In this challenging time it’s easy to forget our normal lives, the places we used to go and the things we loved doing. We thought it was time to reminisce and support the venues that will no doubt be struggling in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, by writing them love letters. With the aim of staying sane in the present, we’ll delve into our past experiences at Manchester’s most iconic clubs, creating hope for the future by making sure they’re still there when we come out the other side of this chaos. We begin with… Soup Kitchen.

On paper Soup Kitchen is one of the most impressive sounding clubs in the UK. A city-centre venue with an illustrious history and reputation is rare these days. But on entry it is a much more humble affair, down a murky staircase to an even murkier basement. But it’s this humility which maintains the spot’s credibility. Swapping pyrotechnics, lasers and LED screens for one smoke machine and a single stationary red light – the venue’s decor and lighting has a lovable homeliness that can only be found in venues where the walls are uglier than you.

The list of DJs who have appeared is scattered with cult heroes like Objekt and Call Super, Andrew Weatherall, Maurice Fulton and Jane Fitz – but the real meat in the pudding comes via DJs who have developed long standing relationships with the club. Tama Sumo is the obvious example, the Berghain/Panorama Bar resident whose soft spot for the club means she’s appeared four times in the last two and a half years. At her all night long set in November 2019, (which cost all of £6 through the venue’s website by the way), we were the first ones in the club and the first thing she did was walk out from behind the decks and hug us.

Then there’s the many committed external promoters, like Kiss Me Again, Banana Hill, Limbo Radio, Swing Ting and CULT who bring in crowds with their ambitious line ups. The venue’s reputation allows them to take risks and book lesser known artists but still pack out the room, by no means an easy feat in today’s clubbing climate. The gigs that go on are important too, giving Manchester’s up and coming bands like Ronald Raygun a great platform. Not to mention the vibe-y bar and café upstairs. Venues like this need bigging up, now more than ever. Post your favourite memories of the club in the comments.

Soup Kitchen,
31-33 Spear Street, Manchester, M1 1DF
, Tel: 0161 236 5100
Leo Burrell
Published on:
Tue 31 Mar 2020