After quite some time away at the hands of our foe COVID-19, the award-winning Manchester Music Tours is back to provide a unique experience for music lovers in the city.
By visiting all the places across Greater Manchester that have defined some of the city’s biggest bands, you’ll get a true insights into the band’s lives and where they cut their teeth.
Led by Rose Gill alongside some guest tour guides, you’ll hear stories from those that experienced Manchester’s 80s and 90s music scene first-hand.
There are five different guided tours on offer. Each one an ode to a different iconic Manchester band. From Salford Lads Club, synonymous with The Smiths to Boardwalk where Oasis played their first ever gig, this is the ultimate Manchester music pilgrimage.
If Morrissey is your man, The Smiths tour will take you on a three-hour journey to places like Strangeways prison and The Iron Bridge that all inspired the lyrics to some of the band’s most famous songs.
A guided tour of Salford Lads Club will also grant access to ‘The Smiths Room’ which has been kept as a shrine to the band with memorabilia and posters.
Alternatively, fans of Joy Division can embark on a four-hour tour which takes a deep dive into the band as well as The Hacienda and Factory Records.
Iconic stop-offs include Epping Walk Bridge and the home of Alan Erasmus, the location of the original Factory Records HQ when it was first established in 1979.
Praised by the Gallagher brothers themselves, the Oasis tour will explore the pair’s Burnage childhood, before visiting the clubs and rehearsal rooms that changed the band’s career forever.
Remember the Definitely Maybe album artwork? Well, this one will also take you the very house that was used on the cover. There’ll also be some crate-digging opportunities at Sifters record store, made famous by the band’s song Shakermaker.
The Stone Roses trip, however, will call at Granada Studios where the band made their TV debut performing ‘Waterfall’. And with a visit to Chorlton Waterpark that inspired the hit song ‘Mersey Paradise’ – and a show around the site of International 1 where they held their first gig in 1985 – you can walk in the footsteps of Ian Brown and the boys.
But for those that can’t decide on their favourite band (and really, we’d be stuck for choice too) you can get a taster of all the best bits with the Manchester Music Tour Special. This one will take you on a whistle stop tour of highlights from all four of the tours for the ultimate experience.
There are photo opportunities to be had at every location of each tour, plus tea and coffee to keep you going. And if you fancy a private tour of your own, get in touch.
Now, we all know music lover who’d be up for this, don’t we? Grab your tickets here.
Things To Do
Three Little Words and Seven Brothers Brewery are moving into Kampus this summer
This week, Manchester’s waterside neighbourhood Kampus has revealed that two of Manchester’s best-loved indie drinks producers will be moving in over the summer.
Manchester Gin’s bar and distillery Three Little Words will be taking over the infamous bungalow, whilst Ancoats’ favourite Seven Brothers Brewery will temporarily move into the neighbourhood’s red-brick Minshull Warehouse – previously tipped to house a new taproom from Cloudwater.
This summer, the brewery – first founded in Salford nine years ago by the McAvoy brothers – will open the doors to the warehouse serving up their popular family beers alongside a few Kampus specials.
With seating inside and out, once the warmer nights arrive drinkers can once again enjoy the Manchester neighbourhood’s canalside beer garden.
Set to open officially from the long Easter weekend, for the first time tables and chairs will be nestled throughout the giant tree ferns and palms, with visitors able to sample the delights of the impressive foodie community – including Nell’s, Pollen, Great North Pie, The Beeswing wine bar and Yum Cha.
Elsewhere, in the Bungalow popular local gin distillers and cocktail pros Three Little Words will serve up a sleek cocktail menu – all made up from their portfolio of multi-award-winning spirits from The Spirit of Manchester Distillery.
First opened in 2019 by Seb & Jen Heeley-Wiggins, the founders of Manchester Gin, luxurious cocktail bar Three Little Words has since won awards for its signature menu of innovative cocktails.
Both will kick-start on Friday 7 April, with an Easter Weekender of booze, beats and eats in store – with Nell’s Pizza also joined by guest DJs throughout the weekend.
The season is a major moment for Kampus, the first year when the neighbourhood will have a full force of eclectic independent operators fully trading.
More names are set to join too. Red Light will lift the curtain on the insta-friendly Little David Street LGTBQ+ cocktail den, with the opening date to be revealed in the coming weeks, whilst taqueria and mezcaleria Madre is currently fitting out its space ready to bring its take on Mexican goodness to Manchester.
