Temperance Club 1986…

Thursday Night @ The Hacienda during the late ’80s

Dave Haslam scored a success at The Hacienda in Spring 1986 with The Temperance Club, a Thursday night disco which was designed specifically to appeal to students.

Loads of local sixth formers went (especially over the summer when the other students were away) and the name had particular significance for those of Irish descent, who were familiar with the real Temperance movement and the pressure to ‘take the pledge’ (not to drink alcohol.)

Temperance succeeded largely because it was cheap, it was properly advertised using straight-forward posters and flyers left in the right places (like Afflecks Palace) and a playlist was published in advance so people knew what to expect.

I have always assumed that Dave Haslam took the initiative with the publicity although I have no proof of this. Having produced a successful indie fanzine for several years (Debris) I’m guessing he understood how to reach the indie audience in Manchester better than the Factory-heads, who all lived in a bit of a bubble, or so it seemed at the time.

There was a mix of music at Temperance; the sound of traditional indie guitar bands like The Smiths, The Wedding Present and Orange Juice alternated with electronic indie music like New Order, ACR and music from the On-U Sound label. The electronic music was a good match for the style of the interior – industrial, hard edged and uncompromising – although the sounds distorted badly because of the terrible acoustics.

Sub-Culture by New Order in particular sounded great even with all the echoes…

New Order – Sub-Culture 12″ (1985)

There is something almost religious-sounding about this song; it’s like a Bach fugue with drumbeats played on a monstrous church organ, echoing round a space as big as a cathedral.

Hearing this takes me back to those days when The Hacienda was half-full, standing on the balcony, with a can of Breaker in my hand (held near the top so as not to make the beer warm) soaking up this record as it bounced off the walls… I felt so lucky to be there!

Other striking songs from that time were:

Time Zone (Afrika Bambaataa & John Lydon) – World Destruction (1984)

Tackhead (Adrian Sherwood) – Mind At The End Of The Tether (1985)

I had forgotten just how dark this stuff was! There are so many references to the end of the world!

Age Of Chance – Kiss (1986)

Ciccone Youth (Sonic Youth) – Into The Groove(y) (1986)

Big Audio Dynamite – Sambadrome (1986)

Fats Comet (Adrian Sherwood) – Rockchester (1986)

I heard the last track over and over again in The Hacienda during 1986 but it wasn’t until I heard it played on the sound system at the Archway club (now The Brickhouse) without all the echoes that I realised how good it was and went out and bought it.

There were also some wildcard songs on the playlist like for instance:

Jimmy Castor – Hey Leroy

Temperance Club went on for years, but I can’t comment on how the music policy developed because I stopped going regularly. Dave Haslam took over Saturday nights with Dean Johnson in the Autumn of ’86 – Wide Night - and I started going to that instead. I suppose I assumed that DJ Hedd (Dave Haslam) would play his newest records at both nights so I didn’t expect to miss out!

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1 Comment

  1. I went to the Temperance night at the Hacienda from 1988 to 1990. My first week at Manchester Poly I went in on my own as the 2 girls I was with bottled it at the door. I was determined to go in as going to this club was part of why I went to the city. It is hard to appreciate it now how outstanding the Hacienda was. A huge industrial space is common place now, but then it was like walking onto a film set. The plastic strips that hung over the entrance to the main space that you had to push through first. Then the projection screens either side of the stage, & the fact punters could dance on the stage, all added tot he spectacle. The tunes that really struck me then were the original version of the Happy Monday’s Wrote For Luck (which had just come out) was a psychedelic monster, which, if I remember correctly was always followed by the Stooge’s I Wanna Be Your Dog, closely followed by Rob Base & DJ EZ Roc’s It Takes Two. The Temperance night was so important in fueling a more varied type of indie night that generated the cross-over that exploded over the next two or three years. I particularly remember though coming back in late summer of 1990 & the variety had disappeared. It had become a dance night. I think that is what Steve Coogan as Tony Wilson in 24 Hour Party People, refers to in the scene where the gangster doorman (played by Paul Ryder) comes in to get his money, & Wilson meekly suggests putting on a Temperance night but gets short thrift.

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