BuzzBallz cocktails – game, set and match to Bunny Jackson’s Manchester, as host of first UK pour

Cocktails have been enjoying their time in the sun once again and any respectable joint worth their salted rim will offer you a cocktail list.

And whilst they come in a variety of shapes and sizes (it can be a bit of a Russian roulette experience as to what’s coming and whether it presents in a generous fish bowl or mean-spirited little thimble), I’ve never seen them come quite like this.

Whilst nestled in a deck chair on First Street, watching Djokovic serving up a storm in the semi-final on Wimbledon centre court, Bunny Jackson’s was bringing to us the first UK pour of American’s biggest selling single-serve premixed cocktails.

These spherical little fellas are BuzzBallz and having shown up for the first pour all just for you, I’m here to tell you that they pack a hell of a punch for such a cute little drink. They might look fun but they’re a serious business and strictly adult-only.

All 200ml balls are 13.5 per cent abv, made with premium spirits and bursting with real fruit juice, and natural flavours, I was told.

But how could I be sure this would all lead to a delightful drink experience? There was clearly work to be done and both I and the cocktails were…

Ready to drink 😉

Six varieties to try, I delegated the creamier options to my plus 1, with me taking on the fruitier flavours on offer. How very professional and organised of us.

Tequila ‘Rita was my favourite, so much so that i had a second just to make sure I was right.

I was right.

Close behind was the Strawberry ‘Rita. Word of warning, make sure you pour it down your throat, not your top. Pretty colour though (and it washed out so bonus points awarded).

A mess of a human being

Finally the Chili Mango and ooh what a kick, the heat hitting the back of the throat in a satisfying way.

Plus 1 took his task seriously and took on his trio of tipples with gay abandon, great aplomb and absolute gusto. What a trooper.

Choc Tease is definitely one for the Baileys lovers (can I say that?). Naughty but nice on many levels. The Lotta Colada was a veritable coconut in a can, and finally the ultimate test, the Espresso Martini.

With this name there really is nowhere to hide and given the popularity of this cocktail type, expectations are high. Verdict? A great version of an Espresso Martini – who needs floating coffee beans?

That’s all well and good, but how can you be sure yourselves?

Well good news. BuzzBallz are not just for me, my plus 1, for first pours or for Wimbledon semi-finals. Those fun little ball-shaped cans of cocktails are behind the bar now at Bunny Jackson’s.

Not only that, the First Street dive bar will be running a deal for a bucket of three BuzzBallz for £15.

Not even kidding and who can resist a bucket?

Bunny Jackson’s are also be upping its game with a Wing Wagon – a 40ft long Winnebago, yes 40, converted into an al fresco chicken bus, complete with deck chairs, loungers, and its famous 25p wings – positioned next to its big screen showing more sporting events this summer.   

Bunny Jackson’s Mof Gimmers, says

BuzzBallz Cocktails have landed in the UK in a big way so for us to be the first bar to serve them is a big deal. We know Mancunians are going to love them – there are six great flavours, they look great, taste amazing and add to the fun of a night out in town…But come quick, we book up fast and the good weather will encourage Mancunians to do what they do best – having fun in the sun!”

But again, whilst my written word is my blogger’s bond, see for yourself, and visit the Bunny Jackson’s website to find out more and to book a space: 

https://www.bunnyjacksons.co.uk/l

With thanks to Francesca and Rachel at Crate Communicatioms.

Words, opinions and hangover very much my own.

Hacienda Classical at Castlefield Bowl – name something more Manc

Did I mention that it’s 40 years since the Hacienda and all it entails was realised?

Oh yes here’s where I mentioned it…Happy big 4-0 Hacienda! The night I entered Manc Mecca…

Well here’s its sister from the same mister and if you haven’t heard, been or listened to Hacienda Classical, you don’t know what you’re missing. Actually I’ll tell you (but in slightly less aggressive tones than this introductory paragraph).

It’s where DJs share the stage with classical musicians, creating a symphony of iconic sounds, where strings meet synths meets decks meets maracas. It’s a beautiful collaboration between The Hacienda and the holy trinity of Manchester Camerata, DJ Graeme Park and musical director Tim Crooks

And on Friday it was realised at Castlefield Bowl, that curious little amphitheatre where on a quiet day plays host to office workers bedecked in lanyard chic, eating their sandwiches, sushi and salads.

