Hunky Dory


Hunky Dory promotions stage this weekends Courteeners pre-show events in Manchester, then after that on May 4th they’re back to put on the pre party for when Noel Gallagher plays a homecoming show at MCR arena.  Hunky Dory is ex Factory staff Tracey Donnelly and Laura Graham, here Laura talks about Hunky Dory and what makes their parties so special.

Hi Laura….Hunky Dory Parties, why the name Hunky Dory ?

Laura – The name Hunky Dory Parties was chosen because it is the name of Tracey’s promotions company. We love the name because it is catchy, memorable, light-hearted and fun, and it is also the title of one of the best David Bowie’s albums.

You have two great Manchester pre-show events coming up… first one is for The Courteeners concert at the Manchester Arena, and shortly after that Noel Gallagher’s homecoming gig, also at the Arena. What makes a good pre-show party, and what can we expect from these events?

Music has always been an important and inspiring part of my life, so watching bands perform live has always been a very exciting and exhilarating  experience for me, from my first gig at age 13 (Happy Mondays in Preston)
For me, I love the build-up to a live concert, and this will be the essence of each of our pre-show events.

Our parties will truly celebrate the bands and artists performing in Manchester that day, playing their music and genre of music. Hunky Dory Parties are booking specific DJs who will suit the theme of each show. We want our events to interactive too, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves as to how we will achieve this.


above – Jonny Brown & Emma Wilkinson on the decks getting the Courteeners pre party rockin on 7th April down The Liquor Store Deansgate.

Your background is publicity and events, and you’ve linked up with  Tracey Donnelly, who has a long history of working in the Manchester music scene. What or who brought you together to do these parties- would you say its just something which comes naturally to both of you- putting on a memorable party on?

Yes my background is publicity and media management, however, I have also managed launch parties and events for venues, brands and private clients for over a decade.

I have to say, I am pretty stoked to be working with Tracey.
Tracey is highly experienced, liked and well connected in the music industry here in Manchester. She managed successful aftershow parties for The Stone Roses and for the Happy Mondays, and used to work at Factory Records for Anthony Wilson. You can’t get more Manchester music scene than that really.

My company Vital Publicity,  is also expanding this year, with a new ‘Vital Music’ arm to the business. Vital Music will be working with up and coming bands and DJs on their profile, tours and overall publicity, so these events sit nicely within this.

Tracey and I were introduced by our mutual friend (and co Hunky Dory party founder and DJ) Emma Wilkinson. The three of us wanted to work together on a project for some time, and it was during a weekend away in the Lake District, with no phone signal and some quality time together, that we brainstormed ideas and our pre-show concept was born.

I like to think between the three of us we can put a good party on! For me, when it comes to going to a gig I love the build-up to a big night out, The countdown with friends to ‘the day’ and making arrangements, especially if we are travelling to a gig … where shall we meet? Where shall we go afterwards? which songs will the band will play? Hunky Dory Parties will embrace all of this and create something really special for our guests to enjoy, so that they arrive at their intended gigs, hyped, and happy.

For me, I love the element of surprise during an event. I think that’s what makes it memorable. When your guests have a ‘wow’ moment over something unexpected. We also recognise the importance of getting our music style right for each event, because for each party our crowd will be different.

Also, there’s not really anywhere in Manchester that is the ‘go to’ place to meet before a gig, so we decided to create one! The concept can move across musical genres, and we aim to have a lot of fun with it. It’s certainly been a ball so far, the three of us complement each other well, and our WhatsApp group chat has been highly amusing.


above – Laura Graham

First up is the pre-show for The Courteeners show which goes down at the Manchester arena on the 7th of April, this already looks like being a great pre-show for the much-loved home grown MCR group, with DJ sets from another MCR artist Jonny Brown of Twisted Wheel. What can we expect?

I am a huge fan of The Courteeners, it’s actually a bit of a standing joke within my friends how much of a  super-fan of the band I am. I love their music and their gigs are always special, so to celebrate one of my favourite band’s musical history, is a dream event for me.

Their fans are lively, loud, proud and loyal, so I would expect lots of singing and dancing on the day! Having Jonny to DJ for us is fantastic too. Twisted Wheel are about to go on a nationwide tour, they have ridiculous energy and passion on stage, so I reckon this will translate well into Jonny’s DJ set.

Then on Friday 4th of May you are hosting your second pre show at The Liquor Store. this time for Burnage’s very own Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds before their gig , again at Manchester Arena … On the decks for you will be the official Stone Roses DJ Phil Beckett, This will be a special event too , how much are the tickets and are there more events to follow?

Liquor Store is a cracking independent bar, and it’s close to the Arena, only around a 10 minute walk. Hunky Dory have already sold quite a few tickets for these events. Both are only £5 to pay on the door, or you can buy from Skiddle a pound cheaper to guarantee your entry on the day.

The Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds concert also falls on a bank holiday, so I think people are coming into Manchester city centre early Friday afternoon to make the most of the long weekend.

Again, I am a big Noel Gallagher fan, and we will be putting on a proper Manchester knees up with Phil DJ-ing too. He’s a very experienced and respected DJ , and will play all the big Noel, Oasis and Manchester tunes, oh and some of the more obscure ones too! Emma is also DJ-ing, and she always creates a rousing atmosphere. We have another four pre show events already in the planning, each one celebrating very different artists and bands, and we will announce those soon. 2018 is already shaping up to be quite a Hunky Dory year!


The Courteeners pre show tickets


Noel Gallagher pre show tickets


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