Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 22.42.01We are sad to hear the news that Manchester music scene legend Jan Oldenberg has died at the age of 75.

The last of the true mavericks, Jan was the fiercely independent owner of Night and Day – the city centre venue that was splendid in its perceived chaos and a celebration of not doing anything by the book. 

Somehow in there was a method to the madness of the place that morphed from a city centre chippie into a beautifully appointed venue that was full of atmosphere and a key stepping stone on the local circuit. It was a venue that was full of his spirit – an eccentric and non-corporate spirit that was everything that was great about the real true spirit of music itself.

On most nights, the silver-haired haired Jan, would be sat at the bar full of wild stories and opinions cackled in his stained Dutch accent. He was an engaging and magnetic character, who had moved to Manchester from Amsterdam and brought some of that free wheeling Dutch – hippie – can – do attitude with him and created an oasis that sparked the revival of the whole of the northern quarter which has stretched way beyond his venue and become one of the city’s key trendy areas.

Without Jan and without Night and Day this would not have happened. His vision, his attitude and his bullish, yet engaging, personality changed the face of the city, kick-started the careers of many bands and created a space where stuff happens – the most important energy in any pop culture and we will celebrate his wild spirit.


Previous articleDie Toten Hosen: Dusseldorf Arena – live review ‘huge singalong anthems surfing on high decibel 40 000 strong audience singalongs’
Next articleAurora: O2 Forum, London – live review
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I remember Jan when he was a bus conductor with a Charles Bronson tache. He even had attitude then. Oldham St will never be the same again. God bless him.

  2. As a passionate live music lover myself, my thoughts go out to Jan’s family and friends at this very sad time. I hope that Night & Day continues in his memory.

  3. Done many a gig at Night and Day,was always pleased when Jan was in,and we could retire to ‘the office’ and chew the fat like village elders.He will be sadly missed,a true Manc legend.

  4. Aw, this is such sad and unexpected news. Jan was a real lovely dude and a genuine maverick – like no other. Though I have had many brief exchanges with him whenever I called by and seen him sat at the bar I never had the chance to engage in proper in depth conversation with him all this time, about why I love the Netherlands and its people so much and how my numerous return visits to Amsterdam / Haarlem were primarily so that I could trawl the fascinating vinyl record shops and just ‘be’ like the Dutch for a few days.
    He will definitely be missed – the heart and soul of this part of Bohemian Mancunia …… the city is changing dramatically now (and in many ways not for the better with all the old venues and hang outs being replaced by sterile corporate gentrification of the worst kind) and it will be such a huge loss to no longer have one of its key figures around…..

  5. Well said John, I thought he would go on forever too. It’s true, no Night & Day (and it’s lock-ins) no Northern Quarter

  6. I’ll miss our conversations about most things on this planet and, occasionally, beyond. I witnessed two thirds of Jan’s life at Night&Day so it’s with sadness that I reflect on his remarkable life, from sailing in the waters around Scandinavia to lengthy talks about circumnavigating the world. Jan’s passing will be a loss to many of us.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here