21 Jan 2010
Music, not bars 
Hooky spoke passionately today at the FAC251 press launch of the reasoning and intentions behind his involvement in the reinvention of the former Factory Records head office as a live music venue and nightclub:

"Rob (Gretton) and Tony (Wilson) always used to say that we had to give back something into music. As a music lover, I couldn't say no. I want to give Manchester musicians a place to play."

Alongside Hooky in (what was once) the top floor boardroom, his partner in the (ad)venture, Aaron Mellor, revealed a bizarre twist of fate wherein a similar dramatic fall in property values that caused the loss of the building originally, has provided both the opportunity for the building to be redeployed - the previous owners having abandoned their plans for redevelopment of the site due to the current recession - and the availability of designer-in-chief Ben Kelly to 're-explore' the original design - Urban Splash having put 'on hold' their Kelly-to-be-designed Stubbs Mill apartment project (ring any bells?).

On running a club second time around Hook said: "I was always amazed that Factory had more accountants than bands. Whenever the Hacienda ran out of money, New Order would record another album. Even Aaron will have a problem making that happen! This time round I have 15 nightclubs to ruin!"

When asked if there were any plans to repurchase Dry Bar, Hook declined. "My interest is in live music, not bars."

Also in attendance, Freebass co-conspirator Mani likened FAC251 to the spirit of the original Factory nights at the Russell/PSV club rather than the Hacienda. "Although there will be a cheeky wink to the past, this will be more about the future. We want to give a chance to the next generation and say 'go take it'".

"Let's get to work."

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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