Tuesday, 30 September 2008


Things are great at Northernights Towers, thanks. We've just found out that we've been shortlisted in the Best Arts and Culture Blog category for the Manchester Blog Awards 2008. We're really happy about this. Especially as it suggests that some people agree with us that clubs and that whole nocturnal industry can be as much a part of local arts and culture as theatre, visual art and all those other forms of established creative entertainment. And given that this is part of the Manchester Literature Festival is even more amazing.

We actually went to the Blog Awards ceremony last year and we were very happy when, our good friends, RenterGirl and Single Mother both scooped prizes for their work. The past year has gone on to be great for those two. Anyway, as we're up against three particularly strong contenders, it might be wise if we thank a few people now. Should we not win, we shall never speak of this particular episode again.

So, with Northernights very much a group effort, we have to show love to loads of people for their contributions, advice, support and, most often, kind words. Here's a list (it's in no particular order and by no means complete):

Gary Ryan, Dan Nolan, Ian Jones, Sam Swaffield, Dan Gent, Ella Swain, Jamila Scott, Danny McFadden, Jayne and everybody at Fabrikation, Penny Anderson, Tamsin Curry, Helen Duff, James Smith, Ben East, Ruth Allan, Deane Hodgson, Aaron Lavery, Danny at Newcastle's Habit, Emma Unsworth, Paul Flynn, Lianne Steinberg, Maria Roberts, Neil Sowerby, Jonathan Schofield, Kate Feld, Sara Halpern, Peter Ives, Liz Swain, Bekki Lamb, Damien Johnstone, Melissa Cohen, Emma Daffin, Justin Heaton, David Sue, Martyn Anderson, Frankie Ross, Emma Leatherbarrow, Chris Horkan, Damo Jones, Benjamin Perry, Mat Payne, Neemo, Malcolm Duffin, Jon-Paul Waddington, Prostitutes & Policemen, Micron, Sex With Robots, Rich at High Voltage, Steve at Sequence, Paul at Get Weird Turn Pro, Yer Mam, the Last Rites and Electriks communities, Shadow Dancer, Heavyfeet plus anybody else who ever agreed to an interview, sent an MP3 for our aural pleasure, sorted us a +1 (or two), danced and/or read.

Monday, 29 September 2008


Previously known as This Years Model, Silverclub is a collaboration between electronic boffins Marc Ashken, Tommy Walker III and Duncan Edward Jones of DNCN. Despite the name change, they are still known for a brooding brand of computer soul that sometimes features the talents of Lois Winstone as guest vocalist

You should check them out at Night & Day 04/10/08, Cellar Vie 05/10/08, Academy 3 06/10/08 or when they abscond from In The City to play a date alongside Graham Massey at Salford's Un-Convention 07/10/08/

Anyway, we had a chat with Duncan. It must have gone okay as we also got an MP3 of the band's 'Gone' to share with you. You'll find all that immediately under this arrangement of vowels and consonants.

Hello Duncan. Can you describe Silverclub in three words?

Popular Beat Combo.

Why a band? What does it offer you that your solo output doesn't?

Each of us has something different to bring to the table, but our styles do compliment each other well. Also I have been doing my house/techno live shows alone for about the last six years and fancied trying my hand at something more collaborative again. Both Marc Ashken and Tommy Walker III are kind of geniuses in my eyes.

Regarding 'This Years Model', were you attached to the name? Disappointed that you're now working as something else?

We realised fairly early on that we would most likely have to change the name so it was really just a case of finding something we were all comfortable with. We probably went through about 50 potential band names before settling on 'Silverclub' - but only when we had an imminent deadline thrust upon us. In my opinion a band name is something you make your own as you go. I can't imagine most people would have thought 'Oasis' to be a good band name in the first place, but few would question it these days.

Who do you admire musically?