Seb Heeley-Wiggins, Master Distiller & Co-Owner The Spirit of Manchester Distillery & Three Little Words, said: “We’ve got such a loyal following and we’ve been on the hunt for a spot where people could enjoy our cocktails in a beautiful outdoor setting … spritzes in the sunshine.
“Kampus absolutely fits that bill and will be an incredible summer posting for our team. We’ll be bringing our signature menu as well as some seasonal creations unique to Kampus.
“There’s so much going at the neighbourhood that we’ll be in good company. We’ve already got celebrations planned throughout the summer months, where we’ll be collaborating with incredible brands and creatives, and we’ve got a big surprise in store for next month. We just need a long, hot summer now.”
Keith McAvoy, CEO for Seven Brothers, said: “We’ve been big fans of Kampus for a while so we jumped at the chance to put on a summer-long party and create a new beerhouse here. The historic setting is stunning and we know we’ll create, hands down, the best beer garden in Manchester.
“We’re a family run business, born here in Greater Manchester. Our Kampus run is a fitting celebration for how far the brewery has come with the incredible support of every person who’s ever enjoyed a SEVEN BRO7HERS pint.
“We’ll be in good company with our brilliant independent neighbours and encourage everyone to come spend summer with us.”
Seven Brothers will be open Thursday to Sunday every week all summer, whilst Three Little Words will open Wednesday to Sunday.
Featured image – Kampus
Things To Do
Manchester Pride Festival reveals 2023 line-up, including Pabllo Vittar, Jake Shears and Natasha Bedingfield
Manchester Pride Festival has just revealed its 2023 line-up, promising the most diverse and representative bill of performers to date across the city’s world-famous Gay Village.
The beloved LGBTQ+ celebration will be back in the city over the August bank holiday weekend, shining a spotlight on local and international queer talent.
The Gay Village Party will have a line-up that’s 96% queer, with 54% of performers women, 51% people of colour, and more than 42% from trans and non-binary communities.
Headlining will be Brazilian drag sensation Pabllo Vittar, international pop star (and former Scissor Sisters vocalist) Jake Shears, and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard.
They’ll be joined by pop performances from Natasha Bedingfield, and Lisa Scott-Lee from STEPS.
The line-up has been co-created with Manchester’s queer communities, and will span four days and multiple venues and stages.
Manchester Pride Festival will once again host takeovers, including the Queer Asian Takeover, Trans Filth & Joy, Black Pride MCR and the Queer Women’s Takeover.
The main performances will take place on three stages; the Village stage, the Mancunity stage, and the Alan Turing stage.
Takeovers this year include the Queer Asian Takeover, Trans Filth & Joy, Black Pride MCR and the Queer Women’s Takeover.
Back to that line-up then, and Pabllo Vittar is the most-followed drag queen in the world, with a social following of 34.8m and 4m monthly listeners on Spotify.
Meanwhile Jake Shears has dominated the charts while part of the Scissor Sisters with hits including Filthy/Gorgeous and I Don’t Feel Like Dancing. He’s now pursuing a solo career with a new album due to be released later this year.
Local drag star Danny Beard is also back on the line-up hosting Danny Beard and Friends for the fifth consecutive year.
Also returning to Manchester Pride Festival is multidimensional cultural icon Cheddar Gorgeous, who placed as runner-up in last year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (beaten only by Danny Beard).
They’ll be joined by season four Drag Race UK stars Black Peppa and Dakota Schiffer.
The festival’s first Queer Asian Takeover will celebrate queer brown joy, headlined by international DJ Gok Wan, who will be joined on stage by local talent including The Bitten Peach, a gender-diverse, pan-Asian collective showcasing joy and excellence, Gracie T, who runs a South Asian creative collective and platform for unrepresented artists, and House of Spice, an LGBTQ+ South Asian and Middle Eastern performance house.
Trans led and curated event Trans Filth & Joy, hosted by Milk Presents and Trans Creative, returns for 2023 where party-goers can expect to be entertained by a night packed with DJs, drag, burlesque, cabaret, activism and music. Headlining Trans Filth & Joy is British drag queen BIMINI, who is best known for competing on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and has since been awarded ‘Drag Hero’ by Gay Times magazine.
Black Pride MCR will take festival goers on a musical journey, celebrating the black roots of house music, disco, funky house, vocal and tribal, all brought together by exceptional DJs and iconic dancers.
