Review: Hacienda Classical parties at O2 Apollo before 2018 tour
| 30th November 2017
After opening Glastonbury Festival main stage in the summer and selling out around the UK, Haçienda Classical returned with a homecoming gig at the legendary 02 Apollo – and you could hear it reverberating right down the A6.
The Hacienda Classical brings together FAC 51’s original DJ partnership Graeme Park and Mike Pickering to reinterpret seminal dance classics with Manchester Camerata, executive producer Peter Hook, and musical director Tim Crooks and special guests.
Bringing together the Hacienda and the O2 Apollo added to the emotional night. For many of the crowd, these two venues featured in our first live gig and clubbing experiences.
One of the special guests at the Manchester Homecoming was Alison Limerick storming it with her classic hit Where Love Lives. Yes this was a massive classical sound and backing singers, with a Manchester and Ibiza twist – and no-one was sitting down!
Graeme and Mike could be seen waving the air behind their Apple MacBooks to crowd-pleasers such as Ultra Nate’s Free (to do what you want to do), Black Box Ride On Time, New Order’s Blue Monday and Candi Statton’s You Got The Love.
The Manchester crowd could certainly feel the love as they writhed in waves of colour and batted brightly-coloured balls in the air.
It couldn’t have stayed exactly the same as it was in the 1980s and 1990s, but reinterpreting the hits with an orchestra, live singers and backing singers has kept the kept that love alive and avoids it being merely a tribute concert.
I have been to several Hacienda events now, including the one in the car park under the flats that were built on the site where the original club was demolished, and the enthusiasm isn’t waning. Hacienda Classical sells around the country and is reaching new generations of fans, who never went to the original club before it closed in 1997.
In less than two years there have been 25 Hacienda Classical concerts around the UK, playing to audiences totalling around 150,000.
Graeme and Mike continued to party well into the night in Abode Hotel in Manchester Piccadilly at an after party hosted by Vince Vega with DJ and singer RAE on the decks.
It was the first time the Brasserie restaurant space had been converted into a venue with dance floor but it is now available for bookings – and watch out for further news on Vince’s monthly night there next year.
Tickets for Hacienda Classical dates in 2018 go on sale on Friday 1 December at 9am Hacienda-Classical-tickets
Hacienda Classical 2018 tour dates
Saturday 19 May – Braehead Arena, Glasgow
Saturday 30 June – Castlefield Bowl, Manchester
Saturday 18 August – Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh
Friday 28 September – Royal Albert Hall, London
Saturday 29 September – First Direct Arena, Leeds
Photos by Dominic Simpson, Craige Barker and Karin Albinsson.