112-118 Princess Street, Manchester, United Kingdom
0161 272 7251
Fac251 Manchester Reviews
Fac251 Jun 02, 2010
Fac251 (aka The Factory) is a new-ish club and live venue in the former offices of Factory Records, near the student part of Manchester. And Factory Records is as much a part of the history of Manchester as the cotton mills were.
I will try – really hard – not to spend this entire review talking about the finer points of Manchester’s music history, but it is important to know that Factory was the label behind the most influential bands in Manchester’s musical history (perhaps most famously the legendary Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays) but the Hacienda nightclub, and according to an exhibition I saw in Urbis once, a major component in revitalising Manchester as a city. The Hacienda was also part owned by Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, who has now opened Fac251.
Not that Fac251 is trying to recreate the hacienda – that would be silly, considering that its heyday was 20 years ago and most of the people who really went to the hacienda (as opposed to those who tell you they went but almost certainly were too young) are now married with kids. It is a new club, and if the DJs include Mani from the Stone Roses and Bez from the Happy Mondays, that’s just because. I was there for a live performance of Freebass, a band made up out of Mani from the Stone Roses, Peter Hook himself, Andy Rourke from The Smiths, and a singer. The band were amazing.
The Factory has a nice bar, and as there is nothing on draught the queues aren’t too long. There is, surprisingly, some natural light at the front of the club downstairs, if you are there before dark for a gig. The lighting is good, and the club pumps dry ice through so it has the same sort of atmosphere as a smoky club did before the smoking ban, without the actual smoke. This is really nice attention to detail.
The amp systems for a gig are excellent, and the staff do their best not to let the floor get too littered with cans and stuff. There is a smoking area outside, fenced off and manned by bouncers because it’s a residential area, but the bouncers are pretty friendly. I’ll definitely go back, and if I go for a club night I’ll let you know what that’s like too.
Entrance costs are variable, depending on the night and the band, but not too high. And it’s right opposite the Lass O’Gowrie, my fourth favourite pub in Manchester so far.
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