Published Jan 14, 2010Manchester musicians are nothing if not loyal to the place that raised them. The city has a much-celebrated musical legacy, and its evolution from punk to new wave to rave was documented in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People.
Bassist Peter Hook has played a pivotal role in the city's musical history, as he was a founding member of both Joy Division and New Order. What's more, he was reportedly one of the 42 audience members present at the Sex Pistols' notorious 1976 performance at the Lesser Free Trade Hall (also present: Morrissey, "Mr. Manchester" Tony Wilson, members of the Buzzcocks and the Fall).
As a way of celebrating Manchester's rich musical history, Hook has purchased one of its most important landmarks: the old offices of Factory Records, the iconic label that was home to Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays, among others. Hook is turning the office building into a live music venue called FAC251: The Factory, which is set to open on February 5.
In an interview with BBC 6, Hook said, "The thing that appealed to me was the propagation of music, bringing through new groups, because I think that new bands in Manchester are getting used and abused a little bit."
This isn't Hook's first foray into the nightclub business. As a member of New Order, he was a part owner of the Haçienda, which was the epicentre of the Madchester scene, and was named by Newsweek as the most famous club in the world. Despite its fame, the Haçienda struggled financially. This time around, Hook hopes to make better business decisions. "The idea is that we try and keep some of the ethos, the heritage and attitude, and do it in a business manner," he explained.
To celebrate the opening of the venue, Hook revealed that he will be performing a musical tribute to, er, himself. "I've put a band together and we're going to do a bit of a retrospective of my career for the first night, one set long, right the way through from Joy Division, bit of New Order. We're playing a bit of Freebase - Mani [Gary Mounfield] is playing with us, and we're going to do some Revenge and Monaco. I've been in a few bands, unfortunately."