Liverpool can lay claim to the Beatles, but Manchester seems to have given the music world just about everyone else: the Smiths, Oasis, the Stone Roses, New Order, Joy Division, and the Buzzcocks, to name but a few. While the city is certainly packed with teen-filled nightclubs and raucous dance halls, fantastic under-the-radar venues exist, seemingly hidden in plain sight. The Northern Quarter’s Castle Hotel, a pub since 1776, has plenty of indie cred—its intimate back room, with a capacity of only about 70, has played host to on-the-rise bands such as Mercury Prize winners Alt-J. For up-to-date show listings, especially for folk, Americana, and experimental bands, keep an eye on the website Hey! Manchester, which often promotes gigs in unusual spaces, such as singer-songwriter Darren Hayman inside the University of Manchester’s Godlee Observatory, freak-folk duo CocoRosie at the Manchester Cathedral, and even German pianist Hauschka in the presidential suite of the Lowry Hotel.
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
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4. Insider's Tip
Published on May 1, 2014 as a web exclusive.