Thursday, 19 September 2019

Meeting BBC's North America Correspondent Jon Sopel


If I'd have said that Donald Trump would be the next president, they would have put me in a room with only soft furnishings,” says Jon Sopel. Not that he would have. The BBC's North America correspondent, tasked with interpreting for a British audience the vast outpouring of unfiltered babbling coming from the now president's mouth, quickly accrued a huge amount of news- solid, hard facts- from his time reporting from Washington. What he learned out there, though, was that facts didn't matter to the Trump administration- making Mr. Sopel's time covering this presidency totally unique to any other assignment he'd ever been given.

It's Wednesday 18th September, and we're in Manchester's Dance House Theatre for the launch of A Year at the Circus: Inside Trump's White House. Interviewing him is BBC's political editor Jim Hancock.

If Hillary had won,” claims Mr. Sopel, “My golf swing would be better. I never have time now. Every time I got away, Trump would do something batshit crazy, and I'd get called back to DC.” He goes on to reel off some of Trump's falsehoods- claiming he'd predicted the outcome of Brexit while at a golf course with Sopel himself, when the plane's flight manifesto clearly showed him landing the day after the result, for example. There were plenty more. Some you'll remember from the news, some may have passed you by.

The discussion, including questions from the audience, covers Trump's child-like sharpie drawings tracking Hurricane Dorian, his paying off of Stormy Daniels (“Our job is not to normalise really weird behaviour,”) Melania's cluster of secret service agents filling an entire corner of a restaurant (That Mr Sopel found himself in) just days after the Stormy Daniels story broke (“the atmosphere was not great. Trump was sat like he was on the naughty step. I couldn't help but gawk”) and much, much more. Say what you like about Trump's politics, but his presidency is never dull.

If Mr Sopel had been American, he claims, the book could have been more damning. Americans are protected by the 1st Amendment, which prevents the government from making laws which abridge the freedom of speech, or the freedom of the press. Given Trump has sued (UK news outlets) The Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Mr Sopel didn't want to take any chances. What remains in the book- at least what's discussed a the event- is still riveting. Mr Sopel has read the Mueller report (“He didn't conspire. But most reports are dull. The Mueller report is a page-turner”).

Mr. Sopel and his team had to discuss the precedent of dropping the F-Bomb on TV. (Trump, after hearing the guts of the aforementioned expose, had allegedly uttered, “It's the end of my presidency. I'm fucked.”) Mr Sopel describes the blatant difference between this presidency and any other in US history: “'Pussy,' 'shithole countries,' 'we're fucked...' The language I've used on the BBC...” He brings a fist to his head and expands his grip: mind-blowing.

After some skilled questioning from Mr. Hancock, we go over to the audience for questions. First off the bat: Who does Mr Sopel back in the 2020 elections?

It's Trump. Due to the economy, employment, stocks. Biden makes a lot of mistakes. Elizabeth Warren, she's possible.”

Are you surprised there's been no assassination attempt?

No- the people with the guns like him, and the Secret Service do an incredible job.”

Do you think when he ran it was a publicity stunt?

He's having the time of his life. It was a branding exercise when he attacked John McCain, who was was praised as a PoW. Trump trashed him and everyone loved it. The original plan was to be in for 6 weeks and throw it to Chris Christie.”

If there's a US-UK trade deal, should we worry about the NHS?

No. Johnson couldn't trade with the USA. He knows it would be devastating. The NHS is like a live rail: touch it at your peril.”

Trump encourages violence towards journalists- have you experienced it?

Hell yeah. My cameraman was pushed over, and he's a heavy-set guy. I've been jostled, spat at. Secret Service were guarding the journalists. We weren't allowed out of the rallies until about an hour after they'd finished. Someone asked (then Press Secretary) Sarah Sanders how she copes, and straight off the bat she replied, 'bourbon.'”

Is Mike Pence dangerous or anti-women? And why is Trump orange?

I'm mesmerised by Pence. When Trump is speaking...” Mr Sopel breaks off in impression, staring, statically fawningly at an imagined Trump. “Like a taxidermist had been there. Pence introduced Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which limits gay rights and abortion. Legislation changed, but public opinion didn't. Why is he orange? I took a photo in the (White House) Rose Garden and I knew that there was something wrong. He looked like he'd been tangoed.”

Can we have free and fair elections given the Facebook misinformation campaigns?

