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Golden, Manchester - 28th October 2000
DJ Neil Viney


Having not been to Manchester for 3 years, it was nice to venture back to what was one of the centres of the dance music scene, from its creation right through to the middle of the 1990’s. Manchester clubbing had been at the fore front of the dance music scene in the two previous decades, but following the closure of the legendary Hacienda and more recently Home, the Manchester club scene has been starved of a heavyweight contender in the current battle of the superclubs.

Having been to SANKEYS SOAPS for Bugged Out on several occasions before, and the popularity and support that night has earned, both here and at Nation in Liverpool, GOLDEN has a lot to live up to. Golden has a reputation of quality; its nights in Stoke had given it a reputation of providing a quality atmosphere, driven by the cream of clublands DJ’s playing the best tunes, from the harder end of the dance music spectrum and its easy to see that this combination was evident in the derelict surrounds of Jersey Street, Manchester.

Tonight’s DJ’s were to include Mark Spoon, one half of the successful producers Jam & Spoon, followed by Lisa Lashes, the queen of the currently extremely popular hard house scene. In a current dance music scene where clubs more than ever tend to follow a narrow spectrum of music genres, it is refreshing to see that Golden was attempting to take you on a musical journey through the night. Upon arriving at Sankeys at 10, we were welcomed by an impressive sound system for the size of the club. Sankeys is not a particularly small club, but the rectangular shape allows for a split between the bar and the dance floor, which can make for a slow start to the night as it fills first in the bar area. Normally this is a warm up DJ’s nightmare, as the dance floor can be difficult to fill. But the tribal beats of the resident DJ soon had people moving towards the multi layered dance area and the atmosphere quickly picked up.

Knowing that the DJ line up downstairs coupled with the rising atmosphere was going to be unmissable by the time Mark Spoon stepped behind the wheels of steel, we checked out the upstairs second room to see what Golden's other side had to offer. The music policy in here was tending more towards the commercial end of the dance spectrum, with the DJ playing a varied selection of old classics from garage and house music through to current US hits. Again, the sound system was plenty loud enough and the tunes were light and uplifting enough to provide a much needed break from the hard edge electronic music ripping up the dance floor downstairs.

Ripping up the dance floor is the best way to describe what Mark Spoon did once arriving. Playing a mixture of trance and hard house that progressed the night nicely from the solid base set, from the outset. Playing current smashes such as Azzido da bass and Sunrise by Ratty, Mark Spoon cut and chopped his way harshly through a fast moving set that, although not technically perfect, certainly laid a perfect opening for one of the hardest DJ’s on the circuit. If Lisa Lashes was a boxer, she could knock out Audrey Harris and Lennox Lewis with the flick of a nail. When she took over, you know why she has a reputation as one of the best DJ’s on the hard house circuit, famous for playing some of the most in-your-face dance music this side of the Gabba scene out of Amsterdam - she came, she took over and whipped (judging by her clothing quite literally whipped up!!!!!)  the up for-it-crowd. Just what everyone needed to be able to tackle the harsh weather conditions that waited outside.

For me, a 3 ’clock license on this club shows why Manchester may not be able to keep up with its other Northern city rivals. Where the only neighbours to complain about the noise are the rats that hang out in the disused buildings that surround the club, its seems ludicrous that Sankeys has not got a license until at least 6, maybe then there would be an ample supply of taxi’s to meet the demand, as the town centre will be less busy. Having spoken to one of the more than friendly door staff afterwards, he even complain about sometimes having to wait more than an hour to get a ride home.

Golden at Sankeys Soap seems to have made a decent restart after shutting for a while and you can only see it getting better and better. Gone are the days of attitude filled and aggressive door staff, having only witnessed one problem all night, the bouncers dealt with it like the professionals they are. Also, the club has a nice mixture of locals and students turning up making for a diverse and “mad for it” crowd, that will give as much to the eminent success of the night as the promoters and the star DJ’s that play. If I had to criticise, then I would say that they could improve the second room by giving some of the countries lesser-known talent a chance in there and leave the more commercial dance to the likes of Piccadilly 21’s. Even so, the future is definitely looking Golden for Manchester.

Golden are contactable on and tickets are available for the two New Years events based in Stoke and a mini festival at the Manchester Academy. Definitely worth the trip up the M6 one more time for that one.  

Thanks go out to Nick Dean of Golden for giving me the chance to mooch around Manchester city centre again and thanks to Emma, Caz, Sparkle, Julsey, Holey, Spinner and Lee “Glow Stick” Grierson for worrying about me when I went missing for three hours trying to get a taxi back to chorlton.

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