Fat Pride also returns, celebrating big bodies with an evening of dancing, partying, showing off and feeling good.
The Cabaret Stage will again host The Enby Show, described as an ‘electric, unique and vibrant’ gender-bending variety show that ‘bins the binary and crashes the cis-tem’.
This stage will also host Pecs Drag Kings, a female/non-binary theatre and cabaret company who’ve been creating critically acclaimed shows for the LGBTQ+ community since 2013.
Festival goers can also expect exciting and diverse performances from Queeriosity Cabaret, Cutie-POC Cabaret, and Disabled Queer Joy Cabaret.
Other events announced as part of the Pride celebrations include Youth Pride MCR and Family Pride MCR, where young people and families will be able to join in the celebrations with a series of performances and events, such as Ginny Lemon’s Dog Show, an unmissable doggy extravaganza, and Disney Classics performed by The Untold Orchestra.
Other performers include Kelly Llorenna from N-Trance (Set You Free), Jodie Harsh, Misty Chance and Friends, Lucky Roy Singh, Queen Bayard, La Discothèque Orchestra, Manchester Residents Blasha and Allatt (Meat Free/Frixxxion), Kim Lana, Mix-Stress and Friends, SWAGGA, Monopoly Phonic, Kele Le Roc, and Tom Aspaul.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said: “We have worked closely with our communities to offer a line-up that is for the community, by the community. As a world leading city and an organisation that is spearheading the global Pride movement, our aim is to provide a platform which elevates and showcases local queer performers alongside renowned international LGBTQ+ talent, with a little support from our allies. This is Manchester and this is how our communities want us to celebrate our Pride.
“We are so proud to announce that our line-up consists of 96% queer performers, 54% female performers, 51% people of colour, and over 42% trans and non-binary performers.”
Manchester Pride Festival, in partnership with Booking.com, takes place over four days in Manchester city centre on August bank holiday weekend (25 – 28 August) and is made up of several fringe events.
The events of Manchester Pride Festival 2023 are free to attend with the exception of the Gay Village Party, tickets for which can be purchased through Ticketmaster now. £2.50 from every ticket will be donated to the Manchester Pride Community Fund, with the money going directly to LGBTQ+ causes and projects in Greater Manchester through the distribution of grants.
The Manchester Pride Festival 2023 Gay Village Party line-up in full
Pabllo Vittar | Jake Shears
Natasha Bedingfield | Danny Beard | Jodie Harsh | Gok Wan | BIMINI |
Lisa Scott-Lee | Cheddar Gorgeous | Black Peppa | Jonbers Blonde | Monki | Gracie T | Angie Brown | La Discotheque Orchestra | Kelly Llorenna (N-Trance) | Dakota Schiffer | Ginny Lemon’s Dog Show | Blasha and Allatt (Meat Free/Frixxxion)
Kim Lana | Mix-Stress and Friends | The Bitten Peach | House of Spice | The Enby Show | Queeriosity Cabaret | The Noirtones | Queer Women’s Takeover | SWAGGA | Black Pride MCR | Danny Beard and Friends | Fat Pride | Cutie-POC Cabaret | Queer Asian Takeover | Disabled Queer Joy Cabaret | Trans Filth and Joy | Misty Chance and Friends | Your Manchester | Monopoly Phonic | Kele Le Roc performing Basement Jaxx ‘Romeo’ | Val The Brown Queen and Blaq Ivory presents | The Runway by Banksie | DJ Stacy Bee | Tom Aspaul | Violet Blonde | Lucky Roy Singh | Jsky | Reeta Loi | Queen Bayard | Barb | Lady Bushra | Misty Chance | The BollyWitch | Lill | Banskie | Joanna Cuddle | Sam Buttery | Ivy Profemme | Leila Rafoui | Joe Spencer | The Niallist | Minara ‘El Waters | Club Clam | What She Said | Vanilla Girls | FATCAMP | Pecs Drag Kings | The Fat Britney | | Ghetto Fabulous | Donna Trump | DJ Nkay | DJ KL | Carrot | Flick | Queens in Kicks | Frequency 3 | DJ Klitbait | Cyro | Club Zindagi | Belinda Scandal | Disney Classics with The Untold Orchestra | DJ Billy Andrew | DJ Callum Parr | Duniya Dhoom | Shanika Sunrise | Immy Terial | Jason Patel | Rikki Beadle-Blair |