I bloody hope so. It's never been more challenging. Social Media has a huge responsibility, and they're fumbling and groping towards that. We need swift mechanisms put in place now.”

Mr Hancock asks, will Russia try again?

Yes,” predicts Mr Sopel. “Trump retweeted a video of a woman dancing, claiming it was a celebration on 9/11. It was total fake news.” It's this ease of manipulation, he suggests, that makes Trump and his social media use the perfect target for political hackers.

What do you think the plans are for the Trump family?

There was a TV series called Succession, about a media empire ran by a man with children, where we're always wondering which child will take over. Donald Trump Jr is like his dad. US viewers loved the Bush family, now they love the Trumps.”

Given Trump's narcissistic tendencies, will he try for 3 terms?

The republican party will not overturn the Constitution. Trump would be 83. People would push back.”

Does the Trump media circus take attention away from Mitch McConnell and others who are dangerous?

They'll see diminishing returns on attacks. And what else is there to say? Mitch will be played hard. The Dems will broaden their attacks to other Republicans.”

To what extent is Jared Kushner behind this?

Jared was tasked with bringing peace to the Middle East...”

There are a few laughs from the audience. Mike Pompeo (Secretary of State), Mr Sopel claims, is the biggest influence.

In your travels around the world, has Trump's presidency damaged how others view America?

Yes, but Americans don't give a damn. It's collateral damage of Donald Trump doing his job. But he has lost influence abroad.”

Are the Dems doing the right thing by not impeaching?

When Bill Clinton was impeached he saw a huge surge in popularity.”

You come across as liberal and level-headed- are you ever drawn into Trump's appeal?

I love his Twitter. With the Mayor Saddiq Khan or Boris Johnson, you know 16 people wrote it. Trump's spelling mistakes tell you, 'This is real.'”

As depressing as the geo-political sphere may be right now, the evening has been anything but.

The book tour was produced by Penguin Live.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Freshers Week 2019

I know I'm 37. What of it?! Freshers week is back again! But before I dive into the party night I've scouted out, let me tell you about a book signing on Wednesday night.

BBC News' North America Correspondent Jon Sopel has written his own 'Fire and Fury' style expose, 'Inside Trump's White House.' Dance House Theatre, Oxford Rd. Wednesday night. Details here. Michael Wolff's book was a jaw-dropping expose, and with Trump's mental condition and general circumstances visibly worsening (Today alone his arguments with the Saudis over oil are hiking up prices for Americans, his son Eric has lied about the cost of the Obamacare website, and he might be declaring war with Iran. Standard), not even 2 years after that publication there's mountains of controversy with which you could fill a book. It'll be interesting to see what kind of British spin Sopel has put on the shitshow that is American politics right now.

Anyway, as mentioned, Freshers week is happening right now. Eden launch Paradiso, their Thursday night weekly party, tomorrow night. Manchester Cool Bars will be dropping into the giant Printworks venue. Expect cheap drinks, freshers, and numerous rooms with different music. Starting in Hard Rock Cafe next door. 10pm.


Sunday, 15 September 2019

Dropped into new club Cirque on Friday

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Cirque can be found on Deansgate behind the Up and Running store, opposite Australasia. The unit had previously housed the disastrous Toy Box, whose licence was suspended in January after a stabbing. If you go back a few years, it was the iconic and somewhat notorious Press Club.

The circus-themed club features people in outfits, but no real acts like you would get at Cirque de Soir or Theatre Impossible. There isn't the room. They charge a tenner on the door even if you're on the guestlist, which wasn't much of a surprise, nor was the ID scanning system on entry. Also predictable was the RnB music and at least 1 reality TV personality (Jordan Adefay, who lasted 1 week on Love Island last year).

A fun night, and one I'll be hosting a meetup to eventually. Not a favourite place though.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

BBC's Jon Sopel Live Tour: Inside Trump's White House



BUY TICKETS TO SEE JON SOPEL IN LONDON, SOUTHAMPTON, MANCHESTER AND SHEFFIELD


At the heart of Washington, there is a circus. It's raucous, noisy and full of clowns. Reporting on it is a daily cacophony. In A Year at the Circus: Inside Trump's White House, BBC North America Editor, Jon Sopel, takes you inside Trump’s West Wing and explores the impact this presidency has had on the most iconic of American institutions. Each chapter starts inside a famous Washington room, uncovering its history and its new resonance in the Trump era.

