Sankeys is – quite rightly – the stuff of legend, a part of Manchester’s nightlife that will be talked about for decades to come.
While Ancoats 2022 is a maze of bars and restaurants, back in the 1990s Sankeys was the only destination most people bothered with – mostly everything else was a shell of a warehouse.
The doors to the club opened, and closed, and opened again, and closed again, with a few tweaks to its name along the way.
Whether you remember it as the Sankeys Soap that opened in 1994, or the Sankeys that built an actual beach (using 50 tonnes of sand) in 2009, or even if you never made it onto this hallowed dancefloor, you probably have a story about the venue.
It hosted everyone from Boy George to Bjork to the Spice Girls to Daft Punk, but famously turned away a baby-faced Justin Bieber (too shuffley, apparently).
Nowadays it’s one of many, many converted mill buildings around the neighbourhood, filled with small businesses and apartments.
But Urban Splash, who have repurposed Beehive Mill into a co-working space, have kept many traces of Sankeys alive.
Building manager Carl Holt, once a doorman at Sankeys, remembers when the entrance – now a wall of glass doors with fingerprint recognition – when it had huge steel doors to deter the cars that used to try and ram their way in.
The foyer of the building proudly displays photographs from the club’s final days, showing off rows of empty spirits bottles, crumpled promotional posters, and sticky dance floors.
Videos from club nights at Sankeys are projected on to the concrete wall that houses the mail boxes.
There’s even the old safe, which developers drilled open to find years-old contraband confiscated from clubbers.
The old dance floor is now home to the head office of The Prince’s Trust, who store their outdoors equipment (wetsuits and the like) in what was once the smoking area, the jungle-inspired graffiti still covering the walls.
The old wooden staircase of Sankeys is now a fire escape and mostly blocked off from public view, while the former recording studios have been turned into bicycle storage rooms and office spaces.
Important meetings that now take place here are actually in what was Sankeys’ medical room, tending to revellers who’d overdone it a bit.
Carl says: “When Urban Splash bought it, they revamped it from top to bottom.
“It’s flipped on its head, where there’s now all this business based here. It’s great to see but it is a big change.
“I find it quite satisfying – yes I loved it when it was Sankeys, but I also like it the way it is now.
“Some people say to me ‘No, Sankeys weren’t here, this ain’t Sankeys’, they say they don’t remember, and I tell them ‘You don’t remember for two reasons…’
“In the early days when we were refurbishing it, people used to come here for the history.
“For the cobbles and the bricks and all that. It’s history. I love it.”
While Ancoats is now often lauded as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, nowhere will ever quite be able to recreate the cool of the Sankeys days.
Featured image: The Manc Group
Mani from The Stone Roses is throwing a fundraising party with his wife following cancer diagnosis
Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield and his wife Imelda are throwing a massive fundraising night to raise money for The Christie and The Stockport Charitable Trust.
The wife of the Stone Roses legend was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in November 2020, and has been undergoing gruelling treatment and surgeries ever since.
The pair, who have nine-year-old twins together, will curate an evening of first-class entertainment at The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel’s ballroom in Manchester city centre.
This is The One: Let’s Kick Cancer’s Arse will be taking place during Mani’s birthday week, with raffle and auction prizes donated by bands, footballers, actors, venues and promoters.
Imelda is an events agent who says: “Both charities have supported me through my journey. Cancer affects not just the person who has it, but everyone around them, and I hope that by investing in some more research, we can help alleviate some of the devastation caused to families.”
Mani added: “When life deals you a pair of twos, you must get your game face on! The past two years since my wife’s diagnosis have been brutal in so many ways, but it’s also opened our eyes to so many things.
“This disease needs to be eradicated – we feel duty bound to do our bit to achieve this. So everybody, get on board, dig deep, help out, we will win!”
By the time Imelda was diagnosed with bowel cancer, it had already spread to her liver and a small nodule in her lung, she wrote on her own JustGiving page.
She said: “I underwent emergency life-saving bowel surgery at it perforated. I had Covid and appendicitis for my first 3 chemo sessions, which were missed.
“I thought I was going down to the theatre to confirm appendicitis. Nobody heard anything for 9 hrs. Hence I woke with no small colon and an ileostomy stoma instead.
“Fast forward 6 months of treatments and breaks while they considered surgery, I had the right side of my liver removed.
“We were just on the mop-up stage of chemo when a scan revealed another tumour in the liver and several nodules on my lungs.
“I’m looking at other treatment centres and treatments privately as I’m nowhere near giving up this fight.
“Think positive thoughts into the universe for me to beat this. I’ve got twin boys aged 9 who I’m fighting for to be their mummy to be there for many years to come.”
This is The One: Let’s Kick Cancer’s Arse will take place at The Kimpton Clocktower’s ballroom on Friday 18 November.
Featured image: Paul Husband
A live orchestra is performing Kanye West’s ‘best’ album in Manchester next month
One of Kanye West’s most-critically acclaimed albums is set to be performed by a live orchestra right here in Manchester next month.
And tickets are going on sale very soon.
There aren’t many artists in recent times who could be considered quite as polarising or who divide opinion like Kayne West, but despite how controversial his public persona has been over the last decade, and most-recently within the last few years, he is still widely considered to be one of the most influential hip hop musicians of all time, as well as often being voted as one of the greatest musicians of his generation.
But in typical Kanye fashion, his music often divides opinion just as much as his public persona – especially aomng fans, who will usually debate his best songs and albums, but rarely come to an agreement as to what they are.
One of the albums generally-considered by critics to be the best of West’s discography though is his 2010 album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’.
And if that’s the album you were expecting it to be, then you might want to add the date Friday 2 December to your diary, as that is when a live orchestra will be setting up at The Blues Kitchen to perform a “reimagining” of the LP in full.
Smash-hits like ‘Power’, ‘Runaway’, and ‘Monster’ are just some of the tracks from the album set to be performed during the set.
In a description for the upcoming event, The Blues Kitchen Manchester said: “Kanye’s career-defining record, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is widely seen as one of the last decade’s greatest albums [so] we’re incredibly excited to re-interpret this cult classic with a 13-piece orchestra formed of the UK’s finest classically trained musicians, using a unique musical score.”
On top of the influential album being performed in full, fans can also expect to hear “some extra Kanye classics to finish off the night” too.
Re:imagine My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy will be live at The Blues Kitchen Manchester on Friday 2 December, and tickets are set to go on sale at 10am next week on Tuesday 16 August.