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Peter Saville is suite

Confidential reports on the suprising manner in which Manchester’s Creative Director has been honoured

Published on June 19th 2009.


Peter Saville is suite

This is a weird one.

Peter Saville, the graphic designer and cultural commentator extraordinaire of Manchester is to have a suite named after him at the five star Radisson Edwardian Hotel.

Saville is the city’s Creative Director. He lives in London but when he’s back in his home region of Greater Manchester he stays in the Rad Ed. He’s done the five star thing quite a bit now. One hundred times, in fact. Thus we got this email on Wednesday: ‘Radisson Edwardian Manchester will re-name their luxury suite, number 1212, the ‘Saville Suite’ after renowned Manchester graphic artist, Peter Saville, enjoys his 100th stay at the hotel this week’.

The Radisson Edwardian occupies the Free Trade Hall, the only building named after a principle in the UK. Saville, the ex-Factory Records, Dior and Givenchy graphic designer, came up with the catch-phrase we’re all supposed to live by in Manchester: ‘original modern’. The phrase fits the significance of the Free Trade Hall perfectly. It could be said to be an appropriate place for him to stay in that case.

Given the hotel’s former role and the roster of impressive individuals that have played its hallowed halls when it was a live entertainment venue, Saville joins some illustrious names in being honoured. Other suites are named after Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Rudolph Valentino and Bob Dylan. We're sure readers could think of other names for suites as well. Perhaps the smallest room could be named the 'Kylie Suite'?

Radisson Edwardian

Saville began work for Factory in the late 1970s and went on to create classic cover designs for bands such as Joy Division and New Order. Later, after leaving Factory, he worked with Suede and Pulp.

The Radisson Edwardian General Manager says: “The names of our suites reflect just a few of the famous artists who performed at the Free Trade Hall before we developed the hotel on the same site. Apart from recognising the fantastic contribution Peter has made to popular culture over forty years this also marks his 100th stay.”

Saville once said of his time at Factory Music: “we didn’t think we were the best, we knew we were.” After staying more than 100 times in the same luxury suite, it seems Peter likes the best too.

Confident fella our Peter: confidence is exactly the characteristic this city needs to project itself on the world stage. Most of Confidential likes him for that, the publisher isn’t sure.

Before people bleat on about him staying at a five star hotel 100 times and getting Council swag for his role as the city’s Creative Director, then check this out. We anonymously called the Radisson Edwardian and asked what the rate was for staying in the same suite this Sunday. It was £190 plus vat. He probably gets a discount on that too.

Given that Saville uses it as his office, that doesn't seem too excessive, does it?

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25 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Pedant 2June 19th 2009.

But Saville suite named after a principal not a principle!

DaveJune 19th 2009.

TBH as long as you're really minted - he probably is - London is a very fine place to be. Cilla Black is totally plastic (like Liam, Monkey Boy et al) but at least Saville doesn't put on a daft accent. And he can influence opinion where it counts most (with those who hold the public purse strings, own the media etc.) from within.

CasJune 19th 2009.

I just think it's very small town minded. How do you direct creativity anyway? 'You be creative in this way', 'excuse me son your creativity doesn't fit in with our creative direction'. I think what would help is a panel of local go-getters that met bi-monthly and basically pushed Manchester for big events etc and got us at the forefront. People that would pick up topics like the Waxis and Castlefield regeneration and the no Michellin issue and make sure they got sorted. Get Gordo or Schofield on it. The minutes could be published each time etc etc

CasJune 19th 2009.

Can we not make it the battle of the Savilles, more: Do we actually need a creative director?

Irked of CastlefieldJune 19th 2009.

Got a bee in my bonnet over this, so I’ll let it out! Manchester is great, I love Manchester and it irks me that this guy can hold seemingly so much sway in the creative direction of a city he hasn’t lived in whilst I’ve been alive! Yes, he did some great designs but probably rode on the back of the wave that was Factory Records and was one of the fortunate ones to make a bit of money and a career out of it. Surely being creative is about looking forward so why do we pick someone who did their best work decades ago? The title ‘Creative Director’ seems a bit of a contradiction to me. What has been his contribution as Creative Director – a ranter above says he influences people from the inside, do we really need that? If people in London have such an adverse attitude to us that we have to have little words in big ears, then sod them. I just can’t abide the idea of some guy who hopped off to London first chance trying to big us up, it’s all very Beatles and seems incredibly condescending to me. His ‘creative direction’ from London seems a bit Corinthian-esque and we don’t need it. If we’re going to bestow these titles upon folk then let’s pick the right folk and not just the ones we’re all supposed to think are cool.

CasJune 19th 2009.

If it's £190 it must be a **** suite. Prob one of those awful garden suite things. Now the top suites are great, they have an honesty bar and the bathrooms have a tv for in tub viewing. When we stayed we spilt some baby formula on the table in front of the honesty bar and had to leave a note explaining it wasn't a class A drug!

AnonymousJune 19th 2009.

What does he do? What do we pay him?

The VoteJune 19th 2009.

Mancon you should have one of your votes on who was more influential, Peter or Jimmy of the Savilles. Afterall the latter invented the discoteque here whereas the former did some nice covers.

you've got me started...June 19th 2009.

