The Hacienda, Acid House and Madchester Scene, 1980s-90s.

British Culture Archive

During his stint at Manchester’s City Life Magazine in the late eighties – photographer Peter Walsh was in the right place at the right time as he became immersed in Manchester’s club and music scene.

Peter captured the early years of the UK’s Acid House explosion in the city and documented the many faces, and colourful fashions that graced The Hacienda dancefloor as the city became a cultural mecca and global export of music and fashion. 

Temperance Club at The Haçienda, 1991.
Temperance Club night at The Haçienda, 1990s. 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.”

Hot night at The Hacienda, 1988.
Hot night at The Haçienda, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

The Haçienda

“Around the same time I began shooting for City Life, Manchester’s equivalent of Time Out in London, photographing the burgeoning club scene at The Haçienda and other clubs on the city. After photographing the Happy Mondays gig on Granada TV’s The Other Side of Midnight which was fronted by Tony Wilson I was asked to work for the NME covering the North of England. I also began working regularly for The Face, ID, and Mixmag’.

Happy Mondays on The Other Side of Midnight, 1989.
Happy Mondays on The Other Side of Midnight, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Cultural Movement

As a photographer Peter would ago out into the city and document what was happening around Manchester. Nights at The Haçienda 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 Haçienda in particular 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 DJs that helped shape and define the music scene coming out of the city.

The Haçienda dancefloor, 1990
The Haçienda, Manchester, 1990. 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 a grim, economically challenging decade under Thatcher, and the last era before mobile phones and the internet, it united a generation.

Ecstasy and music brought young people together, from single mums and students, to council workers and football hooligans. Lifelong friendships were forged and ideas were created that would continue to shape the cultural landscape to this day.

Gallery

The Haçienda Dancefloor, 1988.
The Haçienda Dancefloor, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
The Haçienda, 1988.
The Haçienda, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Hot night at The Hacienda, 1988.
Hot night at The Hacienda, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
The queue at The Hacienda, 1989.
The queue at The Haçienda, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Peter Hook and Shaun Ryder at The Hacienda, 1990.
Peter Hook and Shaun Ryder at The Hacienda's 8th Birthday Party, 1990. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Bobbie Gillespie on Stage at The Haçienda
Bobbie Gillespie on Stage at The Haçienda during Primal Scream's Screamadelica Tour. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Happy Mondays on The Other Side of Midnight, 1989.
Happy Mondays on The Other Side of Midnight, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
A Guy Called Gerald and Graham Massey (808 State)
A Guy Called Gerald and Graham Massey (808 State) on The Other Side Of Midnight. Victoria Baths, 1988. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Joy Rave. Ashfield Valley, Rochdale, 1989.
Joy Rave, Ashfield Valley, Rochdale, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Joy Rave. Ashfield Valley, Rochdale, 1989.
Joy Rave, Ashfield Valley, Rochdale, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.
Joy Rave, Ashfield Valley, Rochdale, 1989.
Joy Rave, Ashfield Valley, Rochdale, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

All images © Peter J Walsh, all rights reserved. 

Peter J Walsh | Print Sales

A selection of Peter’s prints documenting The Hacienda and Manchester Scene 1980s-90s are available as prints from our online shop.

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