That previous (rather long, in hindsight) post about Twitter and, particularly, Mani, reminded me of something else I meant to mention here – the end of a fellow Manchester blog, one that was a little more controversial than the meandering observations you will have found on these pages. FUC51 is (or rather was) a little play on words – or letters, more accurately. A blog about an era of Manchester’s history, when the Hacienda was still a club, not some ‘apartments’ (flats), and Factory Records released everything they did with a FAC number – The Hacienda was FAC51. Peter Hook, bass player with Joy Division and latterly New Order, the bands that largely funded the Factory Empire, recently opened a nightclub in Manchester called FAC251 – itself a play on letters and more than a little nod (more of a neck-cracking head butt without a target) towards the Hacienda days. FUC51 was set up to air the views of some who opposed Mr Hook and his cronies’ tendency towards wallowing in the past and, more pertinently, trying to milk the nostalgia for everything it’s got; a stance that, says FUC51, give the press and the rest of the country (World) an excuse to assume Manchester is stuck on a one trick loop of bow-legged swagger and ‘fookin bangin’ tunes, paying little respect or due attention to the new music being produced here and ignoring the fact that some people might not be trying to recreate the Madchester days or, even, that it doesn’t have to be the case that if you’re from Manchester and you play music, you must be influenced or compared to Joy Division/New Order/The Smiths/Stone Roses et al.
Are we all up to speed now? Good. FUC51 spent its life in a very different way to many blogs, this one included, in that people actually read it and took notice of it. They even wrote a piece in the Guardian detailing their plight (although, as the blog was always, and remains, written entirely anonymously, it’s possible it was run by, or at least received contributions from, a Guardian journalist, giving them something of a foot in the door. How will we ever know? We won’t, probably) and apparently had Peter Hook himself in quite a lather over its content and general message. So why am I writing about it? I’m not sure really. Just marking the end of an era.