Strike a chord with Manchester’s electrifying live music bar scene.
Football may be classed as fair game, but when it comes to music, Manchester is kicking goals with its live music scene. From jungle giants, ancient ‘castles’ to glass half empty and half full stages, Manchester takes centre-field with being one of the UK’s most electrifying places to enjoy live music.
Here are Manchester’s live music bars you cannot afford to skip a beat at.
Matt and Phred’s
Northern Quarter starlet Matt and Phred’s indoor neon sign may be shining red, but it is the stage that is blazing with live music performances six nights a week. Renowned for attracting the best of local and international jazz performers, it also stages a mixed bag of genres including folk, electro and salsa – even pop royalty Adele has performed here!
With generous pizza and drink happy hours midweek, it makes sense to enjoy its finely tuned cocktail list while having a boogie-woogie to all that jazz.
Matt and Phred’s, 64 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LW
The Castle Hotel
The Castle Hotel has entertained patrons for over 200 years. Just like the monarchy, it has endured a long-list of name changes and is much beloved on the Manchester music scene. It mixes traditional with retro with its Victorian-era décor and housing a classic old-school jukebox in its front bar.
Its traditional wooden bar top features nine locally brewed ales on tap and eight rotating guest beers including a cappuccino flavoured beer – caffeine hit in pint form – oh my days! Keeping with tradition, The Castle Hotel also stocks the English pub delicacy of yesteryear, pickled eggs. Cappuccino beer with a pickled egg anyone?
Gigs are almost a daily affair with its intimate 70 capacity music venue a popular as a stepping stone for up-and-coming bands.
The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE
Its massive namesake rings true – Gorilla is a multi-purpose, glass-fronted central located venue located under innercity railway arches. This two-storey jungle of sorts not only features a restaurant, bar and a heavenly gin parlour, but it also houses club and live music venue.
There is even a Disco Brunch every Sunday, allowing you to keep busy on the dance floor and with a fork in hand.
Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW
Band on the Wall
Northern Quarter’s Band on the Wall should also be taken in a literal sense with its name paying homage to its early 20th Century live music glory days. Rewind the clock to the 1930s; musicians were made to perform on a stage that was halfway up the back wall to the masses.
Thankfully, health and safety standards have changed since. The midway stage is gone, and it has now been transformed into a high-ceiling, small concert venue that has a theatre feel to it with a mezzanine and back bar. Further, there is also a lightly-lit bar close to the stage area. The venue is only open when there are scheduled gigs.
Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, The Northern Quarter M4 5JW