Castlefield itself holds legendary status. Being a self-titled honorary Manc and all, the area was my intro to Manchester, moving over to work at Granada TV in 2000 at its OG Quay Street site, with lunchtimes spent either sat on a blanket in St Peter’s Gardens (summer) or having one of them there new-fangled panini or ciabatta sandwiches at (air quotes) gastro-pub Oxnoble on Liverpool road (all seasons).

And we all know that when the temperatures hit 16c plus, with little to no control, our bodies take us straight to Dukes 92, Barca, The Wharf. It’s the Manchester in the Summer law.

But there’s another piece of legislation creeping into Manchester in the Summer book of policies and that’s to head to the frankly fabulous and, for many years underused, Castlefield Bowl for the superb programme of musical moments that is Sounds of the City.

Add to the mix Hacienda Classical, temperatures hitting, yes hitting…

the early 20s

we were ready for business and an epic Friday night.

I’ll have one of everything please

Attempting to break the world record for the number of open Didsbury Gins transported through crowds of shiny happy people, I had only one choice: up or down.

Whilst you’ve gotta get up early to take your seat/stance on the fabled elevated concrete steps of the ‘Bowl, an earlier commitment meant that this was not to be.

After a valiant effort to take my place on the other elevated location of what we’re calling ‘the grass verge’, much jostling and displacement of Didders Gin later, it was mission abandoned when I realised that this blog post would either have to be accompanied by images only of the backs of people’s heads who could see the stage or stock images, the decision was made to shimmy (read stumble) back down to take our chances at ground level.

As I was ably led through the crowds, snaking our way towards frontish-central, I was surprised at how relatively easy at this particular soiree it was.

Gig craft! It’s called gig craft!

husband/plus 1/decorated gig craft specialist

Anyway, gig craft employed and duly executed, we found our dance floor for the night and what a night it was.

Heartbreak and promises, I’ve had more than my share

Robin S

Swap that out for streamers, strobes and many gins and you’re getting an idea of my night

All ya your favourites – tracks, DJs, faces, memories, beats (as ‘they’ say), classical musicians filling a stage bedecked by those iconic black and yellow stripes, the railway arches ferrying people in and out of God’s own country on trams and trains alike, Bez freakily dancing maracas in hand as he bounced onto the stage unannounced…

the wonderful DJ Paulette at the decks, Hooky next to, having a chat…it wasn’t Year of our Lord 2022, it was just Friday in Castlefield, Manchester and nothing mattered (apart from I really, really needed the loo and the portaloos felt like miles away and I hate portaloos).

MC Tunes could get a party going in an empty room, and with the god-like Hooky seemingly overseeing proceedings via DJ sets, low-slung bass playing, singing and just generally serving up excellent him-ness, life was great.

And as the final confetti cannon went off and the iconic strains of You Got the Love heralded the end of the party, we all marched off, ticker tape in our hair and god knows where else, down the canal paths, past the boarded up (The) Knott – RIP – and onto that quiet little intersection of Deansgate where we jostled for black cabs, Ubers, trams and trains, once more having taken a ride on time into our pasts and what makes Manchester and its people great.

https://www.visitmanchester.com/whats-on/sounds-of-the-city-p328911

With special thanks to Laura of LG Publicity and James from The Hacienda. Words, opinions and hangover this writer’s own.

Short Play Showcase at the John Thaw Studio.

I’ll be honest from the off, it’s the course I’d like and hope to do and so it was slightly surreal but incredibly nice to be asked to this closed showcase and evening of short plays written by University of Manchester MA Playwrights, performed by Manchester-based actors.

So far so my bag.

I was advised that each play was written in response to the playwrights’ first semester of teaching, in which they were tutored by award-winning playwright Chloe Moss. In these creative seminars, students were encouraged to think about how ‘form’ and ‘structure’ can be manipulated and used innovatively, before working collaboratively to write their own short plays.

First up we had The Slaughterbrute, written and directed by Matthew Skelton.

“Three soldiers deep under the earth and sea, find themselves fighting each other and morality in a bitter bid for survival under tyranny.”

What we had here was in the realms of French farce meets sci-fi.

A brilliant sub-genre to my mind.

With efficient and clever use of lighting and sound to set the scene, we see the plot twist and turn as a test by the Commander (Ferdinand Ray) to see if a soldier in training would turn traitor if tempted, lead to a fatal consequence. Turns out ‘Jack’ (Harry Bloor) was such an anti-traitor that he murdered the Commander as a traitor.

