Manchester’s top of the charts when it comes to live music, according to national poll

By Jonathon Chadwick

Manchester has further enhanced its reputation as the city of music after being voted top in a poll of the UK’s best current live music scenes.

The poll was conducted by music copyright collection organisation PRS For Music, with over 3,000 people surveyed for it.

While venues in London have been shutting their doors in their droves in recent years the number of stages in Manchester has simultaneously gone through the roof.

A handful of key additions to the city have made all the difference. The Ruby Lounge on High Street has flourished with secret gigs and homecoming shows from the likes of The Courteeners.

Jay Taylor, manager of the Ruby Lounge, said: “We’ve always been a progressive city, keen to look forward, and while we have a sturdy musical heritage we hopefully don’t get too bogged down on some dull nostalgia trip.

“The really exciting things are happening now and you’d hope this vibrancy was evidenced in the PRS poll.”

A couple of miles south, the Deaf Institute has become one of the city’s most important – and visually impressive – venues with its traditional décor and DIY club nights. 

Kelvin Cookson, 31, is a regular for gigs at the Deaf Institute and he describes the venue and its current run of nights as electric.

He said: “I honestly believe that what’s happening now in venues across Manchester is the most exciting that it’s been for years.”

It’s a thought that’s echoed by Mr Taylor: “Particular credit should go to those venues and promoters delivering sensational shows at a smaller level who are bringing interesting acts to the city.”

Participants were asked to answer the question, “Do you have enough local gigs in your area?” and 77% of Manchester residents who took part answered “yes”, a figure just ahead of Newcastle.

In a city already documented for its rich musical heritage the accolade serves as proof that it remains at the forefront of exciting, new live music.

PERFECT SETTING: Manchester’s Ruby Lounge hosts numerous secret gigs and homecomings, including The Courteeners

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