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Inside SOUP
Photograph: SOUP / Andy Barton

This tiny club is the last bastion of city-centre nightlife in Manchester

DJ and producer Finn McCorry tells us about the importance of places like SOUP

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

In our new series My Happy Place, we spotlight the UK’s independent venues through the eyes of musicians, DJs, actors and other people in the arts. Here DJ and producer Finn – aka Finn McCorry – tells us about legendary Manchester nightclub SOUP.

‘SOUP is in the very heart of the Northern Quarter. There are very few good clubs left in Manchester city centre, so it feels like a bit of a last bastion. It’s in a concrete basement under a bar, where you can see local DJs on a really kicking, immersive sound system. The booth is in the corner of the room and it’s a really small, intimate dance floor, with about 250 capacity. In modern clubbing, you often end up going to big, multi-room events where you're wandering around. SOUP feels like the perfect antidote to that.

‘The first time I went was around seven years ago, for a night called Swing Ting. It completely took my head off. It wasn’t exclusive or intimidating – it was just a good party for people in Manchester. For me, that’s why small clubs are so vital. I think it’s really important that city-centre clubbing is given the same care and attention as big warehouse spaces – you shouldn’t have to make a trip to the outskirts of Salford every time you want to go raving.

DJ Finn
Photograph: Louis Reynolds

SOUP was the venue that I really cut my teeth at. Every few months, I’ll still put on nights there. I like being able to play really intimate New York, Chicago, and UK garbage and house records – rather than a lot of the big room sounds you’d expect at larger events. It’s been vital having a venue like SOUP to play at regularly and somewhere to build a record collection around. But it’s not just about how SOUP supported my musical career. It was the fabric of my social life (I met my long-term partner on the dance floor) and really key to my life in Manchester.’

One track that sums it up: Braver (Swing Ting Smooth Edit) by Alexx A-Game. ‘Swing Ting used to end every night on it – whenever I hear it, it’s like being back in SOUP at 4am.’

Finn is playing The White Hotel, Manchester, on January 1 2023.

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