It’s getting to that time of year when everyone is unleashing their ‘Best-Of’ lists, which hopefully we will get out soon as well for albums, but as a little pre-cursor I have done a little list of the best nights in Manchester. Obviously this is all my opinion and since I’m only 1 man, I can’t attend every night put on and there are nights which have been amazing (Who’s the Goose - Rustie, Night Slugs at Sankeys, few WHP’s) but becuase Mancheter has such a buzzing scene, I can’t just list every single one of them! There’s been loads of new nights that have popped up (PYC Sessions, Project 13) that I haven’t had opportunity to attend but definitely will try to in 2012 as well as the already established nights (Content, Continue, Cutloose etc) that are still going off! But props to all the promoters out there for making Manchester such a vibrant and interesting place to live in, definitely one of the best places to go out in the UK. So without further ado, here is the Best Nights of 2011:
3. Secret Wars / Open Plan / Bitlord
This may seem like a bit of a cheat to group 3 nights together, but whilst they are all slightly different, they are similar and the same excellent residents (and Open Plan isn’t really a night anymore)! First, I have to say that Secret Wars is my favorite concept of a night, bringing big artists to a small and intimate crowd of around 100-150 people. They’ve brought some big names to Manchester, here they are: Appleblim, Horsepower Porductions, Niveau Zero, Cosmin TRG and Shackleton! With the addition of Bitlord (which I covered here), it brings in a new audience but keeping in with the same musical vibes Shackelton at the Soup Kitchen has been one of the best nights of the year, with a variety of different performers and Shackleton played a blinding set, and with them bringing back Shackleton for a NYE party (which I will be attending) as well as Peverlist (and one of his label mates) coming up in the New Year, it’s going from strength to strength. Check out (and get tickets) for the Shackleton NYE party Here.
Hoya:Hoya is one of the biggest monthly nights in Manchester, and their main strength is they do have the best and most diverse residents in Manchester; Illum Sphere, Lone, Jonny Dub, Krystal Klear, Jon K and Eclair Fifi. Some of them you’ll know from their own production and some for playing around the UK and the rest of the world but all you need to know is that they are all sick! And we’ve not even got onto the guest they have down to the Roadhouse. They also experimented with a Secret Guest series earlier this year, with the guests from that including Hudson Mohawke, Ikonika, Oneman, Ben UFO and Mary Anne Hobbs. Then in the later part of this year (after I’d finished studying) they managed to top all of these with sets from Lorn, Machinedrum, Pariah and Kuedo (amongst others). With a list of guests like that, you can see why it’s so popular and still up there with the best nights. If you’ve never been before, I highly recommend getting down there! They are also putting on a NYE party at the Soup Kitchen, check it out Here.
3. Selective Hearing / Drum Clinic
As you may have noticed, I’m all about ‘who’ the night is bringing to Manchester, and there isn’t a better list than what Selective Hearing and Drum Clinic (both now the same night) have put on in 2011. From the Swamp81 takeover to Hyperdub specials, they are bringing all the best in established and upcoming names to the sweaty basement of Joshua Brooks (amongst other places), and heres just a few of them: Zomby, DJ STINGRAY (one of the bests sets I’ve seen in 2011), Loefah, Addison Groove, Boddika, Cosmin Trg, Jon Convex, Darkstar, Ikonika, Deadboy, Hackman Pariah, Phaeleh, George Fitzgerald and Scuba. It’s an amazing list of people and if you’re into the whole future bass/garage/whatever then this is the night you NEED to attend. I basically (or try to) attend every month and am never let down by how good it is and I’m sure you won’t be either. Whilst they aren’t doing a NYE party in Manchester (that I’m aware of), they aren’t resting on their laurels and in Feb/March 2012 they are bringing a 2 hour set from Kareen (Blawan & Pariah), Objekt, Until Silence, Space Dimension Controller, Redshape and Actress! Wow is all I can say!