student guide

Clubs in Manchester

Manchester's clubs are responsible for many students being drawn to the city (myself included). Once home to the legendary Hacienda, Manchester's reputation as a clubbing Mecca was put through the mincer in the mid-90's by the tabloids and glossy music magazines, who were happy to pigeonhole the city's clubs as overun by gangsters and guns. Today there is a passionate consensus between people, who know better than the hacks in London, i.e. the promoters, DJs and punters that Manchester is a great place to go clubbing.

If you want to find decent nights in Manchester, it's good to remember that the 'seek and ye shall find' ethos is well worth adhering to.

The Music Box - The flagship for Manchester's underground resistance. Don't expect a clean, cool interior because this place is a dirty (sometimes, filthy!) basement venue that gets hotter than a furnace at the peak of the night. The resident events make it home to some of the best nights in town, with the likes of Keep It Unreal (Mr Scruff) Electric Chair, Sub Tub, Hotwatermusic and much more, reflecting its diverse qualities. If you are into your music and want to be surrounded by hundreds of like-minded people going mental rather than tiptoeing about be sure to check La Box.

Manchester's glamorous clubbing is unsurprisingly based around funky, vocal house, where the punters put their slap on and steam press their labels for a night of peacock partying. Twisted Elegance is, for some, the best of the bunch and its home - Ampersand, is a very salacious venue. Venus has been running for donkeys years and shows no signs of slowing - a 400 capacity venue that fills up by 11:30.

Most Hyped
Sankey's - Creating by far the biggest buzz in the national meeja is Sankey Soap. The golden years of Bugged Out are gone (but not forgotten), however it's now in the hands of Tribal Gathering who have brought a whole new generation of starry-eyed punters to party in the warehouse space. Boasts a Phazon sound system and top-draw guests. You can't argue with this lot: Masters of Work, Danny Krivit, Laurent Garnier, Frankie Knuckles, Dave Clarke, Jon Carter, Eric Morillo, Justin Robertson. The list goes on.

Jilly's Rockworld - Next to The Music Box, this all-night space is rammed with moshers and rockers. Cheap drinks and lots of loud rock for people of all shapes and sizes.

Bigger is Better?
The Academy - This venue has showcased some superb touring acts like Jill Scott, Reprazent, DJ Shadow (click here for gigs) and a rake of bands before they go platinum and have to play somewhere bigger. Resident club nights include Step Back (oldskool) Spellbound (drum and bass) and Club Trop (cheese).

Favourite student venue for initiation into Manchester clubbing
The Phoenix - Phoenix has initiated many a bright eyed and bushy tailed fresher into the concept of dancing-till-dawn to a thumping techno soundtrack. No Acid Rock or Havok here these days but there is one of the longest running nights in town, Tangled, that supplies a diet of trance / techno and breaks for a young and mad-fer-it crowd.

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