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Brighton Visitor – Brighton & Hove, Sussex, UK | January 19, 2020

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Hacienda Classical Review

Brighton Visitor
  • On June 4, 2017

Hacienda Classical review

Samantha Harman


I must confess that I am an ‘old school raver’, (even though I abhor that term and all its glow sticks and whistles connotations.) So, when I discovered that Hacienda original DJs, Graeme Park and Mike Pickering had lined up with the Manchester Camerata to create ‘Hacienda Classical’, needless to say I was chomping at the bit.


The event was billed as: ‘old school classics, accompanied by a 70-piece live orchestra and choir’. I expected this meant it was going to be a sedate and refined affair, something for the over 40s to nod along to. This was not the case. The tunes I’d grown up dancing to on the filthy dancefloors of various raves and clubs, sounded even better than I remembered.


There was an organic unity between DJ and orchestra, this coupled with fantastic stage and light production made quite a spectacle. At times, it felt like I was privy to a studio session, as opposed to a live performance. The sound quality was exemplary and carried right to the back where I was wiggling next to a speaker. (Some things never change)


The crowd was a heaving mass of old and young, all singing along at the top of their voices, waving their arms in the air with wild abandon, to the likes of: Mr Lee’s ‘Pump Up Chicago’, Mory Kanté’s ‘Yeke Yeke’ and Ultra Nate’s ‘Free’ – with a brilliant vocal from Rae Hall. These are the tracks that defined the Hacienda sound and a generation that I’m proud to be part of. An absolute belter of a night!


5 Stars

Photo Credit: Simon Emm @Foti