A long time fan of the city of Manchester tries to show the city off to his mates & ends up being embarrassed by the attitudes of some of the cities clubs.
I haven't lived in Manchester since 1989, yet everytime I talk about where I'm from I'm proud of my Mancunian roots. This weekend my friends from London, where I've decamped to, are here to see the real second city and The Stone Roses show why Manchester was the centre of the universe over 20 years ago. Here is the story of the first night.
Delays on the trains from Euston is a common occurrence, but we met in the Lass O Gowrie at 10.30 to share in the wonder of Donkey Kong in the snug, the bizarre decoration and the friendly bar staff of one of Manchester's finest establishments. All well and good so far. We'd printed off flyers to get in Factory for a penny before midnight. No age restrictions, and in light of the Roses gigs, the Madchester classics in room 1 were a great attraction to my Southern friends. At 11.30, we queued and immediately were told by the bouncers that we wouldn't get in because we were too old. Despite the flyers, despite my patronage of the venue for gigs at weekends and despite the legendary all-inclusive policy of Factory Records.
Not deterred, Fifth Avenue was round the corner. No chance of getting in there either. Apparently on a Thursday night, the door policy is 80% student, and for the 20% you have to be, according to the bouncer, an attractive group of females.
After a quick pint in the still wonderful Garrett, we hitched a cab to Tiger Tiger. Despite being a soulless hole playing particularly terrible dance music, and refusing to play anything released over a few years ago, we did at least feel welcome. Although, ÃÂ£17.40 for two Jagerbombs was probably a bit excessive.
Fighting off the attentions of a couple of lovely young ladies in there, we headed to Mojo, which Twitter had advised us was somewhere we could all get in. Immediately, the female bouncer didn't like the look of our sober friend, dressed in a checked shirt and cheapish looking glasses and refused to let him in because he was drunk, despite people struggling to stand being allowed in. He attempted to sneak in and tripped over an uneven stair entrance, which was apparently proof he was drunk, despite being an obvious health and safety hazard. This then formed a reason for our sober friend not to be allowed in.
The venue next door, once we decided to leave, seemed to be adopting an equally random door policy. If they liked the look of you, i.e. female with your tits out, then you got in. If you're a single bloke or a group of blokes, you didn't get in, and a random excuse was made up.
I'm proud of my city, where I was born and brought up. I was hoping to show my friends from Birmingham, London and Essex what a great open city it is. Tonight showed that it's just as bad, if not worse, than anywhere else in the country. The door policies need to change and not be on the whim of some meathead or idiot on a power trip.
This weekend is all about showing off Manchester to be the greatest city on earth. Anyone out tonight experiencing the clubs and door policy would see it as exactly the opposite. If your pretty face fits, then you're in. If not, then you're out. I was ashamed of my city tonight.
All words David Brown. More articles by David can be found here.