Being a Manchester girl, who grew up experiencing the biggest club ever to come out of the City, if not the country, or in fact the world, said with tongue firmly out of cheek, last night was an amazing nostalgic trip of memories and anecdotes, that left me and those with me, filled with a warm fuzzy glow, recounting those heady days.
The film, Do you Own The Dance Floor, follows the sad demise of the greatest club ever and what happened to the sum total of the parts of that club, when it was demolished and then auctioned off, bit by bit, in 2000.
The documentary has been cleverly filmed and edited over a 5 year period, by first time filmmaker, Chris Hughes, who has produced a funny, entertaining and nostalgic piece of work about the place, the people that owned it, that built it, that worked there and that loved it.
Walking into the RNCM last night, to watch the premier, was a strange experience. Everybody in the crowded room, checking everybody else out to see if the recognised any familiar faces. There were the celebrity DJ’s Mike Pickering and Dave Haslam and music journalist John Robb as well as other familiar faces, names unknown. I met our friend Tom Rudds, three brothers who feature heavily in the film and realised Liz who worked behind the bar, was the lady I had been buying vintage clothes from for years, on Beech Road, Chorlton! How many times must our paths have crossed back in the 1980’s?
As somebody in the film says, the time, the music and the club were all the stars colliding at the right time. It was a moment in time, that we all felt extremely lucky and privileged to have experienced together and in hindsight, we didn’t realise what a big part of Manchester history we were taking part in.
So here’s what we did with our piece of the dance floor. Mr B made it into a frame for my original members card, which were only issued in the first couple of years. I joined the week after it opened and spent almost every weekend of the next few years there. Mr B was lucky enough to work on a lot of the original artwork for the club and Factory label and was regularly briefed on a job by Tony Wilson, who often handed it to him on a beer mat, which he had sketched out in the pub. This casual approach to the business is talked about throughout the film and has become the stuff of legends about Factory.
Chris Hughes was asked last night, “What’s next for the film?” and he was unsure, but if it rolls out in cinemas, festivals or other venues in the future and you were part of the experience, try and watch it. You’ll love it and will agree, I’m sure, they were amazing times. As Dave Haslam said “We were mad for it!”