Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Registered an account here just to ask the question, where have all the sessions gone? I moved away from Manchester about 20 years ago when there used to be a thriving Irish scene. Came back recently and it’s all gone!? Chorlton Irish gone, St. Kents still there but dead and no sessions, Garvey’s closed. Can’t find any sessions advertised online. Looked up some names I remember and no record of them playing anymore.

I used to know a few tunes but forgotten the majority. Need some people to sit with and remind me of what I used to know but where does everyone play these days? Is it like this everywhere or is it just the North West scene that’s died?

Thanks.

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Are you sure the scene is as dead as you think?

It looks like there’s a lot going on in Manchester:

https://thesession.org/sessions/search?q=manchester+england

The sessions might not involve the same people or happen in the same places, but isn’t that to be expected after twenty years?

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Between ten and twenty years ago nearly all the sessions moved from the city center to the suburbs. All the older guys had gone, the new young kids started their own sessions and unless you could travel by car it was all gone.

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Where have they gone? They’ve gone away, just like the pubs they sessioned at once upon a time.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10980063/Map-shows-pubs-closed-region-England.html#:~:text=Map%2520shows%2520numbers%2520have%2520fallen%2520below%252040%252C000%2520for,London%2520and%2520the%2520East%2520of%2520England%2520More%2520items

(Apologies for linking to the DM, but this particular article seems to contain actual facts enough for a quick look. Lots more information available on line if interested. Support your local.)

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

If there aren’t any (which I very seriously doubt) then start one.

Posted by .

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Out of the 41 sessions listed on this site 9 are currently active. Or, as Jeremy says, “…looks like there’s a lot going on in Manchester.”
😛

Posted by .

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

I don’t know the Manchester scene but I just asked a friend who goes there often and he listed about a dozen sessions that he knows of in and around Manchester. Admittedly, a couple of those were a fair distance out of Manchester itself (Huddersfield, Hebden Bridge), but most were within the bounds of Greater Manchester, with at least one of them in the city centre https://thesession.org/sessions/166 .

It is simply not true that there are no sessions in Manchester advertised online – as Jeremy has pointed out, there are 9 active ones in the listings here, for starters. Of course, an active listing does not *necessarily* mean the session is still active, as it is up to the site members to keep listings up-to-date, but you always have the options of contacting either the venue or the member that submitted the session. (I did not note down my friend’s list so, other than the session linked to above, I do not know whether it tallies with the sessions currently listed here).

ronald.ellison: “Between ten and twenty years ago nearly all the sessions moved from the city center to the suburbs. All the older guys had gone, the new young kids started their own sessions and unless you could travel by car it was all gone.”

That might well be true for Manchester. But I think it is also true that, increasingly, sessions are being organised via messaging groups on social media; if a session regularly gets enough of a turnout by that means alone, then it might not necessarily occur to the organisers to list it publicly. Two sessions (nowhere near Manchester) I go to now and again are organised that way; one of those would be problematic to list here as it floats between three venues – and sometimes does not happen at all, if a venue cannot be found.

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

There are at least four that I know of. The Bowling Green (Sunday - Chorlton - migrated from the Irish Club), The Station (Wednesday - Didsbury) and The Pevril of the Peak (Tuesday - City Centre) - all listed on here are all going strong. There is also a Sunday session that alternates weeks between the BrewChimp bars in Stretford and Urmston. There will be others I don’t know about.

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

Ah, a trip down memory lane… in the early 90’s I discovered my love of Irish music at Manchester sessions. Danny’s sessions at the Ducie, Bernard’s at the Salutation and Peveril of the Peak, and a few more but I can’t remember the names of the pubs (I drank a lot in those days..). Mike McGoldrick and Dezi Donnelly would sometimes pop in, but they were just nippers in those days and had their own scene going on with their mates. Mike Harding was a regular, with his banjo.
I could barely play a note back then, but having picked up the whistle again during lockdown I can remember many of the tunes I heard there, and now I can actually play them I would give anything for a Time Machine!

Re: Where has everyone gone? (Manchester, UK)

I’m just in the process of moving from north Wales (session dead!) to the outer fringes of Stockport. Public transport isn’t so great and I don’t fancy a long dark journey home!
But, if there’s anyone in the south Stockport area or Cheadle, Bramhall, etc., fancy a tune, I’m up for up it, though fairly rusty.
As I’m long retired, I can manage daytime and, once I get my house in order, people welcome.
I play mostly fiddle (bit of concertina, banjo very reluctantly, even guitar!); as the author of MIBW, you can guess my choice of music! Take care.