Spotlight on Nightlife: Manchester Autumn 2009

Posted: 20th September 2009
The Warehouse Project

Manchester's finally-recognised label, Factory Records, guided chaotically by TV svengali Tony Wilson through one debt after another and one classic record after another, were responsible for bringing New York to the Pennines and the unheard-of cheering of the DJ at the legendary Hacienda nightclub. The Whitworth Street venue has been long gone but the spirit of those early times lives on. Manchester has plenty to offer clubbers and club-night style gigs - here is a summary guide to what is coming up over the next few weeks:

SANKEYS (Radium St) - Arguably the most famous straight-edged nightclub in Manchester, there is a packed programme of top names in club music appearing here soon as well as the regular nights. In September Tech-house champion, James Zabiela, sharpens his (pro) tools on the 25th as part of Sankeys' 15 years in business and brings with him Mistress De Funk and others. The following night sees the celebrations continuing with dance-electronica courtesy of Marc Romboy and Paul Woolford. Both nights cost £12 each.

October at Sankeys kicks off with break-beat lords Plump DJs rocking the place for £12 as part of the continuing 'Tribal Sessions' on the 2nd, while the equally infamous 'Bugged Out' night returns with Riton and D.I.M. going all-out on the 9th (£12). But, one of the biggest names in crossover Techno is Timo Maas. After chalking up hits of his own and creating several more remixes for artists like Madonna, Depeche Mode and the now-legendary "Dooms Night" by Azzido Da Baas, he has played out to millions of clubbers all over the world. Now he helps Sankeys' to celebrate another birthday, this time the 3rd anniversary of the 'Disco Electronica' nights with a rare appearance on the 17th (£12) - it is bound to be a special night so get signed up now!

If Drum n Bass is more your thing, then head to Sankeys on the 23rd October for a clash between Fabio (Grooverider's side-kick) and J Majik. The former has scaled the heights of stardom with frequent appearances on Kiss FM and Radio 1 but only after playing warehouse parties and infamous Jungle clubs as well as Speed and Rage. He also formed the so-called 'liquid drum n bass' label 'Creative Source', a ground-breaking imprint that released singles by Wax Doctor, Commix and Big Bud.

THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT (Piccadilly) - This club is also a major player and features an eclectic stream of huge names and nights to compete with Sankeys. Keeping its roots with the 'warehouse' and 'rave' scenes from 'back in the day', WP is located underneath Manchester Piccadilly railway station so just a short walk away from the last train / first train home. September ends with a cracking drum n bass night - Goldie, London Elektricity and High Contrast bring Metalheadz mayhem and Hospital liquidity over to Manchester on the 25th (£17.50). Other names have been added including Tayo so this should be a memorable set. Sleazy house and nu-rave returns with the huge Simian Mobile Disco and Delphic on the 3rd October. SMD need little introduction after huge club hits, "Hustler" and "I Believe" gave them a firm footing on the ladder called 'festivals' while Delphic have signed to the stately Belgian Techno label, R&S Records and have already unleashed a ferocious 12" in "Counterpoint". Prices TBC.

Other big Warehouse Project events include a night with Groove Armada (Oct 18th - £17.50), Ram-specialists, Andy C and grimey d n b duo Chase & Status (Nov 6th - £17.50) and a Christmas party bursting with some true festive spice in the shape and sound of progressive-house master, Sasha and balaeric deck-partner John Digweed.

Finally to the rest of the clubs - MINT LOUNGE offers up an evening of hip-hop legend, Grandmaster Flash on Sep 29th (£15) as well as their 'Clique' nights (Fridays - £5) and 'Resident' parties (Saturdays - £5) while the RUBY LOUNGE takes it down a level with Mr Scruff performing the entire 'Keep It Unreal' album on Oct 3rd (£9) and cheeky ambient warlords, The Orb, racking up a huge one for £15 on Oct 11th.

Whatever you shake your tail-feather to, there are plenty of club nights in and around the Gay and Northern Quarters of the city as well as the more commercial Printworks complex in the city centre.

Paul Pledger