This September, join BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel as he goes on tour to discuss his new book A Year at the Circus, telling all about his time with Trump and what really happens in the White House press room.
You’ll hear about where the tense relationship between the media and the President is played out. Jon will reveal the inner workings of the Trump White House and detail the key moments and conversations that have unfolded within its walls.
From Kim Jong-un and Kavanaugh to Merkel and the Mueller Inquiry - this is your insider insight to the Washington Circus. Roll up, roll up...
Comments from Sopel’s last book:
the sanest man in America’ – Bill Bryson
Jon Sopel nails it’ – Emily Maitlis

Jon Sopel's book A Year at the Circus publishes on 5th September 2019.
This tour is produced by Penguin Live. The Manchester event will be held at the Dancehouse Theatre on Oxford Road, next Wednesday.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Mind, Body and Spirit at Hollingworth Lake Saturday Morning- Get Involved

What are you doing on Saturday morning? Hollingworth Lake Country Park are hosting 'Mind, Body and Spirit at The Lake,' a wellbeing event. Andy's Man Club Oldham have a stall there and will be talking to people about mental health, and encouraging people to try out the Oldham group on Monday nights. The group aims to improve mental health through talking. The long-term goal is to reduce the suicide rate in men, which is currently the biggest killer of men under 45.

Along with AMC, there'll be reiki, mindfulness, yoga and karate- and much more. Get down to the Littleborough lake from 10am onwards to get involved.

Today I read Sin City, the graphic novel from Frank Miller. It's a moody, rainy neo-noir tale of a hitman, his dead girlfriend and a lookalike that draws him in. Vertigo meets Road to Perdition. Or something.

It's fast-paced, inventively illustrated with quirky angles, printed in full monochrome and a rip-roaring twisty story. A brilliant find.

There is a movie adaptation but, as per, it isn't on Netflix.



Sunday, 8 September 2019

Use Unfollowspy on your Ailing Twitter Account

If you're a social media addict like me you've probably noticed that Twitter has died on its arse as of late- that Instagram is now a thousand times more popular and people aren't finding the need to head back to Twitter. This is a pain in the arse.

As a blogger, I rely on other people with bigger Twitter accounts to retweet links to my blog to get page views. Now, though, people have neglected those twitter accounts, not unlike those that followed them- my audience. Instagram doesn't have the ease of use that Twitter has.

Twitter has always been great for sharing links. Instagram only allows you to put a link in your bio. Links in photo updates don't work, nor do they on the story feature. Accounts with more than 10k followers have access to the 'swipe up' feature that allows links in stories that will be accessible for only 24 hours, before the story is deleted.

Hence, I still want to use Twitter but who's going to read my stuff? Who's going to retweet my links? Not many. Also, I'm assuming I'm following a massive number of now-inactive accounts. It's time for some mass-unfollowing.

I've just logged into Unfollowspy, another website offering some analysis of your Twitter account- the type of third-party site Twitter are actively working on shutting down. It allows you to sign in with your Twitter or your Soundcloud, and can offer info on either of these platforms. On Twitter it allows you 100 unfollows per day. It doesn't offer as much info as, say, Statusbrew, which was great for filtering out inactive accounts. Statusbrew allowed you (it may still do, but it currently charges) to order your results by who last tweeted the longest ago, hence showing you all the inactive accounts first. Unfollowspy has no such function. The site starts to monitor your account the moment you join, so after a few days I'm still waiting to be notified if anyone unfollows me. Perhaps I'll get used to it, but it's a poor imitation.

I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a graphic novel adaptation of the Jane Austin 'classic.' I understand there's a zany novel that came between the original and the graphic novel. Jesus Christ. I've never read the original, nor would I want to, but no amount of charming monochrome artwork or undead rotting toffs levered into the plot can mask the intolerable dullness of the original text. It's just a load of dated aristocrats trying it on with each other.

The new slant not just brings a marrying of horror and period, but a load of plot holes with it; a few 'how-would-they-know-that moments. Not a favourite.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Andy's Man Club are On Tour TODAY

Men's support group Andy's Man Club now have 20 groups operating across the UK- 20 places for men to drop in and talk, in private, about any problems they might be having. It's a support network for male depression, with the intention of reducing the suicide rate in men. This is the leading cause of death in men under 50.

