An initial chip shop – stage – piano combo quickly gave rise to a traditional Amsterdam style ‘brown bar’ and artistic hub; the venue’s journey mirroring, and in no small part contributed to, Manchester’s move away from its baggy era heritage cum baggage.
Like a younger brother who could play guitar much better than you, but had no mates to play to, Night & Day grew out of a barren musical spell in Manchester back in 1991. When the city offered little else except a chrome mating hell, or a look back nostalgiafest. The homely feel and startling quality of the acts brought into the city by the venue made Night & Day the focus of the areas more discerning crowds of the area thereafter.
So much so that the last 20 years have read like a who’s who of Manchester’s continuing creative legacy…
Guy Garvey practically used it as an office, Johnny from I A Kloot worked there, Johnny Marr, Delphic and The Courteeners rehearsed there, Badly Drawn Boy wrote songs there and Mark E Smith’s been known to behave very strangely indeed there.
The walls have withstood the barrage from over 26,000 bands from all over the world. Some of the many, many stand outs have to be a naked Damo Suzuki, The Dirtbombs having to stop and towel down after one song, Meg White vs The Bar Staff, Keanu Reaves popping in to watch some bands, buy a t-shirt and get mobbed, and The Kaiser Chiefs first incarnation getting chucked offstage early.
But, let us not look back to deeply.
Certainly, preaching to the converted has never been the venue’s style or raison d’etre and currently, there are signs of another resurgence in the city’s musical fortunes. Young upstarts such Money can be found regularly hanging around causing botheration and a certain singular Liam Frey can be oft found planning his next lyrical barrage in the labyrinth of corridors downstairs.
Here’s to another 20 years!