Spindle Log

March 2012, Spindle Magazine Issue 5

“The first night we opened with Public Enemy and we had the governor from Strangeways prison on the phone complaining that he had 2,500 prisoners raving.”

The Warehouse Project opened the doors of its first venue, Boddington’s Brewery, in 2006 and ever since has carved out a new landscape in the Manchester clubbing scene, bringing the great and the good of international DJs and bands to lord it over its stages at one of the most influential club nights the country has seen.

The Project was borne out of ennui with the same lineups appearing within the confines of the same four walls, prompting Sacha Lord Marchionne, Kirsty Smith and Sam Kandel to return to the ethos of the guerilla rave scene and put on a series of warehouse parties. “It felt almost like the late 80’s/ early 90’s illegal raves… We got a kick out of that. Initially we thought we’d only run a few and then this monster just appeared called the Warehouse Project,” Sacha explains.

Since then, WHP has moved on from the Brewery to the current location of a disused air raid shelter on Store Street. But while they may have stayed true to their home city, never moving out of Manchester, their allegiance to the original ideals of constantly developing and changing remains strong and this interview comes in light of the recent announcement that they will once again bemoving on: 2011 was the final season that WHP was conducted at Store Street.

“We’ll miss Store Street. We’ll definitely miss it. But we don’t want to get stuck in a rut. It becomes quite boring. As music evolves we want to evolve with the venue as well. We’ve taken Store Street to where we believe is the limit, we can’t take it any further than it actually can, fortunately selling out week after week. Just logistically we’ve done what we feel what is the best we can with our venue.We just want to keep it fresh and there’s no point staying still and staying stale.”

So, with the grand finale now come and gone on NYE, what was Sacha expecting from the Warehouse Project’s send off to Store Street? “I think a few tears. Some people are quite gutted. I mean it’s a 17 hour marathon and we just announced today who the special guest is who’ll be closing the show: it’s Laurent Garnier. He also closed the last show we did at Boddington’s Brewery as well, so it’s quite apt. And then there’s all sorts of speculation flying around about what are we are doing next year. We do have a plan; it’s all top secret.”

With the final season about to kick off when this interview took place, the tension was building as the end was nigh, with tickets to the final party selling out in less than 24 hours. “The promotion guy at the office came to me today and said, ‘Do you think we should run an after party?’ Are you fucking mental? We’d be killing people! 17 hours and you want to carry on for another 5 hours? It’s impossible. I think I’ve just highlighted my age… I’d just like to close the doors to Store Street and then that will be it. We’re going to go into hibernation until we announce what the plan is.”

Sacha wasn’t planning on joining the party though. “God no! I’m boring; I just stand on the door. Honestly! No, I refuse to go in there. I’ll go on stage just for the last track.” What the last track dropped was at the legendary venue is anyone’s guess, but Sacha has his own thoughts.

“There’s a debate going on at the moment, obviously because Garnier’s closing, what will be the last track. I think most people are saying ‘Man With The Red Face’. I have a feeling that’s a bit too obvious for him… I’d love it if he did something ridiculous like play Star Trek or a Chesney Hawk track; something really shit!”

One thing’s for sure though, Store Street saw a proper send off. “Store Street was always our home. That cemented WHP.”

As for the next era of WHP? That’s still a question mark. “It’s time to shake it up.”