Venues Of Note


The Deaf Institute

Ask any touring band of late about where’s a good gig to play in this city and they would drop this place every time. In its short 5-year existence, this venue has played host to some incredible and historic gigs (highlights for ourselves include Wild Beasts, Deerhoof and the School Of Language/Week That Was double header!). It’s hard to identify what elements create such a chemistry for good gigs here, but I often think that the wallpaper and the massive pile of speakers going up the wall behind the bar make me think we’re playing a gig in a really hot girl’s bedroom who knows her music but is way out of your league, so you better impress.

Soup Kitchen

Photo via Soup Kitchen’s Facebook

This is a fairly new place in the northern quarter sitting alongside Dry Bar and the Night And Day Cafe and is showing them up massively, with their gig lineup helping them to become the No. 1 venue for new artists. Its atmosphere is beautiful as well, with its sparse basement venue and authentic soup kitchen upstairs serving till late on weekends. It has a most continental feel to it, which is lovely to think you can escape from the damp northwest right at the heart of it. This place hosts the best touring DJs coming through the city at the weekend as well, so if you like it minimal and messy, there’s only one choice.

The Bunker

On the outskirts of the city between Strangeways Prison and the Salford Lads Club lies the Fuhrer Bunker or just “The Bunker” these days. What was originally supposed to be the recording studio for up-and-coming local label Sways Records got turned quickly into a makeshift live venue with the job half done. For this reason, the stage is actually a wooden cage that was meant to be one of the live rooms creating a mysterious and hostile environment to play in, but then again, so does the bring-your-own-alcohol policy they have. It’s an extraordinary place that may not be around for much longer, but its very short time has created much of an identity for the up-and-coming bands of the city such as MONEY, PINS, Kult Kountry, Great Waves and Temple Songs as well as like-minded peers such as Savages and Esben And The Witch.

Next page: Post-Show Hangs