Between the three of us its a very broad range. There are influences from old disco and rock'n'roll through to Bowie, Johnny Cash, Zeppelin; obviously there's the techno and house influences, electro-pop stuff, Italo... the list goes on and on. As I see it, a good tune is a good tune. I'm no purist.

So you've signed the single to the Leftroom label? I assume this is the knock-on effect of Marc's relationship with the label?

Marc and Matt [Tolfrey, Leftroom boss] go back a long way. I met Matt properly through Marc. Although I had played a show on the same bill him at Nottingham's Stealth'a few years before which was kind of infamous. Let's just say he remembered me. It seemed natural to release through Leftroom, Matt was, and is, very enthusiastic about the band and it's great to have someone who allows us creative control and has the right motives for getting involved. Of course, knowing the good working relationship between him and Marc made it the obvious choice.

Is Lois' famous dad something that you want to play down at all? Or is it cool if we happen to mention it?

You can mention it if you also talk about my dad, Tommy's dad and Marc's dad too. They are equally as influential as Ray is to the record. Lois is a good friend of ours and brings her fantastic vocals as a guest to the single and a couple of other tracks. We go back a long way and had always talked about working on some tracks together and this was the perfect opportunity. As far as who her father is it really has no relevance to the band and would cheapen us to try and trade off it. Still... nice bloke.

What are you wanting to get out of those In The City performances?

We'll be looking to win over those we are new to us and give those already onto us what they want to hear. Which has come pretty naturally to us so far. Obviously going into ITC most bands want the same thing: the proverbial holy grail of the big record deal. As we are at the moment . Only for us it seems to be more a case of picking the right one - be it with a major or a good indie. This is a project that we have poured everything into,- pure electronic soul. The attention it's getting doesnt embarrass me. We've f*ckin earned it.

What's next?

Finishing and tidying up some of the recordings: the band has over 20 tracks in the locker despite only forming around six months ago. So we're mercilessly ditching some of them, and deciding on ten or so for the debut album; whomever it ends up being released with. I think a great debut album needs to be a record that makes you want to listen to it again right away - not something where you have had your fill when the needle hits the run out strip. Another thing we are looking forward to is a support slot at the Academy 2 with our friends The Whip in November - that's looking like a great night.

MP3: Silverclub - 'Gone' [Yousendit]

Sunday, 28 September 2008


As a countdown to In The City, I'll be posting a few little bits and pieces over the next week. The first features Little Boots who is going to be pretty busy for the duration of the conference. She's supporting Ladyhawke at The Roadhouse and playing the NME showcase at South 05/10/08 plus she will also be performing at the Popjustice event at Bar38 07/10/08. (Amnesty International has been alerted to that gruelling schedule by concerned Third World sweatshop kids.)

The prolific Victoria Hesketh - as Little Boots is otherwise known - is actually no stranger to live dates with that stint in Dead Disco already behind her. More recently the Blackpool lass has been working with Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and has been getting remixed by the likes of Fake Blood and Toddla T. I could go on and on about her here but you could instead peruse the brilliant interviews conducted by, esteemed Mancunian blog friends, Dan at Hip Young Gunslinger and Paul at Get Weird Turn Pro. You will respectively find those here and there.

Also ahead of those dates, here's an approved, if limited, download:

* Link to this has now been fixed.

Saturday, 27 September 2008


We got an email from Sweden's Hakan Lidbo. We remembered him from his releases on Manchester's Paper Recordings (but he has also put out records via Poker Flat, Mantis, Moon Harbour Loaded and Fiji plus his own Container logo).

Anyway, he's got a new 12" coming on Germany's Pearldiver logo next week called 'From Middle To North'. It's four tracks of quality, deep and moody tech-house. We might be posting a free, limited download of one of those next week. With his permission, naturally. Meantime, here is a link to one of Hakan's recent sets. Enjoy.

Friday, 26 September 2008


There was a piece that I wrote for the Metro paper which covered the impending Sankeys birthday but I also saw it as an opportunity to get thoughts on Spektrum now that the new venture has had time to get going. It was meant to follow up a small piece that ran in the paper for the latter's launch event.

