I do not exaggerate when I say that proximity to Band on the Wall is one of the reasons why I live in the centre of Manchester. This is my all-time favourite venue for gigs. It has always been an intimate, friendly sort of place – and it still is – but it has recently been refurbished and kitted out to a very high standard so all the facilities are top-notch. They also added The Picturehouse cafe bar, which is open to the public on event nights. But then, this is no ordinary venue: this is a charitable organisation devoted to live music and, as well as promoting artists, it also runs an outreach and teaching operation for anyone who wants to become a musician.
Personally, I prefer to be part of the audience where, over the years, I have enjoyed performances from world-class artists in many genres – rock, folk, dance, jazz etc. I am more inclined nowadays to jazz and BOTW has always had a solid reputation as a classic jazz venue. However, I never miss an opportunity to catch the occasional tribute band, for old time’s sake. It doesn’t always work out (nostalgia ain’t what it used to be) so I keep an eye on the up-and-coming bands as well. The line up of bookings for 2020 is looking very enticing and, if you are lucky, your visit to Manchester just might coincide with the action at BOTW. On the other hand, you could simply ensure that it does.