23 Sep 2018

YES MANCHESTER


YES YES and more YES. 38 Charles Street Manchester is now the new home of bands, djs, pizza, music and partying, not yet tainted by the 'Place to be" vibes that the Northern Quarter has now fell victim to and not yet filled with the d*ckheads that Warehouse Project has unfortunately attracted. Across the road the Factory Nightclub, with it's student deals and collapsing roof, YES is imbued with the coolness that the old Factory Records had in it's day, something Tony Wilson I'm sure would enjoy to see in his old stomping patch. I love YES, or more appropriately named 'Yaassss" for the purposes of this blog post, for many reasons. It opened on Thursday for a preview and I have already been twice this weekend. It's a mere stones throw from my flat and doesn't involve me trekking across the Spice fields of Piccadilly Gardens, it's not on the outskirts of town like Hidden or Antwerp Mansion and the late great Sankeys. It combines my two favourite interior design features, maintaining the old warehouse, industrial styled shell with an Instagrammable backdrop. The building is a former auctioneers house refurbished to look like the inside of a hipster millennial's mind (well I'm not sure that was the specification but it may as well have been, I'll go into that later.) It has everything I want for a great night out, a floor dedicated to live performances, a outdoor terrace for when you still want to party but need some fresh air and want to dance beneath the stars (or rain as the case may be). A dry ice filled basement to rave in like they did at the neighbouring Hacienda and a Pizza parlour to feed the Gremlin inside me (although not after midnight.) Most of all I felt at home there, like some weird homecoming, I've been searching for YES for years and I didn't even realise it. 

So who's behind this incredible place, I hear you ask? Jon Wickstead and Wesley Jones from Now Wave fame have teamed up with Ruth Hemmingfield (The Deaf Institute, Gorilla, The Albert Hall and Band on the Wall) to set up the new venue. Even writing that makes me so happy, my favourite gig venues combined with Now Wave, a team that has curated some of my ultimate festival stages and nights at WHP and other MCR venues. Hell, they did not disappoint for their opening weekend. I can already confirm that their amazing team of bartenders make the best Vodka Diet Cokes, I'm not sure what vodka they're using but when your drink doesn't taste like chemicals and they actually use Diet Coke and not Pepsi (if I wanted Pepsi I would've asked, it's not the same) it's already a win. It's also the reason this post is two days late... hello hangover. 

The Pink Room, is like the name may suggest, pink from head to toe, speakers to plush carpeted stage (I give them a few months before they'll have to rip that f*cker out, thanks to the band Horsey for pointing this out.) For the opening the ceiling was littered with matching pink balloons emblazoned with the YES logo, walking a few meters and you'd be entwined in about 50 of them. The bar-back featured a neon pink flamingo and pink YES lettering, and of course even the toilets on this level were pink. My favourite level both aesthetically and also musically, my top acts of the weekend being the band Horsey and The Rhythm Method (I may or may not have proceeded to have nights out with the members of each and said I'd give em' a mention). Check out both of them, you won't be disappointed. It's great to speak to two bands, who are made up of Londoners, talk about how much they enjoy playing in Manchester. Mid conversation with Jacob from Horsey, we were greeted by a man with a tray of tequilla, 'drink?' we stopped, gave each other a knowing look, took the shot, winced and carried on with our conversation, 'you definitely don't get that in London,' Jacob exclaims. 

The now named Black and White level, due to the Beetlejuice inspired toilet decor, the ground floor features pizza from Pepperoni Pizza Play Boy, DJs all night and plenty of seating (if you're into that sit down dancing). I haven't tried the pizza yet but it seems popular with every other person seemingly carrying round a slice and a drink, and don't let the name fool you there's both vegan, veggie and meaty options. My favourite aspect of this floor is the David Shrigley artwork on the wall, I can honestly say I lost my mind when I saw it, if it wasn't so high up on the wall I may have nicked it (I'm joking obviously, maybe...) The top floor features a Mediterranean/Moroccan inspired terrace, there was a guy playing a sitar on the first night, with the ceiling and bar area heavily featuring numerous hanging plants and foliage. Half of this level is an open terrace which I'm sure will be lovely when we get back the nice weather in 10 months. The basement, the smallest of all the areas, showcases back to back DJs all night. On Thursday they were playing some great disco tracks down there (I'm sorry I have no idea who was on but I thought you were great), might I add playing actual records without a Macbook in sight! I hope with the Now Wave lads being on board we will see much of the same great DJs and acts performing here. 

This weekend was my first YES experience and I can assure you there will be many more to come. With independent venues being closed all over, especially in London, Manchester is seemingly creating the new wave (how appropriate) of venues with HOME, Jimmys in NQ and now YES, with it showcasing brilliant new talent. Manchester is Music. So here's to four floors of YES, may there be many YES years to come.

Lauren Eliza x

Check out my last post here!

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like an amazing venue. Nothing will beat the original warehouse project (I was a student in the city many moons ago) and I still have a place in my heart for Sankeys. Haha! I’ll have to check this venue out when I’m next up.

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    1. I know!! I’ll still always love WHP but nothing beats it back in the day, I long for times when I could happily have a dance and not feel suffocated! You should deffo try out YES though ☺️

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  2. Venue looks awesome - sadly I’m ooooold and I’m not sure if I’d ever make it over. Do the kids even say ‘awesome’ anymore?!?!

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    1. If it’s not cool to say “awesome” then I don’t want to be cool 😜 Is you can you should for sure, the terrace is lush!

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