The final version that was published today was quite a bit different to the original draft so I thought I'd post that here as it contains a few thoughts from the owner of both nighteries on matters that he'd been keen to avoid previously. So:

When Sankeys supremo David Vincent was refused a licence for, proposed warehouse-style venue, Labyrinth early this year, he refused to comment. Not usually short of words, the club owner simply wouldn’t discuss that outcome. He maintained this uncharacteristic silence. Until now.

‘I was just too gutted to speak to anyone about it,’ he tells us. ‘I reckoned that it would have been amazing for the city. Now I realise that it just wasn’t meant to be. And I have this belief that everything happens for a reason.’

That reason – plus what’s behind that sanguine disposition of his – is now evident up at Ancoats. Spektrum – his second venue - opened just three weeks ago. But, in the lead-up, Vincent had gone quiet once again. Initially he said that he didn’t want us to see the club ahead of its opening. In fact, he expressed a desire to avoid any press interest in Spektrum ‘for a while’. We were concerned.

‘I just didn’t want to launch with any kind of media frenzy,’ he states. ‘We’ve been fairly low key in our promotion of Spektrum. Still, I had people going on about how much hype surrounded the club. None of that hype was coming from me. I just knew that this club would have to find its feet. I knew that that it was going to take time to become the club I wanted it to be.’

That process was hardly helped when the central-to-its-activities custom-designed LED lighting had its delivery delayed and arrived on site - requiring two days for installation – the day before Spektrum’s Friday debut. On the Saturday the computer that controls the system crashed. But these were the kind of teething troubles that Vincent envisaged [while he insists that there were also additional elements that only he would have known weren’t completed].

Now partnering the adjacent Sankeys for the latter’s impending 2nd birthday extravaganza, the venue is running smoothly. The mastering of the lighting’s 16.9million colours is an ongoing task [‘the programming of all the possible combinations will keep us going for years’]. But the Spektrum sound system has already been worked on extensively and this weekend will see it being put through its paces by Style of Eye and Robert Babicz while, big names, Danny Tenaglia and Fedde Le Grand hold court downstairs.

‘You know that my building – Beehive Mill – was at the centre of the industrial revolution, don’t you?’ asks Vincent. ‘Well, the way I see it, the place is right at the heart of this whole new revolution.’


Thursday, 25 September 2008


Whether by design or misfortune, your typical Freshers’ Week clubbing experience tends, inevitably, to include those 80s cheese, Back2Skool – and, you get the idea – hotspots. Though for some, one more round of ‘Living On A Prayer’ may more than suffice, others need not be at a loss; not least with the aid of this here site ;-), but also as a result of two local(ish) undergrads, whose techno, minimal, and electronics mission statement – aka, Krucht&Flucht – makes its Manchester debut at the Ruby Lounge this coming Friday, 26th.

Check the listings for further details of guest DJs and the links below for mixes from residents…

Gaz Donning: http://www.zshare.net/audio/18199288c8dbfc8e/


Ciaran Hansen: http://www.sendspace.com/file/7llhhn

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Following in a long line of dubious faux-Polish dance related monikers - think Adamski, Brodinski, Trickski, Kavinsky - we now welcome Burnski to Manchester who will be playing for new night Zutekh at the intriguing Saki Bar tomorrow night.

Hartlepool folk are more famous for hanging French-looking monkeys, but Burnski is a Teesider with ambition. The 22 year-old was the youngest resident at Leeds club Basics, add to this some piano skills and a passion for contemporary music and you have a producer snapped up by two of the hottest labels in Europe right now - Simon Baker's Infant and Steve Bug's Dessous respectively.

Here's a great remix he did for 2020vision ...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Like a dirty old tortoise stuck in the bottom of the cardboard box that is the Oxford Road corridor, the Manchester student population has risen from it's summer hibernation. There are over 85,000 students in Manchester - many of them looking rather pretty - and they're currently covorting around the city knocking back the 2-4-1's with some serious hedonistic panache.

