The first instalment of a new Nextup Throwback column from highly regarded crate-digger, Ruf Dug, founder of Dancers Wanted. It will focus on a different, topical theme each month. Be it local Mancunian music news or something in the grander scheme of things, Ruffy will give the inside scoop on each topic.
‘Spaces’ focuses on the new clubbing venues which have appeared in Manchester and what they mean for the city.
“The hot buzz around town right now is definitely about Hidden, the new two-room space that’s opened up in Cheetham Hill. Total capacity in the 600 vicinity, it’s filling a gap that has been present in Manchester for too long. I went down to one of the first nights and was thrilled with what I saw. It’s got that same lived-in feel that gives Antwerp Mansion its character, has two great dancefloors – each with their own distinct feel, a large outside smoking area and fantastic sound, courtesy of the Neuron crew.
The roster of lineups looks to be really great as well – solid names but with enough of an underground edge to keep the style police on side. Magic Mountain High were playing a very well-appreciated live set when I was there and last weekend both Hunee & Medlar delighted their respective rooms.
Things are looking really nice in the centre town at the moment as well; a couple of years ago, if you wanted to put on a night, your venue options were really limited and often booked up far in advance. When people hit me up and asked about the possibility of coming to play in Manchester, I had to let them know I wasn’t giving them the cold shoulder when I told them, “Maybe in eight or nine months’ time…”.
Many of the old spots still are booked all the way up, but now with Hidden coming along and providing a new home for the city’s more established promoters, hopefully this will open up a bit of space in the smaller venues for some fresher sounds to come through.
Already, there are some really nice bookings coming up at Soup Kitchen and the Kraak space is getting ready to be reborn as AATMA. The Whiskey Jar has now arrived as a super-basement for the underground nights. It joins Q Cavern as one of the places where emerging parties and sounds can find an outlet, without those brave, forward-thinking promoters having to worry about breaking the bank. Finally, the old bush telegraph is buzzing with talk of some more mill-based venues going legit in the next few months.
What’s perhaps the most exciting about all this is that these venues are getting punters in through the doors – more and more people are interested in stepping away from the big rooms and the sheep-herding paradigm; they want a spot that’s smaller, cosier, looser. Manchester seems only too happy to oblige!”
The next Dancers Wanted event is on Friday at Soup Kitchen.
More details here: www.facebook.com/events/550028061812657