Lancaster’s Hacienda Classical going to blow minds

DJ Graeme Park. Photography by Jack Kirwin'''
DJ Graeme Park. Photography by Jack Kirwin'''

One of the DJs responsible for the Hacienda project can’t wait to bring a new wave of sound to the city.

Graeme Park, who helped revolutionise the dance scene in Manchester in the early 1990s, will perform with Mike Pickering at Lancaster’s Williamson Park this May.

Known for the extravagant choice of venues, event organisers A-Wing will be hosting FAC51 The Hacienda Classical on May 8.

With the Ashton Memorial as their backdrop the night is sure to bring a few surprises as the two DJs perform with the Manchester Camerata for the first time.

The Haçienda was a Manchester club without a purpose until house music filled its cathedral-sized dimensions in the 1980s-1990s. It defined Graeme as a DJ.

Graeme spoke to the Lancaster Guardian about his preparations for A-Wing.

He said: “I think it is going to blow people’s minds.

“With orchestras they only rehearse once. Normally on stage you can add what you want and get a feel what the audience wants, but with this there are 19 songs, all scored and we have got to stick to it, so we have one shot to get it right.”

Graeme and Mike will produce and edit the bass, drums and acid house tracks while the orchestra will perform classical sets.

The set list is being kept a secret for now but Graeme has said audiences can expect old school Hacienda classics.

From the Sydney Opera House to performing with Seal in a lecture hall at University of Central Lancashire, Graeme has had a varied 20 year career in music.

Graeme also performed at Lancaster Castle with A-Wing last year and at Morecambe’s Vintage By the Sea Festival.

The 52-year-old said: “The castle was incredible, very porridge, a great venue.

“Lancaster is a beautiful place and of course the good thing about Lancaster is you are only a stone-throw-away from Morecambe.”

“When I started DJing I didn’t see people over the age of 35 in a club, it just stuck out but now nobody bats an eyelid now.

“I think my generation is probably the first generation that has refused to grow up, I am not saying that is true of everyone. I find myself talking to important business people and they are shocked that I am a DJ and they say ‘oh I haven’t been to a club’ in ages and I think how boring!”

Graeme got into music when his late grandad passed on his clarinet.

“My late grandpa had his own big band and he used to play all over Scotland in the 1940s-50s, he gave me his clarinet when I was 10 so I played in the school orchestra and then went onto to other bands.

“My proudest moment may be this gig, I will expect my hairs to stand on the back of my neck and I will think about my grandpa all the way.”

The event is expected to attract 3,000 people and tickets are available from