It’s Not Grim Up North: Put On Your Dancing Shoes.


“Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane.”

H.P Lovecraft

It’s no secret that I love throwing some serious shapes. For me, there’s nothing better than chucking on my glad rags, grabbing a couple of mates and hot-footing it into town to dance the night away.

Now, I’m not a self-conscious person, particularly after I’ve chucked a few G&Ts down my neck, but just recently something about my nights out in Manchester have left me feeling a bit….something. Usually I just get my booty on that dancefloor and bam! I’m there until 4 am. But is it just me or have these places just got a little pushy all of a sudden? Or have I just got older and, with the whole ageing process thingymabob, become a lot less tolerant of getting shoved around in bars?

I’ve mentioned, rather frequently, that I have turned thirty recently as has one of my best friends. Actually, in the past month three of my lovely friends have celebrated a thirty-something birthday. Holey moley. Anyway, we’ve been celebrating pretty hard, including a few trips into town. Now I haven’t been back in my beloved city for too long after a two and a half year hiatus and a stint of travelling, but I’ve noticed something has changed, or perhaps I have. While there are an abundance of AWESOME bars in the city centre – particularly dotted around the Northern Quarter – the clubs I have been to have been somewhat lacking in the over 25s. Not that it’s a problem, it’s more of an observation.

My lovely housemate – also a newcomer to the world of thirtydom – came up with the idea for this post. “You should write a piece about clubbing in Manchester,” she told me over a cup of tea this evening. Also a lover of shaking that thing, she wondered if there were places we could go and avoid that moment when you look round at 1 am and realise that you can’t move, you can’t breathe and that lad over there is either going to fall asleep or punch someone. “Put it out there to the blogging community,” she suggested. “And lets go out there and try them all. I will aide you. All in the name of research,” she adds, with a mischievous smile.

So her question was: is there anywhere in this beautiful city that we can grab a drink from the bar and manage to take it back to our group of friends without getting half of it dropped all down our new outfits? Oh, and plays great music!

The answer? Yes.

But you’ve got to be prepared to dig deep and do a bit of research. I am not going to bad mouth bars here. I love the Northern Quarter and if you get the chance you lovely lot need to get your cute butts out there for a night out and a good boogie, but if, like me and my mates, you’re a bit tired of ribs in the elbow and waking up with beer in your hair, shoes and bra, then maybe hit a few of these places. Or if you’ve got a few suggestions of places we should try, let us know below. We’re all ears!


I became a lover of Terrace about two years ago when a friend and I popped back up north to see James in concert. It was summer and bloody boiling. We stumbled across Terrace accidentally. It looks like a cafe or an eatery from the outside, which it is by day. But by night the chairs and tables get swept away and the DJ comes out to play. It has tiny dance floor but a great atmosphere. Think 90s hiphop, laid back attire and excellent drinks.


This has been the host of my own thirtieth birthday celebrations. Billed as the first, and best, Tiki Bar experience in Manchester, it doesn’t look much from the outside, just a doorway and a great big queue. There’s an entrance fee of £3 and a pretty pricey cloakroom charge of £2 per item but the atmosphere is good fun and the drinks are pretty reasonable, not to mention pretty showy. It’s not unusual to say a wave of fire from behind the bar when some of the crazier cocktail are being put together. Another hip hop, 90s garage, pop playing venue, I’ve spent some time in there singing all the words of songs from my youth with my good friends.


I used to live near Mojos and am a huge fan of this little space. Although not necessarily a club for dancing (Housemate says she can’t remember a time when she went dancing in there), the drinks are reasonable, the music random as hell and the crowd mixed. Worth it for the big “Music For The People” neon sign above the bar and the excellent selection of rum.


I wasn’t sure if I should include this place on the list as housemate and I came away with very mixed feelings. Having dressed up in tights, flat boots and skirts we felt very underdressed next to the hoard of body-con and heels, but the music was worth the hustle and bustle. Worth a try if you’re in a good group of people just looking to have a laugh at your own expense.


Thanks for reading this post and welcome back to my new #itsnotgrimupnorth series! Expect photos, tips and tales!

I’d really love to know what you think about the city and my posts, and if you’ve got any recommendations for my friends and I to go out and have a good dance.

Remember you can get in touch Twitter @EmmaYatesBadley, Facebook, or drop me an email ( Just look right for details.


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