The final night of September saw the launch of ‘Kitchen Disco’, New Century’s latest venture. New Century promised an unforgettable evening, with entertainment from members of The Untold Orchestra and some of Manchester’s freshest DJs.
Scurrying through the tail end of Storm Agnes to NOMA, a two minute walk from the lovely Shudehill interchange, the prospect of Manchester’s ‘hottest new disco night’ definitely piqued my interest. An opportunity to break out a box step? Hello! I’m sold.
The band, a lively lot from The Untold Orchestra, were there to ‘provide the vibes’, and their cover of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Señorita’ (among others) did just that. The first few bars blew away any last reservations the crowd had and, with a little cajoling from a tipsy twenty-something who was the first to bust a move, the dance floor was amused by New Century Kitchens’ groovier visitors.
New Century Hall was once part of the Co-operative Insurance Society, and the funky modernist building has been updated by Sheppard Robson, keeping the character of the building intact with just a gentle nudge into the 21st Century. Returning to Manchester’s nightlife and dropping ‘Hall’ to become cool New Century, the space is a welcome addition to the fast-developing NOMA area.
Self-explanatorily, Kitchen Disco is a new disco night set in the sparkling refreshed kitchens of New Century. Sixty years on from the Hall’s popularity in the swinging decade, where the likes of Tina Turner and The Rolling Stones gigged, New Century have brought dance back to the venue – ‘mashed potato’ and ‘twist-and-shout’ dance moves unfortunately not included.
The Grade II listed mid-century modern building, first designed by George Tait and G S Hay, has remained unused for most of the previous two decades. The heydays of acid-house 80s and the swinging 60s were sadly a distant memory for much of the noughties and 2010s. Revitalised by architectural group Sheppard Robson, New Century returned in 2022 as a three-storey creative entertainment space, complete with a dance hall, food hall and Creative College in the basement.
Even the all-gender toilets are fun with dusty pink tiles and back-lit mirrors – the perfect set-up for a selfie…
A fancy disco treat
Dotted around the dance floor are a variety of food stalls along with plenty of seats for eating and watching the events of the night unfold. From Bánh Vì to curiously named Tallow, there are plenty of interesting options if you fancy a bite to eat whilst you tap your feet. There are even options for the vegans amongst us, with Bánh Vì and The Spice Yard ticking the list for those with different dietary requirements.
A Saturday night at Kitchen Disco is on the more expensive end of a student budget, and potentially more millennial-friendly, but, according to our music editor Alex Cooper (who didn’t have much positive to say about the kitchen) the gig space is “well worth it”. With slightly less discerning taste than Alex, I enjoyed my night. The music was groovy, the atmosphere was fun and a bit giggly, and the drinks… well, a cocktail will set you back £10. Delicious but not very cost of living crisis-friendly.
If you’ve stuck to your Aldi food budget, you have a little to spare in your weekly budget, or you fancy a wiggle with your alcoholic beverage of choice, why not give Kitchen Disco a go? The espresso martinis are genuinely divine.