Live at First Direct Arena on Friday, 14th April 2017
With the rise of intolerance spreading around the world the spirit and escapism of the original Hacienda nights in Manchester are much needed. There is a need for places where old and new ravers can meet, have fun with no pretence and just enjoy themselves.
The night took place at The First Direct Arena in central Leeds. I wasn't sure what to expect with the 'Classical' billing and thought there might just be strings going off all the way through the gig. What actually happened was djing by former Hacienda regulars Graeme Park and Mike Pickering which were augmented by strings here and there. This worked very well and the strings weren't overbearing and there was a definite party vibe from the audience in the standing and seated areas. Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order) made a great cameo on bass for Blue Monday and Rowetta (back up singer with the Happy Mondays) sang on Candi Staton's 'You've got the love' which were nice touches.
I would imagine that this concert in the setting of the Albert Hall would be amazing as there is more floor space for the crowd to mingle together as this is definitely a gig where you want to be dancing down the front and not seated. Alas the Albert Hall gig is sold out already on this tour but there are other cities where this event is heading to which I'm sure will be equally as good. Glasgow is always a great place to party and that event happens on the 22nd of April.
All in all a great experience, the staff at the arena were friendly and helpful so I'm looking forward to seeing more gigs and events there.