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Image © Sam's Chop House via Facebook

Top 5 Open Mic Nights in Manchester

31 July 2019 | Daniel Lovatt

Whilst incontestably on the worldwide map due to the music gods that have been birthed and bubbled in its streets and venues, Manchester also has a reputation for hosting some killer (thankfully non-literal) open mic nights across the city.

A stepping stone for the karaoke kings and queens to make a name for themselves and enjoy the applause in, let’s face it, a soberer state than their previous karaoke antics. The nights welcome an array of hopefuls, some with an original song to share, some with a cover to put the original to shame, and some on the verge of sacking off the day job to pursue the land of milk and honey. After all, everybody deserves a moment under the spotlight. So here we have it, five great open mic nights where those moments are realised, the applause is tumultuous and that burning desire to sing is unleashed on the world.


Image credit: The Old Pint Pot via Facebook
The Old Pint Pot
2 Adelphi Street, City Centre, Salford, M3 6EN 

First on the list is riverside pub The Old Pint Pot. Located right beside Salford University, every Tuesday night, the stage is set for any bidding performer to capture the imagination of the punters. Here, the versatility of both the space and the atmosphere is what makes it a fantastic open mic night. Where the immediate vision of what a night constitutes – a timid solo singer- perhaps strapped with an acoustic guitar – is exiled. The pub has seen a whole host of performers rock the oak walls.  From stripped back band sets to rappers, to experimental jazz and hip- hop artists. Yes – an open mic night without singing. Beats us. The pub also welcomes spoken word poets too. So, on a picturesque summer’s evening, if you’re feeling a little swept away by the views and the booze, it’s instinctive to gravitate to this place. 

Trof
8 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1EU

In second, northern quarter’s worst kept secret Trof is much more than “dandyish den of brunch and cocktail indulgence.” Rumours around the campfire are that they’ve turned their cocktail craft and brunch devising talents to hosting a wicked open mic night ‘with a twist’. How exciting! Save a space in your diary for every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Trof will be bringing all lucky folk the usual mix of open mikery and off-the-cuff jamminess, but with one small twist. Each month, they book a very special guest as their ‘featured artist slot.' Meaning that not only can punters catch a glimpse of some more established brilliance, but they also have the chance to be watched by them as well. The scouts may well be out. So, bring your talents and get involved or just sit back and soak in the vibe. You decide.


Image credit: The Fitzgerald via Facebook
The Fitzgerald
11 Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DB

“A touch of Great Gatsby glamour in the Northern Quarter." The Fitzgerald combines a luxurious speakeasy interior with a delightful cocktail and champagne menu (served in authentic 1920s glass wear) to provide the ultimate atmospheric drinking spot. There is a shadowy allure to the back-street entrance that would put genuine prohibition era drinking spots to shame. When not transporting their residents back through time, The Fitzgerald also happen to have a knack for hosting a tremendous open mic night.  It’s organised by Johnny Woodhead, who’s always happy to lend out his guitar, and a selection of technical equipment to help the performers produce the perfect the sound and atmosphere. After the set is finished, all performers are welcome to a drink on the house. If you need an incentive, there it is. And don’t worry, you’re not forced to crack out any Vera Lynn.

The Crown & Kettle
2 Oldham Rd, Manchester, M4 5FE

This venue is perhaps best known for its somewhat time-worn, but nonetheless captivating chandelier ceiling that hangs above one mighty bar that serves an excellent selection of ales. The Crown and Kettle is a treat for anybody that can happily ditch the pastures of cocktail craziness for a more traditional, tranquil pub.  Their open mic events, like its competitors draw experienced artists and fresh talent together to perform beneath the chandeliers and bring the legacy of the pub to life. All bidding performers can sign-up for a slot on the night from 7pm and can expect the music to kickstart an hour later. There’s even an in-house drummer available throughout each set, and all performers are entitled to a free drink after their set! Perhaps not so tranquil after all.
 

Image credit: Sam's Chop House via Facebook
Sam’s Chop House
Back Pool Fold, Manchester, M2 1HN

Thursday’s at Sams Chop Houseare a must for anybody who enjoys a good, old fashioned celebration of British culture. This aesthetic Victorian-listed venue is home to a rich history and an even more exquisite present. Established in 1872, Sam’s Chop House was previously frequented by the artistic legend, and lover of Manchester’s industrial appeal, LS Lowry. The bar also proudly claims to stock the ‘best selection of wines in Manchester’. One hell of a CV. Of course, these attributes (especially the wine) are the perfect accompaniment to the live music. Entry to the open mic event is free, and even better, Sam’s-bar frequently offers promotional prices on drinks, available exclusively during the open mic, as well as a selection of superior-quality (a rightful claim) pub nibbles. So, Sam’s Chop House is the ideal venue for anyone who appreciates great British food and even better live music.
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