Today, Andy's Man Club are touring the country's 20 locations on a giant branded bus. As I type they're in Manchester centre, handing out flyers, stickers and keyrings, and talking to the public, encouraging people to consider attending the Monday night session in The Federation on Federation St.

Andy's Man Club On Tour turned out to be a great morning in Oldham, in Parliament Square. People have been receptive, and keen to listen about what we do. I expect a handful of the men we spoke to will make their way down to the Oldham group on Monday night.


Also, we bumped into a bit of a local legend: Elliott Mellor from Countdown! He won the highest score in the show's history with 151 points.


Great day. I'm really hoping that the people we spoke to will find the courage to drop into the group on Monday night. Making that first step through the door is one of the hardest things you can do, but once you've made that step, you'll find any of the 20 clubs welcoming and friendly.

The bus is now heading to Stafford, Porthcawl and Exeter. See the itinerary here

Monday, 2 September 2019

Andy's Man Club Goes On Tour



Men's support group Andy's Man Club is going from strength to strength, with over 600 men visiting the groups nationwide. On Saturday 7th, The organisers of the national charity are jumping on a coach and touring 21 towns in the UK, raising awareness of men's mental health, suicide prevention and the benefits of talking. The 21 towns host the clubs currently operating across the UK- the Exeter group launches tonight. AMC On Tour aims to raise awareness of the groups in each town.

There'll be 2 buses touring the country- one in the north, one in the south- although as most of the groups are in the north of England the south bus will still visit a few reasonably local groups before charging down to Exeter. I'll be on the south bus in Oldham and Manchester, talking to the public, encouraging people to take leaflets, and to pass them on to people who might want to visit, and explaining the benefits of the group. Find us from 9:30 onwards at Parliament Square in the town centre. After this we'll be at Federation House, Federation Street, in the Northern Quarter. It's right opposite the Printworks, just down from the Tram stop. Come drop by and have a chat.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Cocktails at The Washhouse

This week I read The Violent Vol.1: Blood Like Tar, a gritty, urban graphic novel that I picked up for a quid or 2 at a Golden Orbit comic fair. It was worth it: it's entertaining, but hampered by a badly cliched criminal-drug-user-going-clean story and numerous plot holes (fingerprints not searched for, people not shot when lunging at someone holding a gun on them, etc.) I bought more on the day- I'm hoping they'll be better.

Went out for a friend's birthday to the stunningly unique Washhouse, a hidden bar disguised as a laundrette. We had a table booked so arrived and dialled the phone hung on the wall next to the 'washing machine' (actually a door to the hidden bar). The receiver asks how many 'items-' we told them the how many were in our group- and the door unlocked, allowing us through to the moodily lit bar. The bar itself is a handful of tables, and the serving area- there's no room for any more, but that adds to the appeal.

The cocktails are largely Manchester-themed, nodding to local musical talent or public figures. The Alan Turing cocktail came with a rainbow-coloured light-up display and padlock. Turing, renowned for cracking the Enigma code but later convicted on charges of homosexuality, is now regarded a hero in Manchester. His work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over 14 million lives (wiki), he has a statue in Sackville Park in The Gay Village, and part of the Manchester inner ring road is named after him.

I'm paraphrasing, but with each cocktail the barman would give a short speech about the concoction and its origins. Some contained pollen or honey, indicative of the cotton mills in the city, of which there were hundreds. The mills were compared to beehives, hubs of activity, the mill workers like worker bees.


Monday, 26 August 2019

Tank Girl





I've just read Tank Girl: The Odyssey, In which post-apocalyptic scruff-bag hero Tank Girl goes on an epic journey to find her adopted son's actual mother. The story is based on Homer's Odyssey, the Greek myth. I have not read that one. There have been some 'adjustments' to the story, the main one being her son has a TV set for a head.


I thought the zany commentary and dialogue was a little corny but the story can't be faulted, especially when you're lifting a classic.

What isn't a classic was the movie adaptation with Lori Petty (the bird off Point Break) in the title role. The short animated interludes suggested a fully drawn movie might have gone down much better.


There isn't much happening this weekend but next Saturday there's time for a meetup. So expect one soon.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Last night's meetup went down a treat:

Manchester Cool Bars started in Flok in Stevenson Square, the whole area rammed with stragglers from Manchester Pride on the other side of town. I had ran this meetup maybe a year ago, and we'd had to change bars as we couldn't get in anywhere- everywhere we tried was full.

This time we got straight into Soup Kitchen, which was quiet, but with great funk music, and straight into Eastern Bloc, playing what I think might have been acid house and was serving sweet treats like rocky road from behind the counter. I love it there but I think it might have been a bit niche for the group. After this we headed away from Stevenson Square up to Hold Fast, on the way to the Piccadilly Station end of the Northern Quarter. This nautical-themed bar has accessible SNES consoles at the back of the bar, where 1991 beat-em-up classic Street Fighter II was programmed to play. We all had a go, bashing away randomly at the handsets and occasionally pulling off some coincidental submission move, with 70s disco pumping out of the sound system. Cain and Grain followed, (indie on the ground floor, dance upstairs) which led into The Freemount, Matt and Phred's Jazz Club (both dead and dear), the we ended at Behind Closed Doors, a porno-chic smut-themed den with tiled walls, 70s mucky mags plastered to the insides, booths with phones connected to the bar and other booths, and a risqué cocktail menu, all set to an obscure disco soundtrack. Fantastic. It's a small bar so there was a queue to get in, but it was worth it.

Around 15 people showed up for the meetup- one of the most popular nights I've ran. I'll probably run it again.

Away from the bar scene I read Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius, a graphic novel from Shannon Wheeler. Mostly a series of one-frame newspaper-style visual jokes, the book can be whipped through quickly; intermittently it features multiple-panel story strips- some humorous, some interesting. Some somewhat pointless. Well worth the £2 I spent on it. Not worth the $20 RRP.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Brassic Premiere in Manchester

When I get into Manchester I realise I've brought last year's diary, no notebook and no pen, hardly the best start to my first press screening. Still, my name is on the list and I'm welcomed into the foyer of The Printworks' Vue in time for the viewing to start. I manage to cadge a pen and use the back pages of my diary.

I'm not exactly sure how this has happened, but Sky TV have invited me to a press screening of Brassic, a new 6-part comedy series set in Hawley, Lancashire. It's Tuesday 20th. The cast and crew have been given an arc of seats in front of the screen for a discussion before the start, including ITV's Katy Rickett, screenwriter / cast member Joe Gilgun (also Eli Dingle in Emmerdale and Woody in This is England), Cast member Ryan Sampson, Sky exec John Montague, screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst and cast members Tom Hanson and Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre in Coronation Street and Lance Corporal Georgie Lane Our Girl).

John explains that Brassic is part of Sky's 'biggest push' into comedy. Breeders, Intelligence and Hitmen are also new shows coming down the pipe.

We'll be getting a sneak preview of the show, which Joe describes as 'out there and potty-mouthed.' Michelle tells us that, although the characters are misfit minor criminals, the location is beautiful and was filmed offering a very different light to the image TV frequently portrays of 'grim-up-north.' It's not for BBC1. Shameless it ain't. Plenty of wide shots of the countryside lead into scenes of ponies, pikeys, stolen cars and formaldehyde, which all play their part in the twist-filled laugh-a-minute pilot. Joe describes it as 'a love letter to the North West.'



A few people have said, 'It reminds me of where I'm from,'” says Joe. “Little towns where people find ways to survive. I grew up in Chorley. I've had a colourful past.” He takes a sip of beer. “I'm pissed, by the way.” This gets a cheer.

Michelle agreed, as a northern lass, that it was great to “come back to her roots.”


The script made me laugh out loud. I've loved every second. It's been a year since filming ended but it felt like last month.”

The people of Hawley, the fictional town based on Chorley, are working class and underserved, something Joe hopes the show will redress, but they make the town what it is. Brassic will also highlight bipolar disorder, something Joe himself has. “It was definitely important to bring that into the show,” he tells. “The information you see is accurate, including the meds. I'm not a role model. I'm raising awareness, but I'm telling a story. I would always encourage talking therapy before medication. You must talk about those thoughts.” Joe explains he always tries to respond to people about mental health. He questions the appropriateness of multiple choice questionnaires being used with bipolar patients, in which “one minute you're up in the fucking air and the next minute you're down.”

What was also accurate were the colourful characters from which he drew inspiration: the local wheeler dealers who perhaps blurred the lines of the law. “I had to reassure people that nothing from real life will get anyone in trouble,” admits Joe. So far, so good.




“How much is true?” asks one journalist.


Joe scratches his head. “Let's not go there,” he replies. He admits he had to talk to his legal people on a few issues.

Before the talk ends the conversation weaves through similar themes to the show: researching a scene in a sex dungeon by visiting a naked club in Berlin (it's debated as to whether this was really research), Joe having a meltdown over the wrong dildo being brought to set, and actor Ryan Sampson researching his character's stutter with help from the British Stammering Association.


One neurologist there has a stammer,” explains Ryan. “He'd he tried to kill himself. That's why no-one in the programme takes the piss. I tried to make it authentic for the stammering community.”

Sky TV,” tells Joe, “are unbelievable. We couldn't be with a kinder network: the way they treat and promote mental health. They never missed a single note. I think that's why it is the way it is. I'm gonna need some water, me, I'm fucking smashed out of me head, I'm sorry. I forget that I've gotta eat. Y'know? I'm so off me head that I forget that you've gotta fuel yourself. I kept having these moments with my PA, Jack. I said, 'Jack-' I have a PA 'cause I can't read. It's not 'cause I want a smoothie at 3 o' fucking clock. I said to Jack, I keep having these moments, Jack, I think it's like vertigo!' He's like, 'You've not fucking eaten anything, you stupid cunt. I gave you a banana 3 hours ago and it's still in your pocket!' I'm so lucky to have the network around me.”

After this we dropped into nearby Pilcrow.
 
Joe Gilgan





Michelle Keegan


Free t-shirt

The pilot is set to air Thursday night on Sky One at 10pm.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Join this Northern Quarter Bar Crawl!


I finished reading Michael Wolff's hit political expose Fire and Fury last week. The bestselling book on Donald Trump's chaotic first few months of his presidency details the run-up to his election, his inauguration (which Bush Jr described as 'some weird shit'), and the chaotic settling-in period, in which we're reminded of all these now long-gone relics of his White House Starter-Pack: Hicks, Bannon, Flynn, Ailes (not only a former Employee of Trump, but also now dead)- it's bizarre how many high-ranking staff members Trump disposed of, but more so that this happened so frequently that I'd forgotten these names until I started reading.

Wolff, too, brings fury to the book- his understandable disgust in Trump's presidency cracks on every page, but this does come with a writing style so obtuse and highbrow that you need Google at your side. Dictionay.com won't always offer suggestions, and Google, in these instances, tend to reference the book's use of these words, highlighting their obscurity.

There is a follow-up book, Siege: Trump Under Fire. I've not heard much about this. If I find it in a charity shop massively reduced, as I did with Fire and Fury, I might make a purchase.

What are you doing on Saturday night? Last year I ran a meetup to a few bars around the Stevenson Square area, and it went down a treat, with around 15 people showing up. A lot of the bars were full, so the plans chopped and changed, but the Northern Quarter area has no shortage of bars, and we had no other problems getting in anywhere.

I've been meaning to run this night again, but one thing or another has got in the way. This Saturday I've managed to get it boxed off. Come down to Flok and meet me and the group at 9pm!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Club Eden Launch

On Friday Manchester Cool Bars Meetup group dropped into Eden, the new botanical-themed club in The Printworks.

Starting in Hard Rock Cafe next door, we dropped into Eden a little before 11pm and before any queues built up. Eden, the club that occupies the space that once was Tiger Tiger, has populated the 3 floors with garden-fuls of ivy and blossom, weaving it into the walls and stair rails, punctuating it with bursts of glowing neon. Each room has a different DJ, some playing more dance, some more hip hop, but still keeping a traditional early-naughties big-club feel. Among the DJs, I spotted Lewis Barlow, formerly of Venus club, playing house and Sarah Giggle playing hip-hop.

Drinks are served up in quaint tin cans.

Part of the club- you may remember it as the Boogie Wonderland room playing disco music, in its former guise- is kitted out with VIP booths, in which I gather some Coronation Street stars were drinking.

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In one of the bigger rooms, TOWIE's Mark Wright took to the decks.


Eden is a gorgeous venue but it is still in need of a few licks of paint. With it being such a massive building, and with bar culture way more popular than clubs at the moment, filling it will be a challenge. It deserves to be busy, though, having good range and aesthetics. A fun night. I want to go back on a Saturday soon.