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Pure Heaven in Manchester

With so much hype around its launch Pure had a lot to live up to. The size of a small town and deep within the bowels of The Printworks we sent Tristan down to the launch to have a look.

Published on July 11th 2006.

Pure Heaven in Manchester

The hype around Pure was massive. Club land’s biggest new venture for a long time had people straining to hear what was going on behind the covered glass frontage of what used to be Lucid.

All that could be heard, it’s said, was the sound of a hundred tiny hammers and voices singing what sounded like “umpa-lumpa-dupa-de-do. Something magical was slowly coming about deep inside, as the carcass of Manchester’s bastard love child twixt bar and club was gutted and rebuilt from inside out.

Lucid was a big brand, but in the time it was open it did little to ingratiate itself with anyone in town. There was little you could call identity to it and I personally could never work out what the place was aiming for. Inside was massive - football pitch massive - with room upon room of dance floors, more bars than you could ever hope to get served at and, rumour has it, a bowling alley.

It was too big, and aside from student nights it failed to gain a following or indeed enough people to keep it afloat. A few rumours went round about what was happening behind the scenes and then suddenly, in 2005, it closed.

Fast forward to 2006 and from a similar state of nowhere; word of Pure began filtering in. The hype was big, with the phrase ‘super club’ being banded about like no-one’s business. What was going on? Was another identikit type Lucid bar/club/restaurant about to open and make the same mistakes all over again? It would seem not.

Backed by some of the wisest minds in clubland, Pure is definitely on the right track. The people behind the behemoth that is Heaven are responsible for it and they didn’t come up north half heartedly. £2.5million has been spent on the refurbishment, and it’s been money well spent too. Pure delivers on its first promise of being a night club in its purest form. A £300`000 Funktion 1 sound system fills everywhere with a crisp sound and results in score one for the management.

Why spend that much on the sound system? Because like Lucid, Pure is massive. Walking in through the main entrance takes you down to a foyer which should hold 200 or so people as they queue to get into the club proper. This is a nice touch, getting people indoors to wait rather than have them cold or being rained on outside (take note Sankeys). You’ll pass through two BIG metal detectors as you go in, I don’t like what they imply but from a safety standpoint I definitely appreciate them being there. Alongside are the door staff, who are plentiful and for the most part fairly friendly. Score two for the good guys.

Keep going straight down and you’ll hit the main room, with plenty of seating and sectioned off areas. I can’t remember what Lucid was like but this is better, much better. The dance floor has definitely moved around along with one of the bars, it’s just a much nicer space to be in. We arrived after 11 and it was already heaving, with a top vibe setting in immediately – it looked amazing.

Then we got to the bar and, oh dear. Now I’ll accept this was due to arriving around 11:30 on the launch night but damn, it was chaos all over. At least 8 deep with people waiting and whilst the management have made a point to hire locals as staff (and they’ve done well) I don’t know if their experience prepared them for the number of people wanting a drink. Bit of a clever moment on my part and we had drinks fairly quickly, a lot of people would have been waiting a long time though.

From there we headed into the VIP and then to the VVIP area to take a proper look around. Leather clad and super exclusive these spaces looked brilliant, and the view over the dance floor is a nice touch. We weren’t ready for the dance floor quite yet so took some space and kicked back for a while, spying the usual Hollyoaks brigade as we did.

By the time we got up for a bounce the night was in good swing. The crowd themselves were the usual Printworks’ but as Pure are making a point of no r’n’b on Fridays, they’re more of your serious clubber than alcopop arsehole. The music was credible and well delivered by Hed Kandi’s team of DJs and the night flowed extremely well. I lose track of exactly what went on, a burger bar seemed to open around 2am (?!?!), the club seemed to change and morph around us and I got lost a couple of times but it was all good. The mandate seemed simple, play something people will enjoy, and with House music all night it was daylight before we eventually stumbled out.

The night flew, brilliant. Get yourself down there.

Tristan Welch
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The Printworks

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