It's a shame that Manchester's promoters go all quiet when the soap dodgers are away (big thumbs up to those that stayed open, you know who you are) but we're not bitter, the flood gates have opened, the damn has been penetrated, the water is rushing all over my face!

Friday, 19 September 2008


We've been wanting to mention this for a bit but had to wait until it was all properly confirmed and now it is so RIGHT NOW is the precise moment when we can tell you that CSS will be DJing at Clique 10/10/08.

And that Mystery Jets date - last Friday - was total mayhem as 700 people all had a lovely evening at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Further to that post about the new Crazy P material that's coming on 2020 Vision, we were offered the opportunity to give you the Unabombers remix of their latest. (And that's the video up there, by the way.)

Meantime the people who promote El Diablo's Social Club are putting together a live date from the nu-disco troupe on 27/09/08. It's at The Deaf Institute. There's also another Crazy P album launch thing down in That London yet the one up here is much better because Duncan from El Diablo's says so.

MP3: Crazy P - 'Love on the Line (Unabombers remix)'

Friday, 12 September 2008


"Black Star Disco is a brief history of time and space comprehended through our favoured mediums of Disco / Post Punk / Techno / Cosmic & Krautrock". That's what its promoters say anyway. Plus we should add that it's also a club night that's set to take place at Joshua Brooks on the last Saturday of the month. As a taster for this (a project put together by the team behind Common's Stop Making Sense), there's a downloadable mix. You'll find that here or there.

While you are of course free to make your own mind up about the above soundtrack, here are some additional notes from its helpful creators:

"We have prepared this mix for you. The premise is that it sounds something like the night would if you recorded it then played it back on fast forward (like when TV programmes used to put information in the credits and you'd have to record it and play it back on long play. Like those bits, but if you were watching them on standard speed instead). Our mixing style is influenced mainly by the scientific techniques behind particle acceleration. We identify and isolate the most interesting and least understood photons of weird pop, unearthed disco gems, serrated post-punk, colossal synth epics and sublime techno, pass them over super cooled electromagnets until they reach 99.999991% the speed of light and then smash them in to each other to marvel at the strange and wonderful discoveries we have made towards The Theory of Everything. Either that or cause the end of the world."

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Following the success of their recent Croatian jaunt, the Electriks team are about to unleash a new compilation. Titled Electric Chair Saved My Life, it's coming via the fine Tirk label in October. They're having a launch party in That London but no sightings - yet - of something up this way. Anyway the tracklist is pretty smart as it features a host of Chair classics.

1. Shut Up And Dance - 'Blackmen United'
2. Fluke - 'Tosh (Fila Brazilia remix)'
3. Joubert Singers - 'Stand on the Word'
4. Human League - 'Hard Times'
5. Metro Area - 'Caught Up'
6. Sinnamon - 'I Need You Now'
7. Jaziac Sunflowers - 'Spacehopper'
8. Nasty Dolls - 'Steamy Windows'
9. Daniel Wang - 'Like Some Dream (I Can't Stop Dreaming)'
10. Faze Action - 'In The Trees'
11. Sly Mongoose - 'Snakes And Ladders (Rub n Tug remix)'
12. The Electric South feat. Bob Lind - 'Sing (UnaBombers Electric North remix)'
13. Pépé Bradock - 'Deep Burnt'
14. Isolée - 'Beau Mot Plage'
15. Josh One - 'Contemplation (King Britt Funke remix)'
16. Quentin Harris - 'Let's Be Young'
17. Roy Davis Jr. feat. Peven Everett - 'Gabriel'
18. Rufus and Chaka Khan - 'Ain't Nobody (Frankie Knuckles Hallucinogenic dub)'

