Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Now Wave Plans Its First Venue

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Now Wave Plans Its First Venue

Article excerpt

IT has stood on Charles Street for over 100 years - and now this old auction house is about to become Manchester's hottest new music venue.

Promoters Now Wave - Wes Killerbee and Jon Wickstead - have teamed up with Ruth Hemmingfield, formerly of Gorilla and Deaf Institute, to bring the Cape Dunn art auctioneers building back to life as a gig space.

Between them, the trio have staged some of Manchester's most memorable gigs over the last 10 years, including shows by The xx, alt-J and Grimes.

Now they are pooling their shared decade's worth of experience to open their first venue of their own.

The four-storey venue will include a ground floor bar and food offering, while a second bar will occupy the top floor - complete with a roof terrace with views over Oxford Street and the striking Victorian clock tower of the Principal Hotel.

An intimate basement gig space will give breakthrough acts a platform to play their first shows, while a slightly larger first floor space will stage performances from bigger and betterknown acts.

"Now Wave do shows from 60 capacity to 10,000," says Wes.

"But the shows we get most excited about are the first and second shows that bands play in the city."

Jon adds: "The stuff we book there will be a representation of us at that level of venue: lots of new acts, lots of emerging stuff.

"It's the perfect size of venue to put on stuff that we've discovered and we're really excited about."

The project is being carried out with painstaking attention to detail to ensure the best experience for gig goers, including lowering the first floor ceiling to accommodate a stage at the right height for fans to get a good view.

"We want people to think we've used the building to its best potential," says Wes.

"We get frustrated with venues' limitations sometimes, thinking if we had a venue we'd do certain things differently.

"We feel we've learned enough about what works and what doesn't. …

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