Entertainment, Lifestyle, Manchester, News

Tiny Manchester Venues You Should Definitely Check Out

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By Jack Holmes

Manchester is a globally known hub of creativity, from fashion and art, to a thriving music scene from the mainstream to the underground. If you’re a true music loving student though, you might be interested in that latter underground scene, hosting new music from across the world. Besides the less people who’ve heard of a band the cheaper the tickets, and what student can afford the £30 tickets to bands at the Manchester Arena right?




First up and definite rising star in the pub/venue scene. Gulliver’s is just about the smallest capacity venue in this list but don’t let its size fool you, they often pick up the local talent through open mic nights and are furiously supportive of Manchester’s home grown talent. If you stumble across a band no one else will have heard of, chances are they’ll play Gulliver’s before they get big.

The Star and Garter


The Star and Garter

The spiritual home of Manchester punk, the pub-come-venue has been supporting up and coming punk bands from across the world for years. Gigs take place up stairs before a tiny stage, offering up a truly personal experience of some of the noisiest bands around. It’s a perfect mix of Northern Spirit and punk independence, no wonder the council keep trying to tear it down to extend Piccadilly Station.

Sound Control

Hosting a mix of club nights and live music, Sound Control tends to focus on the most energetic music it can find. From House to metalcore, you’ll find their line-ups packed with a wealth of reasonably priced artists and even better it’s only 5 minutes down Oxford Road. It’s also surrounded by some great student bars and pubs including Black Dog Ballroom that’s open late even on Weekdays, great for making sure a great night doesn’t end when the gig does.


Deaf Institute

Ruby Lounge

Situated right next to the Arndale yet barely recognizable before sundown when it’s shutters are raised. The basement bar and club again offers club nights similar to Sound Control, however being situated next to the Northern Quarter, everything’s a little artier. The décor is beautiful with a rounded bar and some surprisingly comfortable couches dotted around, it’s about as luxurious as a small venue in a basement could be. They tend to bring in the more weird and wonderful bands touring including a lot of female fronted music. If you’re a big fan of Ruby Lounge it might also be worth your time to check out their sister venue Soup Kitchen who have similarly niche bands appearing, though less frequently.

Deaf Institute

Donning one of the largest disco balls you’ll ever see, the Deaf Institute fills its stage with just about anything that might appeal to the student masses. Situated next to the Footage Pub, you’re sure to have seen its impressive gothic building already. The grandeur of the building itself continues within, with tiered seating in the gig area itself and a full bar downstairs great for pre/post drinks. Also a Perfect date venue if you’re looking to romance any particular music loving students, I’m looking at you fresher’s.

Did I miss out your favourite small venue in Mancland? Let us know your favourites at @holmesblogs or @humanityhallows

About the author / 


aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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