Venture down a rarely-trod Manchester backstreet in the King Street area of the city, and you’ll discover that work is currently underway on a new piano and cabaret bar.
Inspired by the speakeasies of New York, it’s called Sonata and is tucked away on St Ann’s Alley opposite Mr Thomas’s Chop House, and when it opens its doors this summer will be accessed via a partially concealed ‘speakeasy’-style entrance just off the beaten path.
Founded by a former entertainer who himself performed on the London cabaret scene many years ago, the new music-led venue draws inspiration from the cabaret scenes of the capital, as well of those in New York and Berlin.
From pop standards to Broadway ballads, from jazz classics to quirky cabaret, the bar’s soundtrack will play host to a mix of genres as it showcases singers, pianists and cabaret artists from across the UK and beyond.
Open seven nights a week with a license from 12 noon until 1.30am, drinks will be served into the early hours whilst food-wise there will be a selection of tempting cheese and charcuterie to nibble on.
Full table service will be provided, with drinks and snacks brought to your table whilst you enjoy a collection of performances from disciplines like music, dance and theatre.
A trained singer and cabaret artist who left performing for a career in education and business, owner and founder Dale Bassett decided to return to his musical and theatrical roots after spending some time reflecting on what was important to him during the pandemic.
Sonata is the realisation of his dream, bringing to life up north the thriving cabaret scene he fell in love with during his time in the capital before moving back up to Manchester.
Speaking on the new opening, Dale said:
“I am so excited to be creating a unique addition to Manchester’s nightlife and legendary music scene, and in a completely new and custom-designed venue.
“Sonata is more than just a bar – it’s a special place to relax and feel at home while you enjoy the piano and song that take centre-stage. Whether you discover something new or enjoy an old favourite, I will be hand-picking our performers to make sure you have a memorable night.
“Sonata has been my lifelong dream, and to bring it to life in the city I love is such a privilege. I can’t wait to share my passion and our fantastically talented artists with our guests.”
Feature image – Sonata / The Manc Group
A former beauty queen, 25, has died suddenly after collapsing at stables owned by Michael Owen
A former beauty queen has died at just 25 years old, after she collapsed at the stables owned by Michael Owen.
Jessica Whalley worked at Manor House Stables and had previously taken part in the Miss Tourism Universe pageant.
Emergency services were called to the equestrian facility in Malpas, Cheshire, on Tuesday morning to reports that the young woman had collapsed.
Tragically, paramedics were unable to revive Jessica, and she died at the scene.
Keir Starmer says Labour will ‘freeze’ council tax this year if elected
Keir Starmer has said he will “freeze” council tax in England this year if Labour triumphs in the upcoming local elections.
The Labour leader says his party will cut tax “for the many, not just for the top 1%.”
With the next local elections coming up on 4 May 2023, and Labour hoping to gain in its number of seats across England and Wales, Sir Keir Starmer appeared in Swindon today to launch his party’s election campaign, and hit out at the Conservative Party for being “nowhere near good enough” over their last 13 years of power.
Starmer notably blasted the Tories for their decision to raise tax-free pension limits in its most recent Budget announcement – which is set to benefit the most well-off in our society – and said Labour would counteract this and represent working people.
It comes after almost three in four local Councils say they are planning to increase the cost by the maximum amount allowed after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised the cap on council tax increases without a referendum from 3% to 5%.
Council leaders claim they have “little choice” but to increase costs as the rising cost of living crisis sadly continues to make its impact felt nationwide.
Speaking at the launch of Labour’s campaign today, Starmer stated “there is a choice on tax” for the public to make in the upcoming local elections.
He added: “A Tory choice – taxes up for working people, tax cuts for the 1% – or a Labour choice, where we cut business rates to save our high streets and where, if there was a Labour government, you could take that council tax rise you just got and rip it up.
“A Labour government would freeze your council tax this year – that’s our choice. A tax cut for the many, not just for the top 1%. So take this message to every doorstep in your community: Labour is the party of lower taxes for working people.
“That’s the difference we can make. That’s the choice in May. A better Britain.”
Starmer said he intends for the pledges he made in Labour’s local election campaign launch to “send a message to the government” after their 13 years in power.
“What they’ve delivered to our country nowhere near good enough,” he said
“We’ve got to get out there and show people the difference Labour can make. Let them see our hunger for change. We have to prove that this suffocating cost of living crisis, the path of decline the Tories have set Britain on, the endless sticking plaster politics, is not inevitable.