With the gateway to Europe right at my front door it has never really appealed to me to explore my back garden; and by that I mean the less glamorous destinations located right here in the United Kingdom.
There were two draw cards which pulled me to Manchester: the first was Hot Chip and the second were two of my best friends who had left London for cheaper rent months previously. Upon arrival I couldn’t believe just how different the ‘Northerners’ were to Londoners. The streets were filled with amateur buskers singing top forty hits rather then praising Jesus, the fashion is remarkable (apparently the colder it gets the less the girls wear – I even saw a a leotard) and the accents are so thick I thought a few locals were actually from some unknown foreign country speaking some unknown foreign language – but they were actually just speaking Manchester.
What I was probably most excited about was the nightlife. My hosts had yet to experience this for themselves so we were all keen to lose our Manchester clubbing virginity together. After Hot Chip finished at Manchester Academy we caught a cab to the central city and hit up one of the worst clubs I have ever experienced. Picture the trashiest of people dancing to the worst music, remixed by the worst DJ on a dance floor where you couldn’t lift your feet due to alcohol and semen covered surface. Thank god I wasn’t alone and what could have been traumatizing experience turned out to be one of mocking laughter – Sorry Manchester but I just don’t think I understand where you are coming from.
On the walk home and after failed attempts to find an off license stocked with alcohol I couldn’t help but question some of the locals. Two girls walked past wearing singlet’s and no trousers (perhaps they were dresses?), I asked them ‘Aren’t you cold? Aren’t you COOLLLLDDDD!!!’ The only reply I got was a filthy look.
Although my review of this city seems completely negative, there were some highlights of the weekend. I did have the best coffee I have tasted since arriving to the U.K last year, the public transport was cheap (or free) and the people, although strange looking were much friendlier than the ones you sit opposite on the tube or barge past on Oxford street.
I really recommend that you head up north and give the streets of Manchester a stroll for yourself, just don’t bring their accent or questionable style back to London with you.