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


The guys from Tramp suddenly realised that it has been a whole year since they put together a chart of their favourite tunes. As you may know, while Tramp - the night - is no longer a regular session, (residents) James and Will have been playing all over the shop. So there's likely to be an endless list of genre-crossing records that are exciting the pair. Here's ten of them:

1. Yacht- 'I'm In Love With A Ripper (Party Mix)'
2. MGMT- 'Kids (Soulwax Nite Version)'
3. LSB- 'Shout'
4. EPMD- 'Run It (Duke Dumont Remix)'
5. Tony Cook- 'On The Floor (Joakim Edit)'
6. Mujava- 'Township Funk'
7. Rhythm Code ft. Simon Denney- 'Rise (Popof remix)'
8. Walter Jones- 'Deuteronomy Brown'
9. A-Trak- 'Running Man'
10. James Braun- 'Pop The Funk'

Also, ahead of their date at Homoelectric, here is a mix they did for the club a short while ago.

Sunday, 7 September 2008


So, Spektrum is open now and above is a little video I made on the opening night. The main attraction is the lights, it's like being in a Daft Punk video. Also commendable was Theo Parrish, using the rotary mixer beautifully whilst shaking the sweaty paws of the many gurning manc lads who, oddly, showed their appreciation of the music by trying to touch the DJ.

The most interesting thing about the night was bumping into Matt Edwards of Radioslave/Quiet Village fame who was playing downstairs at Sankeys. He told me that the follow up to his debut album under the Rekids moniker was nearly finished and there's a very good chance it will come out on the seminal Warp imprint. That's an NN exclusive by the way.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Looking at our listings, September is shaping us as the now customary 'new clubs' fest. Amongst those is a fresh name - Jupiter Rooms - that actually comes from some fairly established players.

The handiwork of Will Tramp and the ace duo that is Jupiters Heroes, the session is set to fill Joshua Brooks with a pretty sexy selection of electro, techno and disco. And it all kicks off with a live set from the revered Bangkok Impact and some electronic boogie from Naive Melody's Slippery People. But while you're waiting for that debut on 19/09/08, perhaps become accustomed to one of the Jupiter Rooms promo mixes.

Like this one that you'll find

Jupiter Rooms Introduction Mix

1. Chicks On Speed - 'Wordy Rappinghood'
2. Cobra Dukes - 'Airlight (Aeroplane dub)'
3. Roni Griffith - 'Spys'
4. Jesper Dahlback - 'Robot Dance'
5. Party Crashers - 'Cos We Care'
6. Alter Ego - 'Fuckingham Palace (Nerk & Dirk Leyers remix) & Play Paul - 'Kah Pang (accapella)'
7. Frankie - 'Balance'
8. Mike Monday - 'Zum Zum' & Modern Rocketry - 'Stepping Stone (accapella)'
9. Alex Gopher - 'Belmondo'
10. Remote - 'Sinister Boogie'
11. Palermo Disko Machine - 'Pump'
12. Jupiters Heroes - 'Fuck Minimal, Fuck Maximal'
13. Holy Ghost - 'Hold On'


The postman arrived earlier and alongside all the Credit Crunch doom and gloom we found a CD sent by the promoters of Clique. This is the first in what's hopefully an extensive mix series and has been so long in gestation that it was originally planned as a tape. Well, sort of.

With any luck it will be uploaded somewhere at some point but, for now, see if you can get your hands on a copy. It's 19 tracks of dancefloor-igniting electronic pop goodness including tracks and remixes from the likes of Black Kids, Ciara, Santogold, Treasure Fingers, CSS, The Shoes, Alex Metric, Soft Cell, Tepr, Robyn, Muscles, that Fred Falke remix of 'Golden Cage', Das Pop, Cut Copy, Ortzroka and Mystery Jets.

The latter band is also set to make a DJ appearance at the next Clique 12/09/08 which does all tie in pretty neatly.

However, still a bit surprised that this particular Clique staple wasn't included: