Live music in Manchester is embroiled in the biggest fight of its life. And earlier this week, two of its most treasured veterans fell.
The Deaf Institute and Gorilla, an iconic, decorated duo on the local gig scene, confirmed on Thursday they would permanently close – sparking a mass, bassline-like groan that warbled right beyond the M60.
There’s been a growing undercurrent of panic and nausea in the live music sector in recent months, and this was the biggest blow yet.
Both of these venues have been at the forefront of Manchester’s gig scene for years, earning special status among artists and fans.
Deaf Institute, on Grosvenor Street, has doubled as a stomping ground for amateurs cutting their teeth and a stage for world-famous performers, whilst Whitworth Street’s Gorilla has been inviting clubbers to party below the railway arches since 2012.
Sacha Lord is currently attempting to find a way to save the venues by speaking to potential buyers, claiming “there is hope.”
Fingers are crossed. But whatever happens, we’ll always have the memories.
The Manc invited readers to share their greatest moments at Deaf and Gorilla – and live music fans arrived in droves to relive some unforgettable evenings spent dancing into the early hours.
Among the respondents was local DJ Hattie Pearson.
This rapturous response is a real reflection of just how important a role these venues have had in maintaining that electric atmosphere Manchester is famed for.
In the best case scenario, a new chapter may begin – with owners Mission Mars asking “any industry and music entrepreneurs who might be interested in this as an opportunity to please get in touch.”
Manchester’s Night-Time Economy Adviser is already on the case. Perhaps one, or both, of these venues can reopen later down the line.
The concern for now, however, is that the closure of Deaf and Gorilla is only the beginning.
Simply put, more money must be pumped into our favourite venues over the coming weeks and months or they’ll continue to fall like dominoes.
A campaign entitled Let The Music Play was launched on 2 July in an attempt to acquire the necessary funds to keep the live music industry ticking over – with the sector set to lose £900m and cut jobs by 50 per cent if gigs do not resume in 2020.
Many major artists including Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Dizzee Rascal, Johnny Marr, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney have all signed a letter addressed to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for help.
The government have since provided a £1.57bn cash injection to support the arts sector – providing music venues with emergency grants and loans.
The money will help some venues survive. Others will not be so lucky.
Two of Manchester’s top spots have fallen already.
11 arrests after mass brawl breaks out before Oldham vs Wrexham game
At least 11 people are said to have been arrested after a mass brawl broke out before Saturday’s match between Oldham Athletic and Wrexham AFC.
The fight broke out in a residential area in Failsworth just hours before the game between the two National League sides, as locals can be seen watching on as the chaos unfolds.
As you can see in the clip above, dozens of fans from both teams can be seen scrapping and launching projectiles, with a police tactical aid unit driving right through the middle of the crowds.
Superintendent Phillip Hutchinson, Silver Commander for the operation, said that more than 60 fans were hit with a dispersal order and made to leave the area.
Hutchinson went on to warn that “Disorder and violence at football matches is unacceptable and we have launched a post-match investigation to identify more offenders who will be arrested and placed before the courts, where we will seek football banning orders.
It was only last month that Latics player Hallam Hope was ‘seriously injured’ following an assault in the car park after a home game against Chesterfield.
Wrexham, still riding the wave of positivity after being bought by celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, went on to beat the north Manchester side 2-1 with a last-gasp winner in the 95th minute.
A Manchester gaming bar is throwing a 2000s-themed Myspace party this week, taking it back to a time when studded belts were all the rage and angsty bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, and Taking Back Sunday ruled the airwaves.
Staff at Pixel Bar are getting ready to relive their Myspace Scene kid days with a free-to-enter ‘Myspace social’, which will take place on Tuesday 4 October at the Northern Quarter gaming bar.
Promising a night full of emo, pop punk and scene classics, if you regularly find yourself listening back to old Brand New songs and fingering packets of blue-black hair dye in Boots, this is probably a party for you.
Throughout the night Pixel Bar will be running a 40% industry discount on food and drink for partygoers, as well as hosting games of beer pong and giant Jenga.
Dressing up is not mandatory but it is encouraged, and its bar staff will be going all out in their best emo and Scene kid get-ups – so expect to see a lot of kohl eyeliner, sweeping fringes, and maybe even a few pairs of fingerless gloves.
Sharing the news of the upcoming party on social media, Pixel Bar wrote: “We’re officially bringing Myspace back!
“Head down next Tuesday for our Myspace special. Mega industry discount with 40% off food and drink!
“@camthedj is spinning all the Scene/Emo tracks bringing back the emo fringe.”
Originally hailing from Leeds, Pixel Bar opened its second site in Manchester at the end of 2021 and became an instant hit with the city’s gaming community.
Selling 18 different gaming-themed cocktails, with choices like ‘Jigglypuff’, ‘Princess Perch’ and the ‘Yoshi’s Island Iced Tea’, plus a selection of ‘magic potion’ shots promising do deliver ‘full health’ and ‘stamina’, it has quickly become a haven for gamers.
The bar also has a signature cocktail called ‘Who’s that Pokemon?’ – a combination of vodka, lemon juice, soda and your choice of flavoured syrup.
Elsewhere, you’ll find the newest PlayStation 5, Xbox X Series, and Nintendo platforms, arcade games, high-spec PCs and a downstairs club room playing early 00s pop punk until the early hours.