Five Times Classical Haçienda Proved The Spirit Of Madchester Is Alive And Well

What do you get if you mix a load of iconic acid house bangers with a 70-piece orchestra? Probably the best rave since 1997, that’s what. Chuck in a couple of Happy Mondays members and the best light show outside of Ibiza and there’s no end to the ‘90s carnage you’ll create. Just be prepared for sweaty, 40-something men, sticky beer-soaked floors and all the fun you can possibly handle.

We’re talking, of course, about Haçienda Classical – the Madchester throwback event curated by original Haçienda DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering, who hosted the visionary ‘Nude’ nights at the legendary Manchester club. They’ve teamed up with the Manchester Camerata orchestra to put on a night of soaring synth riffs, euphoric drops and massive tunes. We went to the Royal Albert Hall show last week, where the spirit of Madchester was definitely alive and well. Here’s five times Haçienda Classical proved it.


When they played ‘Ride On Time’ and the place went off

The Eurodance classic is a bonafide banger in every sense of the word. When it erupted last week, not a seat was in use – and judging by the clip from the Manchester Bridgewater Hall show, the same was true there. Even the people in the nosebleeds were absolutely having it. Never again will so many full pint glasses be launched across such a venerable establishment.

When Peter Hook strolled out for ‘Blue Monday

New Order’s record sales practically bankrolled The Haçienda through its 15 year existence. So it makes sense that the band’s mercurial ex-bassist – and present-day owner of the Hacienda name – should take centre stage for the band’s ultimate club anthem.


When a stage invader had a dance-off with Bez

Yup, maracas man Bez turned up for a dance. The standard ragdoll moves were whipped out, of course, but the Happy Mondays member certainly wasn’t expecting one over-enthusiastic reveller jumping up for a quick move or two.

When Shaun Ryder and Rowetta launched into ‘Hallelujah’

The king and queen of Madchester well and truly tore the arse out of this one. Sporting a bigger belly and much smarter clothes than 20 years ago, the Happy Mondays frontman still knows how to belt it out.

When one ex-90’s raver yelled “CHAA-UUUUUUNNNE” at every opportunity

And we mean EVERY opportunity. In fact, we’re pretty sure set closer ‘You’ve Got The Love’ might have permanently damaged our ear drums. Still, if you can’t beat ‘em…

Haçienda Classical will play:

SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow – April 22
Williamson Park, Lancaster – May 8
Brighton Dome, Brighton – May 20
Festival of House, Dundee – June 10
Castlefield Bowl, Manchester – July 2

You can buy tickets here.