Wednesday 21st January
Chris: "Hi, are we still on for tonight?"
Me: "Yes, where are you?"
Chris: "In Manchester, where do you want to meet?"
Chris: "We can meet in Wetherspoons. I want something to eat."
Me: "Ok, see you in half an hour."
I drive to Fallowfield. Walk into the Lloyds Bar and notice Chris, he's eating a burger and chips. We stay and chat for a while.
We go to Chorlton and see someone who used to be a guitarist in Black Grape, he's a nice guy. His name is Paul Wagstaff. Chris knows him and we chat for 10 minutes. Chris is a journalist so knows a few famous people in Manchester.
Paul Wagstaff: "Thanks for writing that article about my guitars being stolen."
Chris: "No problem."
Paul Wagstaff: "No really. Someone read it and saw one for sale and reported it. I had it returned to me. It was a rare guitar."
We go to another bar in Chorlton and discuss how I've been going out in order to build a lifestyle in the city.
Chris: "It's a good idea. The best place I've found to meet people is somewhere like the Cornerhouse or book discussions. I was there a few months ago and a lady came and sat next to me just to make conversations."
Me: "I've found in bars you don't get regulars."
Chris: "No you don't in the city centre. Well, you do actually, but they're not the type of people you'd want to get to know."
Me: "What people need is a common interest. When we used to go out it was music and fashion. The music was the right volume and playing popular chart hits. Now everywhere is too loud, or they put some obscure songs no-one except the DJ has heard of. With fashion it's gone smart casual and dressed down so no-one shares an enjoyment of being smart and having style."
Me: "Now I put it like that, all there is to many nightclubs nowadays is alchohol."
Me and Chris get on well, we always did since we first met. In the 90's we spent so many nights out to the city enjoying the music, fashion, venues, it's how we got to know each other so well and become friends. People get together in a good atmosphere and a common interest helps them connect in the first place. Even the people around us in the clubs add to the atmosphere – we might have never spoken, but we danced in the same club to the same songs and we influenced each other forever.
While me and Chris are outside walking to another venue Chris says:
Chris: "You say you're building a lifestyle but maybe you've already got the lifestyle."
I consider this. After all I am going out regularly, having a good time. He's got a point.
Summary and venue reviews: Wednesday 21st January
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Lloyds bar Fallowfield
Medium busy. Clientele: smart casual. Decor: 6/10.
Lloyds bar Fallowfield
Medium busy. Clientele: smart casual.
Notes: It has been said in the media that celebrities go out in Chorlton. We meet Paul Wagstaff from Black Grape in Chorlton.