A musical trip through Manchester isn’t all just Smiths and Stone Roses nostalgia. Nathan, Danny, and Bruce of electro-rock outfit The Whip turn us onto some of the lesser-known gems of life in this northern town.
1. Oldham Street, Northern Quarter
This is where the whole “northern quarter” thing started, and is an important place for us. Loads of bars like Matt & Phred’s, the old Planet K (which is where Nathan first met Danny 11 years ago), and Night & Day Café. Lots of record shops and lots of fond memories for everyone in the band!
2. Butterfly Music
Originally a record shop, Butterfly is where we all used to rehearse (on the top floor), although in different bands at different times. It doesn’t sell records anymore but still lives on as a proper rehearsal space, which is a shame because we used to pick up some secondhand classics downstairs during breaks from rehearsing.
3. Kingfisher Fish & Chips
Ahhhhh, the Tib Street chippy, just around the corner from Butterfly Music. It’s where many a hungry band member found themselves before, during, or after a rehearsal. It’s the best chippy in the northern quarter—FACT! My favorite was a chip balm (sandwich) and a sausage.
4. Haçienda Apartments
This is all that is left of our most famous musical landmark, the Haçienda Club. It was owned by New Order, and was one of the most important piles of bricks in house music. Recently the building was flattened and replaced by over-priced, cheaply made apartments for terrible people who think they live in a piece of history. They just sleep on its grave!
5. Night & Day Café
Directly across from Piccadilly Records, the Night & Day is one of the most famous music venues in Manchester. During the day it’s a great bar; at night, it’s a venue that gives new bands a place to play whilst also hosting full-on touring bands from around the globe.
6. World's First Stored-Program Computer
The world’s first stored-program computer was made at the University of Manchester. It ran its first successful program in 1948. This marked the beginning of the computer revolution. You could say that if this baby hadn’t been made we wouldn’t be making the music we make today!
7. IRA Bombing Site
On June 15, 1996, an IRA bomb went off in Manchester causing widespread devastation. The only thing left undamaged was a red postbox, which is still there today. As a consequence, and I suppose in a positive way, Manchester has gone through massive regeneration making the city into what it is today.
8. GMEX Arena
An old railway station that was used as a venue in the early ’90s, the GMEX saw all the Manchester greats. It closed down for a while but is now back up and running. This is one of the places that we would love to play. Another piece of Manchester music history.
9. The Black Lion Pub
This is the pub in Salford where Danny and I got the ball rolling with The Whip. We had a studio in the cellar—really dirty and damp, and none of the barmaids would go downstairs, as they thought the place was haunted. It was the perfect sleazy environment. Parts on the album have a faint karaoke crooner’s voice—that was from the pub above us.
10. Piccadilly Records
This is the record shop of choice for The Whip. It has always been a supporter of new music from all genres—a true independent that has survived!