The Best of Manchester’s Live Music Scene

November 29, 2016 / United Kingdom

Manchester is considered the UK’s second capital city. Since the Sex Pistol’s legendary debut gig 1976, this northern industrial city has transformed itself into a thriving hub for arts, music, and culture, spawning some of the best bands and artists the country has to offer. A night out in Manchester is nothing short of epic, and if you’re a music fan, you’re in for a real treat. Not sure where to start? This handy guide, plus a help from Uber in Manchester is all you need to enjoy an amazing musical night out in Manchester.

Night & Day Café

Located in Manchester’s bustling Piccadilly and on the bohemian cusp of the Northern Quarter, Night & Day Café is a venue that prides itself on hosting bands and artists just before they become superstars. Since opening its doors in 1991, this cosy and atmospheric venue has played host to the likes of The Doves, Snow Patrol, The Charlatans, and many more great rock bands. One of the best things about Night & Day is that it’s open-minded, and you may be treated to folk, electro, blues, rock, or experimental hip-hop on any given night. A must-visit Manchester music spot.

Band on the Wall

Anyone with a penchant for alternative jazz and world music beats will love Band on the Wall. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Arts Council, this slick neon-lit city haven is essential for anyone who is serious about their music, and presents the best in international stars, as well as homegrown talent seven nights a week. If you’re lucky enough to visit on the weekends, Band on the Wall hosts legendary club nights curated by guest DJs, including BBC Radio’s very own Craig Charles.


This Manchester venue packs a big punch. Nestled under the city’s central railway arches, Gorilla’s atmosphere and interiors are not unlike Liverpool’s iconic Cavern Club, and if you’re looking for an all-out electrifying rock-and-roll show to get lost in, this place will not disappoint. In the afternoon, Gorilla is a great spot to listen to great sounds while sinking your teeth into a juicy burger. At night, you’re in store for two floors of musical madness and adventure.

The Castle Hotel

The Castle Hotel on Oldham Street is one of the city’s most popular ale drinker’s pubs, but it also boasts a strong rock heritage. Before its refurbishment in 1999, The Castle was the site of the legendary interview between John Peel and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Today, this rocking pub offers an intimate performance space for spoken word poets, DJs, solo artists, and bands, coupled with a comfy viewing space for ale-swilling punters. We suggest sampling a pint of Trooper, the official ale of heavy metal legends Iron Maiden.

Antwerp Mansion

This venue may be situated just outside the city centre, but it’s certainly worth visiting. Antwerp Mansion is rugged, raucous, and ideal for those looking to leave their inhibitions at the door and get lost in the music. Not only does this dimly-lit, rough-around-the-edges music hall host some of the city’s best local rock bands, but its live club nights offer an exciting mix of breakbeats, drum and bass, electronica, and performance art. If you’re hungry before you come, it’s conveniently located right next to Manchester’s Curry Mile.