Club V on Manchester's Deansgate was probably the first house music club I ever visited. In 2002 I remember stepping down the narrow staircase and into the underground dance floor area. This was my introduction to high quality house music, opening my ears and mind. It was similar sounding to that heard on nearby bar hub Deansgate Locks, but this was louder and the punters were here for the music. They were here to dance. Unlike the Locks regulars, they didn't go out to pose.
As far as I can remember, drapes covered the walls and ceiling of the club- oranges and yellows bowing out on all sides, covering up giant speakers. Alcoves breaking off from the main area hosted secondary DJs, who were playing minimal techno to whoever wandered in.
Today Club V is Avici White- a brand new outlet offering up another high quality clubbing experience, and their “grand opening” almost lived up to expectations.
That underground feel has given way to a chic, whitewashed design- a nod to 1990's interior décor. The 9th century grade II listed building has been completely transformed (presumably not for the first time). I didn't even recognise the club, and I'd visited Club V a year ago.
The music is still brand new house, well-mixed and generally awesome. There was no mention of big-name DJs on the club's flyer, so we were all pleasantly surprised when Jon Fitz jumped on the decks for a quick set. Fitz, if you don't know, is one half of Herd n Fitz, a duo who had a Number 1 club hit in 2004 with I Just Can't Get Enough.
For a club as smart as this, the prices were fairly reasonable. There are more expensive places to drink in the city, and the £12 door entry isn't unusual for this kinda joint. The only problem was the lack of people. Considering it's in the middle of town, on a busy street, there really should have been more punters swinging by.
Having said that, the clientèle was good-looking- particularly the podium dancers (one of whom could easily pass as a double of pop star Rihanna).
Guest DJs soon to play Avici include Vula from Basement Jaxx, Stereo Sushi and Sandy Rivera. With a line-up like this, the club will soon be an icon of Manchester night life.