So far, so ‘oops’. But then whilst Jack had passed the final test, the Chaplain (Rory Calland) regretfully informs him that penalty for killing a Commander was execution.

What followed was a lesson in mind-bending moral quandaries.

I passed the test, I’m not a traitor.

Yes.

I killed who I thought was a traitor.

Yes. But he was pretending. You killed a Commander so you must be killed.

But he presented as a traitor.

Yes.

So I very much so passed the test.

Yes but also in doing so you failed the biggest.

But…

(Please note I’m heavily paraphrasing the more sophisticated actual dialogue for reasons of failing memory but you get the general idea).

And so round and round and round.

More twists followed as Jack and the Chaplain played cat and mouse to seek a solution where both came through alive.

With smart, rhythmic, poetic dialogue and double twists delivered with a comic edge, the play placed us in a dystopian world but kept it real with a debate over when if ‘doing the right thing’ incidentally leads to a wrong thing, which act trumps the other and in the end is it really just about who’s left standing, the rights or wrongs of it all irrelevant?

(And is that sentence of mine so long it’s practically offensive?)

A literal change of scene and the second play, The Footstool, entered stage right. Written by Liam High and directed by Judi Amate…

“When their grandfather, Carl, suffers a heart attack, estranged brothers Phillip and Peter find themselves reunited after 15 years, when Peter ran away from home. So much of their lives have changed but can the brothers move beyond their past differences and mend their wounds with Carl before it’s too late? The Footstool is an exploration of co-dependent and toxic relationships, intergenerational masculinity and the possibility of forgiveness.”

There are some shorts that where quite a lot can be fit into just a snapshot.

In 20 minutes, we had the decline and perhaps/perhaps not death of a grandfather, the arrival of a long lost brother and reconciliation bridging 15 years’ estrangement.

It was a play of two halves and three relationship dynamics. The first half introduced a comedy performance by Rory Calland as the grandfather, Carl, worthy of Wilfred Bramble. Yes he was dying but he was funny.

The knowledge of the return of the runaway grandson, Peter, was enough to drive Carl to another heart attack. Carl appeared to be the reason Peter left.

And the return of the prodigal twin brother, Peter, was nearly enough to send Phillip, into a metaphorical heart attack.

Peter had abandoned Phillip when he left. But equally Phillip had abandoned Peter by not joining him. Joint resentment on both sides.

Peter used to get Phillip to crouch on the floor to be his footstool.

Oof, we thought.

Phillip, turns out, actually liked this. It was their connection. They didn’t have a secret language but they had an intriguing shared memory of the womb where one grabbed the other’s foot and never wanted to let go.

I had so many questions, can one twin born mere minutes before the other be enough to create a power imbalance? Create a hierarchy in dominance? A theme of abandonment?

I was, actually, momentarily distracted by aggressively trying to remember being in the womb, I’m so competitive…I did remember throwing an iron at my dad though, whilst still in nappies.

Ladies and Gentlemen? Me.

Is the perfect short, one with a neat and tied up in a bow conclusion or one that leaves you wanting more.And is the latter a good thing if you’re not going to get that next instalment? I think so if there’s resolution within the first.

What ties all the plays together is a resolution in the short term, but with a triggered imaginary for what could come next.

In my fantasy, Carl survives his second heart attack to whinge and whine another day, with long enough for the three to come together to thrash out the abuse which one twin undertook, which of the three relationships in play can survive and which should be put out to pasture and consigned to the past?

And I mean that as a compliment.

Short break between shorts, and straight into the energetic Why I Didn’t, written by Imogen Chillington, and co-directed along with Lauren Ellis-Stretch.

“A young woman learning how to exist as an adult in a world that doesn’t want to make space for her. Processing her first break up and trying to understand the disaster that is ‘modern’ dating, ‘I’ starts to understand how her experiences impact and change her and how to survive trauma.”

I think maybe the excellent Megan Keaveny, as ‘I’, should perform this annually to freshers as a cautionary tale.

The monologue was heartbreaking and frustrating in equal measure. And I mean this as high praise. There but for the grace of god goes I, as…well ‘I’ innocently and naively justifies to herself poor behaviour by an ex, poor behaviour by a current and frankly poor behaviour by ‘friends’.

Like a protective older sister (ok technically I could be ‘I’s’ mother (technically), you wanted to seek him out and tell him where to get off.

