He has deep political connections and has built a clubbing empire despite caring little for dance music. But at whose expense?
“I dont get it” has to be the sharpest end to an article I’ve read in a long time. Bravo!
I loved this;
‘Lord’s terse rejoinder: “If people want to stay in the 80s and 90s they can, but music’s moved on.”
Two paragraphs later, he’s talking about his knowledge and love for the music of Michael Jackson, Prince and The Smiths, acts that undoubtedly had their prime years in the eighties. Sure the music’s moved on, but Lord’s claimed taste in it certainly hasn’t.
Okay Sacha, I think you can come out now.
“He had stepped onto a pirate ship and sold it as a super yacht.”
There are dozens of music scenes in Manchester, some flourish, others don’t. To blame the failures of some on the success of others is probably simplistic.
The combination of Sacha Lord & Sam Kandel & the non-club, seems to have brought s powerful offer to a huge audience. What’s not to get?
Not my scene at all,but an interesting story from a purely sociological perspective,the unloved son who craves affection and rebells against parental norms to create a sizeable if borderline legal business empire by charm,native wit and crude coercion.Sounds very like Branson's story except that he had loving parents to bankroll and keep him out of jail.MGS doesn't just produce journalists,scientists and lawyers it seems!.Glad that Manchester has an international reputation for its buoyant entertainment sector,but I wish that it could revive its technology base with enduring high paid jobs and not depend upon the cyclical and ephemeral nightlife economy. Does Manchester ever
take life seriously or is it the perennial underachiever staring out of the classroom window and dreaming of a better life?
Typing as a late 20s, once student, now young professional. I ‘grew up’ with WHP / Parklife during my student years. I think amongst my peers most consider Sacha Lord to be a good guy. Sure he might not have the uber cool ‘edgy’ Manchester background to go along with his nights/festival. But unfortunately we increasingly live in a world where the kids with a bit of privilege win. Look at Fred again.. he’s got roots back to royalty and went to the most expensive private school in the country. I think it’s a symptom of the wider political situation we find ourselves in.
WHP and Parklife do undoubtedly bring a lot of £££ to the city. I met some guys from Australia on the tram this year going to Parklife. It does put us on the map. Plus I’ve heard loads of commentary about London’s nightlife being crap compared to Manchester these days due to licensing laws.
I’m sure he gets some things wrong. But if he wasn’t making the cash from WHP / Parklife I have no doubt someone else would be in that space doing almost exactly the same thing.
Really interesting article and very much looking forward to hearing his take on deaths at WHP in part two. His influence on Manchester is undeniable but everybody seems to have a different opinion on whether it’s positive or negative and this comes across in your reporting.
In terms of contribution to Manchester’s economy Parklife and WHP undoubtedly bring in floods of visitors (and money) from across the country and beyond, and he deserves massive credit for putting the city on the map in a lot of ways, especially as a counterweight to London.
One thing that gets to me about Sacha is how often he weighs in on things on social media and I can never help but think it’s performative. Take the example of him giving those skateboarders tickets to Parklife recently, he said it was because of how they’d been portrayed in the viral video but was it really?
I appreciate he has that ‘nighttime economy tsar’ title but really he has no influence on what happens in Manchester City centre other than in his own venues at all, yet it doesn’t stop him wading in on other viral controversies or giving people the impression he can save their bar from closing.
Top quality writing again - the kind that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I’m not of the era who would have/do participate in these gigs but the juxtaposition of the ‘punks and pill heads’ with Lord’s ‘stone cold sober’ resonates - if he is keeping his cool while his customers enjoy their excesses I think that speaks volumes for his savviness and focus. This came across a lot in this piece. . Roll on Wednesday!
I'm no promoter, but I think the issue with the exclusivity clauses is that there are so many people on the bill at WHP that who other promoters can book is severely restricted during the WHP season, which, as the article notes, is the boom period for the scene. WHP also creates a market where people are expecting several big names they know on the bill, rather than maybe just one and the residents which is likely all a smaller promoter can manage.
Enjoyed reading about someone I'm completely unfamiliar with. Think I've heard his name mentioned occasionally here but that's it.
I subscribe to The Mill for journalism such as this taking me out of my usual zone and plonking me down amongst the movers and shakers of Manchester.
Thanks Jack ,roll on Wednesday.