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Photography by Amber Kelly and Katie O'Neill

Dave Haslam is a DJ, writer and broadcaster who DJ'ed over 450 times at the Haçienda nightclub, Manchester and DJ'ed extensively worldwide. 

Originally from Moseley, Birmingham, Dave moved to Manchester in 1980 and later graduated from the University of Manchester, after which he established the acclaimed fanzine ‘Debris’, wrote for the NME and subsequently worked as a concert promoter, hosting live performances by among others, Sonic Youth, Primal Scream and the Stone Roses. He then began DJing at clubs in the region.


From May 1986 he was a DJ at the Haçienda nightclub, including a residency at Thursday's Temperance club night until October 1990.

Manchester’s always had a lively music scene but often it’s very fragmented and hard to get a handle on, but the Hacienda became a flagship, a focus. You could take anyone down to the club in the late 1980s and show them unignorable evidence that Manchester had something special going for it. Unwittingly, the Hacienda kickstarted the city’s regeneration; it’s when a grim post-industrial city was given a future (Sunday Times, July 2007)


For seven years in the 1990s he also hosted the weekly night ‘Yellow’ at the Boardwalk, Manchester.


You never get a better audience than the one we got at Yellow; very Manchester; a brilliant mix of black and white, students, single mothers from Sale and Droylsden, dental nurses from Chorlton, Cheshire girls, Moss Side boys. You get that kind of club once in a generation.


In 1999 he published his first book, Manchester, England, about the Manchester music scene and subsequently, books about superstar DJs called Adventures on the Wheels of Steel, the music and politics of the 1970s called Not Abba; the Real Story of the 1970s - reprinted as Young Hearts Run Free; the Real Story of the 1970s, and Life After Dark; A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues.


In May 2018, his acclaimed autobiography was published. Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor: Music, Manchester & More.


DJ Dave Haslam - featured on the Hacienda timeline artwork


He has taught music journalism at the University of Salford and lectured at Manchester Metropolitan University in the School of Art and co-curated exhibitions and musical events in the city. He has also written for the The Guardian, the London Review of Books, and The Times.

His latest project is ‘Art Decades’; an innovative limited-edition series of small format books about subjects including Sylvia Plath, vinyl collecting, Courtney Love, and the artist Keith Haring.

Dave lives with his family in West Didsbury.


His other cultural activities have included creating an installation for the Berlin-based 'Shrinking Cities' exhibition, TV and radio presenting and conducting onstage interviews with luminaries of music and popular culture in the ‘Close Up’ series.


Dave’s DJ history includes touring with The Stone Roses, aftershow parties for New OrderDepeche ModeGorillaz, and the Charlatans, and gigs in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Berlin, Paris, Reykjavik, Ibiza, Lima, and Geneva. 

THE SHOOT: Vinyl Exchange, Northern Quarter

Dave's choice of location for the photography was centred around one of Manchester's most established record shops.

Student reflection: Amber Kelly


The shoot with Dave Haslam was my first for the Greater Mancunians project, it was definitely an opportunity not to be missed. He was great to work with and was very friendly and polite which was reflected in the images. Dave's cooperation when being posed and directed, allowed us to capture some amazing outcomes.

One of my concerns was the reaction of the staff at Vinyl Exchange. I was worried about if they were going to be friendly and understanding about photographing during opening hours... however, they were very sociable. This was helped by Dave being friends with the staff there. I was a little anxious at the start of the shoot, but as we chatted and got to know a little about Dave's past, I felt more confident. This was a great opportunity for me as it links-in beautifully with my college final major project about the 'Madchester scene' - as Dave contributed massively to this era. I am very lucky to be able to put this work in my portfolio as it reflects the style of photography I am particularly passionate about.

Dave Haslam & Students-8.JPEG

Amber & Dave

The shoot

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