And as ‘I’ had a slow realisation that poor behaviour was a great deal more sinister, that poor behaviour accounted to date rape (actually let’s just call it rape), you wanted to hunt him down and, well…

Thoughts of ‘ ah bless her’ and ‘you daft lass’ turned to ‘help her’.

A powerful message and energetic yet subtle performance (seemingly an oxymoronic statement but true), with a witty script that knew when and how to change tack and tone, whilst staying true to the character.

We saw a happy, funny, unlucky-in-love girl who we laughed with in da club, as she scrolled through tinder, unravel before our eyes, taking our emotions on a roller coaster ride.

And with little time to recover, our final short of the evening; In Limbo, written by Judi Amato and directed by Liam High.

“Sophie is dead. Probably. She thinks. How could the happiest time of her life turn to this? A play about the darkest sides of motherhood, In Limbo follows Connor (Kai Ross) and Sophie (Madeleine Healey) as they joyfully prepare for the arrival of their baby – and the reality of early parenthood and post-partum depression.”

This was a cleverly constructed tale told through a non-linear timeline, which created a powerful impact (damn you Short Play Showcase, my mind’s been shot to shit in under two hours).

Beautifully acted we jump between the extremes of a couple, clearly in love and with an excellent line, may I say, of ‘bantz’, from the excited parents-to-be to broken down parents-realised.

The size of the bump providing the immediate visual signpost to where we’re at on the timeline, we’re seeing a loving couple taking time out with some reluctance to leave the baby, to pregnant couple enjoying discussing names, to mother frantically imagining hearing the baby cry (excellent use of sound to cause a mis-step in the audience’s perception of reality) to an unravelling of a mother’s mind, a terrified father developing a reluctant but real mistrust of what she might do, infidelity and a breakdown in trust on both sides.

It was a deep-dive exploration into mental health and relationships, with believable dialogue and performances, cleverly portrayed with a manipulation of time that for me landed well in helping to portray the wildly conflicting emotions at play.

And so the metaphorical curtain came down on the showcase (a second one was to follow the next evening) and now must come down on my blog post, which to say considering the subject matter, perhaps wins the award for longest yet.

Some wonderful and exciting talent on show, providing firm reassurance that the future (and indeed, present) of the Manchester arts scene is safe in the hands of some wonderful creatives.

I look forward to seeing their future work.

Now where is that prospectus…

https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/humanities-campaigns/playwriting/

Greater Manchester Fringe is back with a bang (and I done a weak hair pun)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

Fringe.Is.Back.

And not just any old Fringe. Greater Manchester Fringe.

All that creativity, talent and in all those exciting and unique spaces around Manchester.

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival returns for its 11th year, in its original summer slot from Friday 1st until Sunday 31st July.

Over the years, people have performed fringe shows in all sorts of unusual spaces, including camper vans, tents, Roman forts and even in a crypt…

This year, the venues include: Chapeltown Picture House, Foundation Coffee House, Frog and Bucket, Whitefield Garrick Theatre, GM Police Museum, Gullivers, International Antony Burgess Foundation, The Kings Arms, Lock 91, Moston Small Cinema, Salford Arts Theatre, The Seven Oaks, Lions Den, The Peer Hat, The Squad House, Twenty Twenty Two, Whitworth Locke…

“Some of the greatest performers, actors, poets, bands, artists and creative writers have come from the North West, so it is fitting to have our Fringe Festival in Greater Manchester as a host for exciting, emerging talent. We can’t wait to see all the exciting shows lined up for next month.”

Lisa Connor,
Director of The Greater Manchester Fringe

The programme of events is packed with over 100 productions, including drama, comedy, music, mime, children’s shows, storytelling, puppetry, visual arts, spoken word, walking tours, running tours and lots of fabulous performers, at affordable ticket prices.

In addition, some of the shows are free to offer access to a non-traditional theatre-going audience.

To see the full listings and book tickets, visit: Greater Manchester Fringe

In the meantime, get a flavour of GM Fringes (Fringii?) past with a scroll through the Honorary Manc archives…

Patricia Gets Ready at The Lowry (and I get on my soapbox)

Straightaway, my takeaway on this play is how there are some incredibly talented actors in this country and there is largely a huge disconnect between talent and plaudits.

Much of this, of course, as in life, is to do with how commercially viable a vehicle is. And I get that. Not everything is for consumption by the masses and nor should it be.

We wouldn’t get the dark, the taboo, the controversial, the sharp, the left field, the triggering, the hugely important art that we do if everything played to ticket sales and middle England.

But sometimes I just wish there was room in society for that spotlight and comment on talent displayed in fringe to be shared more widely.

Hey everyone. There’s a high chance you won’t see this play, probably, as it’s not for everyone and that’s ok. But just know that this actor is bloody fantastic and knocks spots off that person with an ‘interesting love life’ and an Instagram account that just won’t be quit.

Honorary Manc, on one…

Ok, too far, I know. That’s life. I just get overexcited sometimes. What I’m trying to say is…

Yasmin Dawes as Patricia – you were brilliant.

There are triggers in this play that were clearly signposted both in the literature and by the lovely people of The Lowry, encouraging us to leave and take a break at any point we needed.

Indeed the full name of the one-woman play is triggering which is why I’ve adopted the approach by the theatre to the main title of my post. The full name is:

Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with a man that used to hit her).

We’re taken on a journey by Patricia from her bedroom. And she’s funny and we wonder whether we should laugh, already primed to cry.

Then we get into it and we do laugh. Because she is funny. And she seems ok. She’s obviously had trauma but she seems to be approaching this rendezvous with humour and sass.

Then we delve deeper and she’s not ok and we’re not ok with her going on this date. And as the complexities and layered reasons for survivors of domestic abuse staying with their abusers become clear through Patricia’s flip-flopping approach to the date and seeing him again, it’s tense.

We’re with Patricia’s unseen mum, pleading with her not to go back. We’re heads bowed as she plays out a seemingly subservient role in the date. But then we’re joyous and relieved as we then realise that that didn’t play out as we see Patricia play out an empowering and ‘winning’ role in the date. And it’s going to be ok.

But then we’re back again and seeing that Patricia is beginning the date for real. But how will this play out?

And we’re tense again, hopeful, nervous, touched by the story, the sharing and the all too real knowledge that there are Patricias (and Patricks) everywhere playing out such a reunion or meeting, as often as daily each time they struggle with whether this is the day that they don’t go home and walk away forever.

Behind every great message is a great writer, in this case it’s Martha Watson Allpress. And I had to check that the writer wasn’t Yasmin herself such was the conviction with which the material was delivered. An artistic collaboration made in heaven.

Produced by Nur Khairiyah (Khai) and directed by Kaleya Baxe, it was 60 minutes of theatre that made you feel. All performed in the Lowry Studio – often the biggest and boldest stories are told in the smallest of spaces.

On for one night only in Salford, whilst not an opportunity to see on this current tour, info can be found here Summary, awards , reviews and gallery or @patgetsready on the old socials.

Find out what else is coming up at https://thelowry.com/whats-on/

Further details

  • Production Stage Manager – Leon Smith
  • Well-being Practitioner – Abs Sol
  • Asst Producer – Layla Madanat
  • Costume And Set Designer – Ella Clarke
  • Sound Designer – Beth Duke
  • Lighting Designer – Jessica Brigham
  • Photography and illustration – Xanthus, Greta Mitchel, Korey J Ryan & Heedayah Lockman

Salford help and support:

  • Saheli works for Asian women in Manchester through a safe space and helpline (0161 945 4187 – Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm). Information and support is offered in Arabic, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu. http://saheli.org.uk

Happy big 4-0 Hacienda! The night I entered Manc Mecca…

1982 was a very special year. My brother was born in the January, the Hacienda was born in May. And the rest is history.

That said, history came alive Saturday night when the shutters flew up on what is now the Hacienda apartments car park, and 1000 of us flooded in (note a last minute ‘glitch’ meant this ended up being 500 at a time split over two sessions , but pretty sure Tony Wilson would have had a wry smile on this face at this aptly chaotic turn of events).

Finally I could say…

I was there

Me

Raising funds for The Legacy of War Foundation and The Christie , FAC51 Hacienda put on a huge party where thanks to Stream GM and their fabulous live…well, stream, everyone was invited!

On the early shift, 6-10.30pm (the hardcore attendees scheduled for 11pm – 2am) I rocked up about 6.30pm, obviously in broad daylight. A curious concept, and I wondered how this would translate into an evening which was designed to celebrate the wonderfully hedonistic era of Hacienda.

With an amuse bouche of a vodka and energy drink mixer in me (wild) courtesy of another Manc city centre gaffe with legendary status, (The Britons Protection), I entered the fray.

My blog is named Honorary Manc, a self bestowed title, having taken up residency here in 2000. Whilst I’ve lived and breathed the Factory Records era (granted mostly retrospectively), age and geography meant I was never to be an OG.

I did however earn some entry level stripes, having worked at Granada TV in the first half of the 2000s, which granted me first hand ‘access’ to working with hero Mr Wilson on occasion. Following him round the news room one afternoon, notebook in hand as he multi-tasked, printing and photocopying whilst regaling me with tales of wearing sarongs on holiday, I was in my element.

My element only got better as I took quotes from him as he sat in the back of studio during a commercial break on Granada Reports in 2002, having his hair quickly quiffed into a Hoxton Fin, to emulate Beckham’s famous World Cup look, all in time to leg it back behind the news desk ready for part 2.

Using this as a metaphorical passport into such hallowed turf, alongside my ‘Actual Manc plus 1’ who had regularly frequented the Hacienda in the 90s, I entered Mecca on Saturday.

Dancing to music I grew up with and loved (whilst still at an age where I didn’t have a hope in hell of getting into a licensed venue) was a dream and the fact that it was still daylight outside mattered not.

Actual Manc would go to the Hacienda every Wednesday. Looking around he was feeling the old days. Everyone was there to dance, everyone was happy. No pretension, not a single upward inflection was to be heard.

What may or may not have helped stimulate that happiness back in the 80s and 90s (“every drink was £1 including the huge displays of water”), Actual Manc theorised (theorised) that whilst the nature of a drug can contribute to or create a culture, whatever was going on back in the day, people were remembering that night exactly how they used to feel when they entered that club and heard that music.

Like a form of muscle memory, everyone around us was happy to be back, like they’d never been away (even if they’d never been before), and that feeling was infectious.

Saturday was a mood and like one I’d not experienced out in town in a long, long time.

Everyone around was interesting, full of life, nice, joyous, charismatic, dressed diversely and gloriously. Like yesterday, it was the Hacienda and to completely misquote one of Tony’s past programmes, anything goes.

Indeed we made some friends for life (at least in that moment), but I either didn’t get their names or can’t remember them and so all are ‘assumed’.

*Mabel* and friend sat with us, asking if we’d been back in the day. She shared her memories and and excitement to be back.

“It’s scary, surreal being back amongst the stripes. The concrete, the ceilings; all creating that same acoustic that I remember.”

She didn’t look old enough to remember the acoustics to that degree but I didn’t say so. I couldn’t work out whether it would come out the compliment I intended. And we were all getting on so well.

Meanwhile over in the portaloo queue some time on, Actual Manc found himself privy to chat about the fast approaching cut-off time for part 1 of the party and pending requirement to depart to make way for those attending part 2.

“I’m not leaving, no way,” postured erm *Kev*. “Nah mate me neither! “ agreed *Rob* in solidarity.

“Let none of us leave!”

Needless to say, portaloo pact aside, everyone left obediently when the lights came up and it took only 15 minutes to clear the space ready for the next shift. Most of us back to the Britons Protection beer garden. Like I say, a nice bunch.

A repeat guest star in our evening was *Daz*. Daz on occasion couldn’t find his mates and Daz was appreciative of the 90s club classics blasted out so far, but was hankering after the “mental acid house shit” you used to get. Still Daz was having a top time regardless and the three of us had a lovely bonding moment as we embraced, and sang along that it was gonna be alright. Daz? It really was.

No more so for me than when K-Klass came on and Let Me Show You kicked in and it was 1993 and that piano and that beat and I could pretend that I was here at the time rather than 14 and having to make do with tapes, CDs and my bedroom. I realised my insane grin matched those around me.

And oh here’s Actual Manc back from anther trip to the bar, the portaloo, probably both.

“Mike Sweeney’s over there.”

He was. And eh up, here comes Terry Christian. Having rubbed shoulders with him at Mcr-based festivals and events before, we took it as a positive that he didn’t recognise us as obsessive groupies and once again gifted us a pic. Which he happily exclaimed was “a good one!”

It is isn’t it?

And with a projector streaming original black and white CCTV footage from the club, a wall hosting a tapestry of pictures, flyers and posters, the place was a living, breathing, pulsating shrine to an era where a club could pull no profits yet still become part of the fabric, if not the fabric, of our wonderful wonderful city of Manchester.

Highlights vid:

The (what was) live stream from the night:

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Read more, hear more, watch more about past, present and future streams at https://streamgm.co.uk/