A change is as good as a rest they say – and we reckon you’re going to hear a lot more from this lot in 2014.

1. Coffee and craft store: Fig and Sparrow

This cute cafe on Oldham Street may have actual birds drawn all over it, but its also one of the most charming places for a browse of local art and craft creations and a flat white. Look out for Mr PS’s cushions and prints. 20 Oldham Street. Manchester. M1 1JN. 0161 228 1843, www.figandsparrow.co.uk

2. Weird new shop: Inventory

A curious new store has opened up at the end of Edge Street selling electronic things for the young and/or handy. An offshoot of Madlab (the avant-media education centre, also on Edge Street), this new store sells Raspberry Pis (models A and B) which you can use to programme things and get into computing or coding as well as loads of do it yourself kits and books. Meditation-inducing spectacles are also for sale. 7 Oak Street, M4 5JD, www.twitter.com

3. Cool new venue: First Chop Brewing Arm (pictured)

Tucked away under the railway arch at the bottom of Quay street (where East Ordsall Lane meets Trinity Way), this up-and-coming brewery has started to host a few gigs. Tucked in between giant barrels, we can’t think of many places we’d rather see a band in 2014. After showcasing the talents of Phil France, Mr Scruff and Denis Jones at the end of 2013, keep an eye on their Facebook page for forthcoming shows. Unit 3, Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford, M3 5EN. Tel: 07970 241398, www.facebook.com

4. Art gallery: PS Mirabel

Just down the hill from Victoria Station, this old fashioned gallery is part of a wider hive of artists’ studios. It feels really off the beaten track, and the cottagey, twisting and turning series of doors, studio spaces and courtyards that make up the complex appeal to the eyes almost as much as the changing exhibitions of work which includes resident artists, and those from further afield. We loved the Not Just For Christmas show in December – and their 2014 programme kicks of with a group show called 1964 at the end of January. 16 Mirabel Street, M3 1‎PJ, Thu 23 Jan, 6-9pm, Sat, 11am -5pm, www.psmirabel.co.uk

5. Best for Clubbing: Soup Kitchen.

Fresh off the back of their Club of the Year award 2013 from the Manchester Evening News, Soup Kitchen are keeping the bar high with new shows from Leeds demi-god, Pearson Sound, and former Hype Williams man, Dean Blunt, who is appears as part of FutureEverything this March. The club under the cafe bar seems unable to put a foot wrong as far as booking go, so why not take a punt on something new? 31-33 Spear Street,  M1 1DF. Tel: 0161 236 5100. www.soup-kitchen.co.uk

Image: Drew Forsyth

Ruth Allan
Published on:
Tue 7 Jan 2014