Lurking in the underground art and music scenes in the North lies something special. You hear from friends, not in the Guardian. You see it out the corner of your eye and not on a billboard. These are my favourite spaces in the North to eat, listen and spectate.
Guerilla Eats, Manchester (various locations)
I remember watching the brains behind this wonderful street food collective smoke his first pig after building his first smoker in the back yard… Now GE is a major part of the Manchester food scene. Gaining more credit as a social space for eating, drinking and promoting local businesses, it features the delicious Gingers Comfort Emporium and Chaat Cart. Yummy food, good craft beer. Catch it whilst it’s still up in Shudehill
Recording space, venue, collective, whatever it is, it’s working and people are talking, CHUNK is a group of very talented musicians wanting to make a mark on the Leeds music scene. With members such as Bearfoot Beware and the upcoming Goodbye Chanel, this space is quickly creating a quality music space for Leeds and beyond. The most recent and successful club night was SLUTDROP, promoting female DJs and general merriment. Sort this little jewel out for an alternative night out thats a little rough round the edges.
TOAST, Federation House, Manchester
Sadly a space that is closing down (to be turned into a call centre) but still worth a mention. A wonderful creative space that has seen international residencies, mostly based on performance and conceptual ideas. TOAST really represents an idea of the ever-changing DIY art scene in Manchester. Before was Lionel Dobie run by art duo Louis and Helen. And I have no doubt there will be another venue popping up before TOAST has its final show. The art scene is getting bigger and bigger with new institutions opening yearly (next, HOME) and the DIY crowd not only compliment but rival their big brothers. Click here to catch the last show.