This is the first in a new Citylifers feature looking at the people responsible for your favourite music club nights. Here we take a look at the crew behind RAC Presents, who put on the rebel rousing ‘We Can Do What We Want Forever.
Who is behind RAC Presents?
Jay Hamnett, aged 28, of Droylsden, Manchester; Paul Griffin, 29, of Bolton; Lee Hardman, 30, of Bolton; Dale Gorton, 27, of Droylsden; Danny Mahon, 29, of Beswick, Manchester.
When and how did you get into promoting live music?
We all met through watching new bands etc, and we thought that one of the most frustrating things about watching a new band was that the majority of the time you went to watch one particular band and the rest of the line-up was crap. So it made sense to us to just put on the bands we liked, get DJs to play the music we liked and that way we were guaranteed a great night out. If other people liked it then that was a bonus.
What’s the story behind the name, We Can Do What We Want Forever?
The first thing any of us got involved in putting on gig wise was getting Glasvegas down to play in Manchester for the first time. We were helped by a handful of other promoters, namely Sean Holland. They played at Night & Day to about 30 or 40 people.
After that, our first proper RAC night was at The Attic, above the Thirsty Scholar, on Friday, May 23, 2008. We booked The Naughtys, Stormy Corner and Danny (Mahon) opened up the show.
Once we had the venue and bands booked we had to come up with a name for the night. There was a picture of Griff (Paul Griffin) holding a snare drum that belonged to our friend Jonny. Written on the drum were the words ‘I can do what I want forever’. We all agreed that it would make a great slogan and just expanded it to ‘We can do what we want forever’. It certainly fitted with the kind of night we were looking to put on. We wanted it to be the most fun night out you could have – everybody letting themselves go and doing whatever they like, instead of standing around like nerds pretending to be too cool for school, like the crowds we saw at most gigs.
Who are the pick of the bands you have put on so far?
Lee: The Naughtys
Jay: The Naughtys
Danny: The Shaiyans
Any top tips of bands you think our readers should check out?
We all like Janice Graham Band. And then there’s our own Danny Mahon, obviously!
We recently setup RAC as a label and put out a double A-side single from Danny called Beat Me Up/AK47. It is available on itunes and all other digital stores. And, if the limited edition vinyl isn’t sold out by the time you read this you can get a copy from Piccadilly Records.
What’s the most memorable night you have put on?
We usually can’t remember much of the nights to be honest, but I think some highlights are:
1. The first night, just because it was a complete sell-out and took us all by surprise.
2. Being named best indie club night in the NME’s Student guide.
3. People being pinned to the ceiling and seeing the crowds spilling out of The Gardens hotel gigs was always brilliant.
4. Our first night at the Ruby Lounge because we had moved to a bigger venue and were a little worried that it may have been too big, but it was another sell out.
If you could arrange your dream gig, who would play at it (alive or dead)?
We’d be here all day as we all have different tastes and it would change on a daily basis, so we decided to just pick one band/act each.
Lee: The Who
Dale: The Clash
Danny: The Smiths
Jay: The Clash
Griff: The Jam
Who, out of all the unsigned bands gigging at the moment, would you love to play at your night?
No one, really. We’ve had the ones we like on and if there’s anyone we see who we really like we do our best to get them on asap.
Who’s playing at your next gig and when is it?
The next ‘We can do what we want forever’ is our World Cup Party at Sound Control this Saturday, June 12. We’re showing the England game on a huge screen on stage and having live music either side of the game from:
Danny Mahon (inc. band for the first time)
Alan Bates (xfm’s manchester busker)
+ Secret headliner
To find out more about RAC Presents and We Can Do What We Want Forever, visit:
Also here’s a ticket link for the next show: