Peter J Walsh | The Haçienda, Joy Rave and Manchester’s cultural explosion of the 1980s-90s.

During his stint at Manchester’s City Life Magazine in the late eighties – photographer Peter Walsh became immersed in Manchester’s club scene, documenting the birth of the UK’s Rave and Acid House explosion. As well as capturing the spirit of the era, Peter documented the many faces, bands and colourful fashions that graced the city as it became a cultural mecca and global export of music and fashion. 

 

Temperance Club night at The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Documentary Photography

Peter “I began working as a photographer for a documentary Co-op in Manchester in the mid eighties. I learned how to process films, make contact sheets and black and white printing. The photographers in the Co-op worked individually but would meet once a month to compare and critique each others work and printing skills. The training I received in all aspects of documentary photography during this time would prove invaluable to me as the rave scene hit Manchester just a few years later.”

 

Temperance Club night at The Haçienda, 1990. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Happy Mondays

“Around the same time I began shooting for City Life, Manchester’s equivalent of Time out in London, photographing the burgeoning club scene. After photographing the Happy Mondays gig on Granada TV’s ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ I was asked to work for NME covering the North of England. I also began working regularly for The Face, ID, Mixmag and Muzik magazine.”

“It was a busy time that saw me working constantly through the night to process films from live gigs, selecting the images from contact sheets and printing and sending the photos off to London Euston to meet The NME’s weekly deadline. After a few hours sleep I was usually back in the studio, shooting another band for a feature.”

 

Happy Mondays on ‘The Other Side of Midnight’, Granada Studios, Manchester, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

The Haçienda

As a photographer Peter would ago out into the city and document what was happening around Manchester. Nights at The Hacienda including ‘Hot’ and ‘The Temperance Club’, a student night on Thursdays with DJ Dave Haslam that fused, indie, disco and house music. As acid house exploded Peter knew that Manchester and The Hacienda were at the epicentre of a cultural movement. Aside from documenting club culture in the city he also took photos of the many bands and DJ’s that helped shape and define the cities music scene.

 

The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

The queue at The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Ecstasy

The rave generation, Madchester, whatever you want to call it – it was a revolutionary time in musical and British cultural history. On the back of an economically challenging decade and before the onset of mobile phones and the internet, it united a generation. Ecstasy and music brought young people together, lifelong friendships were made, ideas were created. All walks of life, from single mums and students, to council workers and football hooligans. In that time, in that short lived era, they all came together and embraced each other and embraced the music.

Peter Walsh Gallery

Joy Rave. Ashworth Valley, Rochdale, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

Hot Night at The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Ravers on the main stage at The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

The Haçienda dancefloor bathed in pink light, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

A Guy Called Gerald and Graham Massey (808 State) on The Other Side Of Midnight, Victoria Baths, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

Freedom Night at The Boardwalk Manchester, 1991. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Freedom Night at The Boardwalk Manchester, 1991. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Freedom Night at The Boardwalk Manchester, 1991. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

 

Dancefloor at The Haçienda Manchester, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

Tony Wilson at The Haçienda with architect an Hacienda interior designer Ben Kelly, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

Happy Mondays Bez and Paul Davis (PD) with Tony Wilson at The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

 

The Haçienda dancefloor, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Print Sales

A selection of Peter’s iconic images of The Haçienda are available as A3 open edition prints from our online shop

All proceeds from sales support the photographers we work with and help maintain and fund our free resource and exhibitions in the UK.

Gallery Space

British Culture Archive / The People’s Archive is a non-profit organisation. In 2020/2021 we want to open a permanent gallery and exhibition space where we can showcase our People’s Archive alongside work from our featured photographers. If you appreciate the work we do you can support our Crowdfunder campaign HERE

 2020 © British Culture Archive

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