Many moons ago, I was occasionally employed for some publication or other to supply voxpops about burning issues of the day. So I would be forced to traipse miserably round the Gay Village barging into the conversations of complete strangers demanding to know what they thought about the war on Iraq, how could we solve global poverty and what did they make of Kylie’s latest album? My editor would also remind me that I should try and nab any black or Asian people, just so that the magazine looked representative. The problem was that there are generally very few black or Asian gay people about. A few years down the line, this is still very much the case for Manchester’s gay scene. This may be down to cultural reasons on the part of the communities concerned, or it could be that there is very little about the gay scene that caters for their tastes in music and they would much rather be somewhere else.
The long-running exception to this has always been Club Zindagi. An itinerant event, Zindagi began just over five years ago in the upstairs bar of the Thompson’s Arms. The club was an underground hit with its mix of bhangra, Bollywood, hip-hop and urban beats and became renowned for its free midnight buffet of Asian food. Recently, this much-travelled club settled into its new home at the refurbished Spirit in the new dedicated club space on the upper floor that comes complete with a roof garden for the unrepentant smokers. Last month, the Zindagi crew celebrated their fifth birthday with a Bollywood extravaganza and this month sees them hosting a white fiesta with reductions on the door for those who make the effort. August should prove to be a busy month for everyone involved in the Zindagi success story; a Pride Mela has just been confirmed for 24 August.
Club Zindagi, Spirit, 1 August, 10.30pm-3am, £7, £5 NUSRecommended
AXM Late, Bloom Street, Wednesdays, 10pm-4am, free
New midweek party night for T-girls and their admirers hosted by the outrageous Amber Swallows in the refurbished AXM Late (formerly Hollywood Showbar).
Royal Exchange, St Ann’s Square, Mon-Fri 7.30pm, Sat 8pm, mats Wed 2.30pm, Sat 4pm, £8.50-£28
Continuing their gay-themed season, the Royal Exchange’s latest successful revival of Noel Coward’s sparkling comedy has now been extended to 16 August. Belinda Lang stars.
Essential, Minshull Street, 1 August, 11pm-6am, £10, £9 concs
Apparently the club will be packed with beach bums and surfer dudes for another of Essential’s relentlessly popular themed nights.
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