Called Gerald shouldn’t be too phased. Immersed in the rich Manchester music culture at a time when Detroit and Chicago dance music was first venturing overseas, a young Gerald found himself piecing together influences from jazz, electro, reggae and the blossoming wave of house and techno, forming 808 State before his first hit single “Voodoo Ray” took Haçienda by storm and paved the way for British acid house to develop. A veteran of the scene as important to Manchester as May is to Detroit, he’s a perfect fit for a celebration of one of the city’s most famous institutions.
Also gracing Albert Hall, another Manchester hero who plied his trade at The Haçienda during its hedonistic peak, Justin Robertson will call upon a musical education stretching back to days behind the counter at Easter Bloc. Jon Dasilva, lauded by contemporaries as one of the most daring, exploratory and innovative DJs of recent decades, joins Robertson for what could well be a lesson in the balearic sounds that marked him out as a renegade of the acid house movement.
Some will feel that rising the famous Haçienda spirit is not a task to be taken lightly, but with such a distinguished list of guests to guide the journey, there should be no doubt that this night at Albert Hall will be in keeping with the very finest of Manchester’s traditions.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Prodijee