I was unfortunate enough to hear Saville pontificate once for more than an hour on what he is supposed to be doing for the city. I came away scratching my head and also very, very angry that my council tax pays for this poser lecture us mere mortals on how Manchester is - yawn - original and modern (modernity being such an unmodern thing in these post modern times). Perhaps if he spent a little more time in real Manchester than perched in a suite in a plastic chain hotel that ripped the soul from the one of the city's most important buildings I'd have a bit of time for him. As it is, I'm with most others on here, go back to London Peter - you don't understand us anymore. Irked - you're spot on fella. Oh, and I take it you are having a laugh ManCon at the suggestion that a £190-a-night hotel room is good value for money? He is meant to work for the city and he can therefore have a room in the Town Hall Extension like everyone else (or perhaps over at Smithfield Market?) at a cost of nothing and not get this rather flambouyant second home allowance paid for at yours and my expense. Final point - if I ever had the misfortune of having to stay in the Free Tra-excuse me - Radisson Edwardian and was given the "Peter Saville Suite", I'd ask to be moved. Jimmy Saville has made more of a contribution to Manchester's cultural development.

GuppyJune 19th 2009.

Wouldn't a 'JUDAS!' suite be more appropriate?

M30June 19th 2009.

It all smacks a bit of Cilla Black and the other London based Professional Scousers.

TimboJune 19th 2009.

I'm looking forward to the Steve Jones, Johnny Rotten or Malcolm McClaren Suites. Or maybe I'm not!

ChrisJune 19th 2009.

Saville is renowned for his work with Factory Records and, in particular, the cover of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures LP. According to Peter Hook in this week's NME "Bernard ... found the image on the cover in a book ... the only contribution Saville had was the typeface and the texture of the cover. And he's been dining off it for 30 years!"

Dave HJune 19th 2009.

I'm with Simon T. Can I be Mayor? I live in Stoke.

Wilcox!June 19th 2009.

Dave you're right, Manchester is lucky to have a creative director, cant think of another city that has one...and not one that knows what he is talking about...this is actually really unusual and invaluable. Plus I heard he never made any money, its not about the money, it never was...they should give him the room for free!

robinsonJune 19th 2009.

Free Trade Hall stolen from the people of Manchester and our "creative director" stays there! Id rather have Jimmy Saville instead.

Simon TJune 19th 2009.

Irked. You are spot-on! He moved to London in 1979, this of course isn't a crime, but he's never lived in Manchester since, and you have to wonder how much insight a person can have into the various networks, stories, and complex processes of a city's creative community when they haven't lived in the city for 30 years. OK, he's a very bright chap and his work in the early years of Factory was astonishing, but to me he always seemed like the sexy appointment rather the right one. He's the person 'Wallpaper' will be excited to talk to, but not the person who can talk with real authority about anything that's happened here in the last 30 years and he's not representing the new and the emerging in the city and he's not really got stuck in and energised has he? "Condescending" is the right word.

PedantJune 19th 2009.

Free Trade Hall named after a principle not a principal.EDITORIAL: thanks, changed.

you've got me started...June 19th 2009.

Ah, but Cas the problem with that is that many people object to Saville (P) but not necessarily to the idea of a creative director. Personally, I think a creative director is a pretty big thing for a city to have and in my view it's good. But I think that that director should be someone with a real connection to the city.

Simon TJune 19th 2009.

I love that the city's Creative Director lives in London. Massive thumbs up for this. It's up there with Loyd Grossman being the Chairman of the Northwest Cultural Consortium. It's not who you know it's who you schmooze.

you've got me started...June 19th 2009.

Now then, now then, I want to make it clear I wasn't taking the p*** out of Jimmy! His achievements represent much, much more than Peter in terms of popular culture and is much more of a Manconic (new word methinks) figure than Peter. And I know he's actually from Leeds, but he made his home and his name in Manchester. Top of the Pops alone (first broadcast from Rusholme, of course) makes P of the Saville not worthy to lick his boots, not to mention, as The Vote says above, the fact he can probably lay claim to being the world's first DJ. Let's have a vote!

revor GeeJune 19th 2009.

On a point of principle, the principal of this article is the principal reason why Manchester is often all talk and no delivery.

CasJune 19th 2009.

ManCon, can we have this as a vote? Can we, please? I'll eat all my greens and keep my room tidy for like, the whole week!

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2010.

I love reading peoples comments regarding the creative process, especially the one above as it shows a complete lack of knowledge of the subject but hey.. why stop you might as well make an ill-informed judgement anyway.

Saville is adored and hated by many, one thing no one can deny is his legacy and the contribution he gives to Manchester. If you have sat with him in a meeting or spoken to him you would see how passionate he is about Manchester and selling our city. He is a figurehead but don't think that decisions are made by him whilst he is sat in Soho.. meetings are here in the city, attended by everyone who makes this city work.

You cannot say he does not have a connection with the city as he has worked on many Manchester branding projects and has for over 15 years, people only bring up the Hacienda as they have no idea what else he has done and only judge him on that peice of work.. not all the other projects/meetings/talks/workshops he has done here in the city.

CASMarch 2nd 2010.

Oi you, so anything that disagress with your thinking is displaying a 'complete lack of knowledge'. How small minded and presumptuous of you.

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