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Gay club breaks out of the Village

Original gay eighties club, No.1, spreads the scene across the city centre

Published on September 18th 2009.


Gay club breaks out of the Village

This is good to see. The Village, whilst a welcome, central HQ of North Western gay life for twenty years, has at times almost ghettoised the scene.

We’re talking about the eighties when the lunatic Chief Constable James Anderton was boss of the region’s police. Having such a den of iniquity so close to his city centre fortress must have made the man’s head spin

For people with long memories, Manchester in the eighties had a gay life which, whilst underground, was scattered across the city centre. This might have lacked the security of the later Canal Street revolution, but offered greater diversity.

Gay folk may well remember clubs such as The Stuffed Olive, aka Bernard’s Bar, and Heroes on Ridgefield. Another classic eighties gay venue was the No.1 Club, which occupied the site of the recently deceased One Central on Central Street. This is round the back of the Library and close to Bootle Street Police Station.

Think about that.

We’re talking about the eighties when the lunatic Chief Constable James Anderton was boss of the region’s police. Having such a den of iniquity so close to his city centre fortress must have made the man’s head spin. It was this alien from outer space, remember, who referred to gay people and those with AIDS as "swirling in a cesspit of their own making".

But the No. 1 Club motored on despite this. Running from 1983 to 1991, there were teddy bear’s picnics and beach parties and the famous Whiter than White event where the entire club was filled with empty Persil bottles.

That was then.

Anderton is now long gone and in more forgiving times it’s good to see that No.1 is out and proud once more. And it’ll be good to get out of the Village occasionally as well.

Here’s a sample of what to expect

When: Launch Night Friday 25th September:
What: MIRROR MIRROR - the infamous night for hookers, lookers, trannies and truckers. With extra special guest, the Real Queen of England, Miss Jodie Harsh on the decks.
Door: 10:30pm til 5am
Tickets: £5 available on the night

When: Saturday 26th September:
What: FEDERATION presents FREAK SHOW: a dirty, twisted manifestation of the UK’s biggest house night, revelers should expect weird and wonderful costumes and full club decoration. DJs include Nik Denton(Federation/Organic) Lisa German (Hed Kandi/DTPM) Jason Guy (Federation)Carl Hanaghan (Hed Kandi) Gregg Holden (Federation/Organic) David Dunne(Hed Kandi) Baby Jane (Federation/Organic) Oliver M (Matinee) DJ Devilish(Matinee) and guests.
Doors: 11pm til 5am
Tickets: £7 with NUS and before 12am £8 after, available on the door

When: Friday 2nd October
What: DISCO BLOODBATH - DJ set - unique blend of raw disco, spaced-out italo, vintage house and proto techno
Doors: 10:30pm til 5am
Tickets: £5 available on the door

Regular listings:

Fridays:
Fridays at the No.1 Club

When: 2nd Friday of the Month (from 9 October)
What: Terrorist
Door: 10:30pm til 5am
Tickets: £5 available on the door

When: Last Friday of the month
What: Mirror Mirror: the infamous night for hookers, lookers, trannies andTruckers
Door: 10:30pm til 5am
Tickets: £5 available on the door

Saturdays:
FEDERATION presents FREAK SHOW - a dirty, twisted manifestation of the UK’s biggest house night, revelers should expect weird and wonderful costumesand full club decoration.

Door: 11pm til 5am
Tickets: £7 with NUS and before 12am £8 after, available on the door.

The No.1 Club is at 1 Central Street, Manchester, M1 5NP. www.no1club.co.uk 0161 211 9000

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

No.1 PRSeptember 18th 2009.

For paying guest list for the launch night of No.1 Club on 25 September please email no1club@brazenpr.com and put 'No.1 MANCON' in the subject.Cheers

M30September 18th 2009.

Always wary of nights which involve the word "Freak" - it conjures up images of Boy George and Leigh Bowery in Taboo with echos of Pete Burns. Another bête noire is naming a bar "Queer" - unbelievably patronising.

ELSeptember 18th 2009.

Everytime I hear "Freak", I am taken back to OT last season... it greeted Crouch's every kick!

M30September 18th 2009.

I just don't like the close association with words such as "freak" and "queer"with gay culture. I find it backward looking and offensive, frankly. Jack Foley - totally agree with you re The Village Edge, I spent many a night in there. I feel though that it was an idea 10 years too early -Ducie Street was a very dodgy area ten years ago, now it's awash with luxury apartments and has been totally regenerated. Had JH opened The Edge now, it would be a runaway success, as the Manchester gay scene is in dire need of a new club. Another problem is that the supposedly metropolitan and inclusive gays and lesbians of Manchester have a strong tendency to ghettoise themselves and have an aversion to leaving the confines of Canal Street, although this is becoming less and less so with events such as Federation at the Ritz. Not exactly a long walk though...

AnonymousSeptember 18th 2009.

My understanding is the No1 Central has been colonised from Leeds. Perhaps there are more come breath some creative life into the scene

DigSeptember 18th 2009.

What's wrong with the word 'freak'? Anybody in Liverpool on Saturday should check out Circo on The Albert Dock. The 'Freakshow' events there are fantastic.

Jack FoleySeptember 18th 2009.

I was surprised when I first heard about this change to One Central.Not convinced that reverting the venue to a previous incarnation is a smart idea. Venues should move with the times and reinvent the club culture, not regress. The Edge at Ducie House tried to be a gay club outside of the Village and that failed miserably.

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