The legendary Hacienda club needs little introduction. Right at the heart of “Madchester” and the rise of acid house, The Hacienda’s short life will forever go down in clubbing and music culture history. 2012 has marked the 30th Anniversary of The Hacienda and the most recent addition to the celebrations comes in the form of “Hacienda 30 : Leeds” a special one off party featuring Frankie Knuckles and a whole host of Hacienda regulars.
In headliner Frankie Knuckles, you have a true legend of the scene. A guy who has been instrumental since the seventies at The Warehouse, Chicago fusing disco with electro and eventually the beginnings of house becoming synonymous with hits like “baby Wants To ride, “Rainfalls”, “Your Love” amongst many others. Frankie will be supplying a 4 hour extended set in Mint warehouse’s main room, one not to be missed. Room 2 will be hosted by Bez and his infamous ‘Bez’s Acid House’ - an experience usually saved for Glastonbury with support in the main room coming from Hacienda regulars and two highly respected selectors, Graeme Park and Allister Whitehead.
We caught up with Graeme this week ahead of the big celebrations and talked Frankie Knuckles, his recent gig in Israel, Movember and more.
A few weeks back, you played at The Block in Israel. What was that like?
Amazing! Such an incredible venue with an awesome sound system and a unique customised mixer. I wish there was a Block in the UK. The crowd are wonderful too.
Can you remember your first gig at The Hacienda? What was it like?
My first gig at The Hac was in February 1988 when Mike Pickering and I put on The Northern House Review to showcase his Deconstruction label and my Submission label. His band T-Coy performed live as did my band Groove. It was a midweek and we invited loads of journalists and magazines up from London to showcase the burgeoning Northern house scene. It was a raging success and four months later I was covering the Fridays on my own while Mike went on holiday. I stayed for eight years!
Over the years you have become synonymous with The Hacienda. Besides Hacienda parties, what are your favourite parties to play now?
The Sub Club in Glasgow is always amazing when I do my annual Christmas Cracker. Scotland's Colours parties are always incredible too.
On Saturday, you’ll be joined by the legend that is Frankie Knuckles. Have you any memories from Frankie playing The Hacienda?
Frankie is my favourite DJ ever. He's such an inspiration! His set at the Haçienda's 10th birthday party was incredible. I can't wait to hear him on Saturday.
Many DJs who have been in the game a long time, including yourself, are often keen not to be thought of as ‘classics‘ DJs. What new producers and labels are you in to at the moment?
I love Italy's NiCe7 and adore everything that Lost My Dog Records release.
How has the production side of things been going recently?
I'm very busy with my ongoing Yellow & Black Project. Look out for an EP of original material early next year as well as collaborations with the amazing folk/blues singer/songwriter Karima Francis and a whole host of Yellow & Black remixes too. More details of these and other stuff from http://thisisgraemepark.com
Today, you’re busy playing all over the globe. How will your approach to Saturday’s set differ to that of your other sets? for instance you set last month in Israel.
I never know what I'm going to play until I get to the venue. Yes, I may have a rough idea in my head but too much planning can backfire. I have no idea what kind of vibe Frankie Knuckles will create or what he'll play either. I'll take everything and call on my 28 years of experience to try and read the crowd and make everyone smile. That's pretty much how I approach every gig. However there will be one major difference to normal gigs. As I'm taking part in this years Movember campaign, I'll be DJing with a 10 day old ‘tache. But hopefully that won’t get in the way of my eclectic selection of big classics and forgotten tunes as well as some obscure ones too. If you’d like to support my Movember campaign please visit http://mobro.co/djgraemepark
30 Years of FAC 51 – The Hacienda
Saturday 10th November
Mint Warehouse, Leeds
Frankie Knuckles (4hr set)
Bez (Happy Mondays)
Malcom We Love
Ticket Arena – Lowest Priced Tickets
Article by Alex Ogilvie
Images courtesy of Graeme Park and Ticket Arena