You might not be able to score a decent restaurant reservation this Valentine’s weekend, but as usual, there’s plenty of room on the dancefloor and a distinct lack of couple-centric schmaltz on offer too. Disco, dub, house, jazz and admittedly romance tinged soul are all available this weekend in Manchester, from new nights such as Brooklyn Dub, to established regulars like So Flute. Which will you choo-choo-choose?
Brooklyn Dub - Soup Kitchen, Stevenson Square, Wednesday, £7
A new night in the atmospheric basement of Soup Kitchen, that strives to achieve an easy going and throwback vibe for underground house, disco and dub. The first hand-picked guest is Wolf Music’s headline artist Medlar, currently completing a debut album and whose singles thus far, such as Can’t Stop and Terrell, have received massive club and radio play across the board. Joining him are rising star Hidden Spheres and Brooklyn Dub resident, Levi Bibby.
So Flute 3rd Birthday - The Roadhouse, Newton Street, Friday, £7/9
With a very clear musical vision and a warm and engaging party atmosphere, So Flute has gradually become a key choice for crate diggers, students and beyond in the North West. Celebrating their landmark third birthday, So Flute residents Werkha and Bolts, as well as the charismatic MC Kwasi are joined by two guests making their Manchester debut. First of all, Andrew Ashong, who has dual support from Giles Peterson and collaborator Theo Parrish, and whose low key disco and soul best heard on year’s outstanding ‘Flowers’ EP, digging through irresistible soul and jazz. Lay-Far meanwhile is perhaps Russia’s best loved underground soul man, specialising in jazz tinged bangers and afrobeat.
Dub Smugglers - Antwerp Mansion, Rusholme, Saturday, £7
Antwerp Mansion has a weird, isolated and anything goes aesthetic that might not be to the taste of clubbers not quite willing to ruin a pair of trainers, but for a similarly up for it and raucous event such as Dub Smugglers, it fits the bill with absolute ease. Four crews make up the lineup in total, each bringing an arsenal of guests. Dub Smugglers themselves are joined by Kuntri Ranks and Dub Monsta, Stand High Patrol bring their own killer selection of dubplates, and it’s all rounded off by Fleck and the return of Herbal Sessions Sound System.
Four20’s Valentine’s Love Affair - Gorilla, Whitworth Street, Saturday, £12
A Valentine’s Day Special from the consistently popular Four20 guys, featuring two of Europe’s best respected and upcoming disco heads. Mr. Dan Shake has been personally approved by no other than Moodymann, having released through his label, Mahogani Music. Meanwhile, Damiano Von Erckert has worked with some of the contemporary heroes of house, ranging from Motor City Drum Ensemble, Max Graef and others through his own imprint AVA. Successfully recapturing the soul of 70s, 80s and 90s output through his music, he promises to finish this love affair with a bang. Four20 residents Kieran Jandu and Dan Ali provide further warm audio atmopsherics.