Manchester Music Venues
Manchester. So much musical history to answer for. The city that birthed some of the greatest bands and artists Britain has ever seen. Manchester music venues are where bands like Oasis, The Stone Roses, Joy Division, The Smiths and more cut their teeth, plus they are still standing and still breathing. Some may have new names, new carpets and new beers on tap, but the history is packed into these places that even the most ruthless of refurbishments couldn't move. Manchester's bars and clubs have always added to a city with rich musical history and we've compiled a list of some of the best recommended live music venues around Manchester to check out.
Last updated on 15th May 2016
Next door to Dog Bowl just off Oxford Road you'll find Gorilla, a fantastic multi-purpose space that caters for everyone. As well as the main bar, gin parlour and dining area, Gorilla boasts a mesmerising 600 capacity venue that is home to some of the biggest and best parts of Manchester nightlife. The venue lends itself to special DJ sets from established artists such as Radioslave, bands like We Are Scientists and an abundance of upcoming musical talents and not forgetting some of the best club nights in Manchester. Book here!
Band On The Wall is a non-profit live music venue based in the Northern Quarter offering a variety of band and club nights for those looking for things to do in Manchester. With happily affordable bar prices and a 14+ age limit for gigs, Band On The Wall really asserts itself as a live music venue for the wider community. The 320 capacity venue hosts nights spanning across all genres and really does have something for everyone.
Located in the vibrant Northern Quarter area, The Ruby Lounge is a 375 capacity live music venue that transforms into a historic 600 capacity club space with all the swagger and style of 1950's rock 'n' roll lounge bars. With an impressive list of bands past and present that have played at this Manchester club such as Klaxons, Lana Del Rey and Glasvegas, it's certainly a great part of Manchester nightlife to experience.
Located on Oldham Street in amongst other popular Northern Quarter bars you'll find Night & Day Cafè; an independent cafè serving great food and drink during the day, then opening up as a live music venue come the evening. The low-lighting creates a brilliant atmosphere and the stage at the back of the room ensures that a good view is possible from all over the cafè. Hosting a wide array of nights, ranging from local up-and-comers to much bigger acts playing a special intimate show, Night & Day Cafè has an ambience and atmosphere that should appeal with all music lovers looking for things to do in Manchester.
Opposite Gorilla and Dog Bowl you'll find The Ritz, a 1500-capacity live music venue that still manages to give gigs a special, intimate feeling. Originally built in the 1920s and playing host to a number of huge acts such as The Stone Roses, The Smiths and The Beatles, The Ritz was rebuilt in 2011 and has quickly re-established itself as an important part of Manchester nightlife. Proudly keeping hold of it's original dance hall layout and importantly the round, bouncy dancefloor that gives this Manchester club some real character.
Searching through the backstreets of the Northern Quarter can result in discovering some real treats, and Kraak Gallery is one of them. Tucked away behind one of the most popular cocktail bars in Manchester, Hula Tiki Lounge, there's no neon sign with a gigantic arrow pointing towards the front door, just a small trace of 'Kraak' etched in the wall with chalk to direct you to this hidden part of Manchester nightlife. Acting as a multi-purpose space, Kraak lends itself brilliantly to the Manchester live music scene with its independent attitude and open plan 165 capacity room.
Just down the road from Dusk til Pawn and Noho on the popular Stevenson Square area of the Northern Quarter lies Soup Kitchen, a basement music venue that has played host to many of musics rising star. The 175 capacity open space in the basement is a great place to catch a band almost any day of the week, while upstairs offers fantastic food and drink all week round. There's a good chance that any modern bands with a lot of hype and recognition have passed through this established Manchester bar in their time.