Sounds grand. I saw them in Leeds in a tiny weany new venue and was mesmerised… I grabbed their set list as we left and spotted them outside. Plucked up all my courage and went over. Had a lovely chat with Nick, Helen, Mick, Will and Christian. They were really keen to hear what I though of their album. They still have full time jobs! It was mindblowing. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Just me and them. Astounding. I asked them if they minded me taking their set list and they positively beamed and all signed it. It’s on the wall in my study ;o)
10 reviews of The Ruby Lounge in English
I have been here three time now and my overall expression is that it has its good and bad sides.
For gigs, it's an amazing venue. They always seem to have new and exciting artists on, the stage is huge and the club's interior plain beautiful. It has an almost luxurious feel to it, but while gig entry fees are rather cheap, drinks can be fairly expensive. (I've gotten careful since they charged me £3.40 for a shot. They don't have a drink menu so better ask for prices, even if you're as reluctant to do that as me.) But should you fancy something fancy, they'll have something for you, as the range of drinks is sheer unbelievable.
The toilets are a joke though, as there are many, but only about two of them can actually be locked.
What I really like is the high number of seats, including little tables with chairs and quite a few large comfortable sofas.
Now to the thing that bothers me most. When you go to a gig by an indie band, they will have the most up-to-date indie tunes on before the band starts. But if you're unlucky and the gig is on the weekend, it will be followed by a crude mixture of everything and nothing, including hours of strictly 1990s hip hop (the likes of Coolio etc.). If you like that – fine. If you're an arrogant indie kid though, don't wait until their ten-minute indie set, starting in Yeasayer and ending in Blur. Just RUN!!!
I was a little dubious about this place at first - probably because it used to be a dodgy R’n’B club that was often mentioned on all those late night TV shows about gangs in Manchester. But when I got off my high horse and went to see a gig there, I realised what a brilliant venue it actually is!
With Ex-Night and Day booker, Jay Taylor, at the helm, the 350-capacity venue attracts some cracking acts. In fact, I’ve seen everyone from the Hidden Cameras to Hefner here! The stage is pretty small and the standing room can feel slightly cramped. But there’s a big chillout area away from bands with some big, squishy sofas. So if you are feeling a little squashed, you can always head out for a breather.
I don’t know why, but the Ruby Lounge always feels slightly posher than other Mancunian live music venues of its size. It might be the décor, which has a bit of a New York feel to it. But, most likely, it’s the booze prices, which can be a little on the expensive side. Still, if I’m honest, you can usually expect to pay a pretty penny for a pint at gigs anyway!
The Ruby Lounge, located underground on the cusp of the Northern Quarter and the City Centre is 100% about the music.
It's a great little venue for gigs, with the sound punchy and loud. The stage is low and intimate, meaning that, whoever you watch, you'll be able to touch them (should you wish).
It also doubles up as a venue for club nights with a varied amount of styles on offer. Importantly, the beer is good enough and there's ample room to dance on the more than adequate dancefloor.
If you need to get away from the action, you can pop around the side of the bar, which is refreshingly well-lit and there's enough in the way of comfy seats.
It's a handsome little venue that should be on the list for any music lovers. Great music and good drink.
That's all you can ask for isn't it? Just be careful going down those stairs after you've had a few...
Ruby Lounge is located in Manchester city centre. Primarily a rock club, its interior is quite a departure from the other rock clubs in the city. Well lit (for a club) and with walls not dripping sweatily, this is a much nicer place to go. It plays host to lots of bands, so there’s plenty of live music on offer. On a Saturday, its Caged Asylum, which is basically a metal/rock night with lap dancers! Brilliant bar, only thing that lets it down is a lack of beers on tap
The Ruby Lounge has been created upon the fault line that lies between the restless tectonic plates of The Northern Quarter… and the rest of the city. A visit will involve an incursion into the southernmost outer rim of Manchester’s more eclectic area of regeneration, and perhaps the location of Ruby Lounge, seemingly equidistant between the 21st century’s Piccadilly and the 19th century’s Victoria, is part of the reason for this relatively new venue’s success. Existing in a multitude of guises over the years, Ruby Lounge quietly occupies the vanguard of small clubs that serve as Manchester’s breeding ground for unsigned talent and unsung heroes garnering a wider audience. The symbiosis between the success of live acts at places like Ruby Lounge, Deaf Institute and Matt and Phred’s, and the on-air patronage of such venues by the likes of 6Music’s Marc Riley, has produced a bounty of entertainment across the city for the kind of prices that make taking a chance on a little known band well worth while.
We were there to see The Leisure Society, word of whom has passed like a whispered secret password between the likes of Messrs Riley and Garvey and out across the digital ether. I found myself there by surprise, a secret well kept - some would say, like the venue or the band we went to see, its a secret that’s getting out.
It was also a welcome surprise to find an interior that, although subterranean, is a far remove from the hollow caverns of the 80’s and 90’s. Ambient lighting, a herd of comfy sofas and a room with recesses and alcoves shooting off in various directions made for a warmer venue with an inviting character, for a change.
Hoegaarden is available in those annoyingly small half pint sized bottles and the beer selection is perhaps a cut above your average Carling warehouse. I did ask for a white russian and a black russian as an alternative to beer and wine at one point, but was very politely rebuffed. There was no milk at the bar. My impromptu request for a black russian was thwarted as I was unable to tell the barmaid what the ingredients are, being a white russian, myself. I was told that they don’t usually do cocktails, but I was charmed that they would have had I known the recipe - vodka, khalua… coal?
The space for actually watching the bands is on one level and very small. We arrived early - and I think it’s well worth doing that as it’s a nice enough place to grab a couple of drinks. That meant we shuffled to the barrier that separates performer and artist, Wall style, except with a meshed metal fence that looks like a set prop from mid eighties TOTP. The first of the performers was superb and around for a chat afterwards. When the main act came on the place behind us was absolutely packed. I guess it would be pretty hard to see from more than a couple of people back from the fence. A quick glance over towards the DJ booth, segregated from the rest of the audience, revealed the familiar features of Paul Heaton - presumably another admirer of the main act.
Afterwards the crowd dispersed quickly and the atmosphere remained convivial and bubbly. There was an excellent range of ages and genres of dress.
We emerged into the Mancunian night, facing the conundrum of whether or not to immerse ourselves further in the delights of Thomas Street and the High Street bars or head off towards Oxford Road, blissfully unaware of the last train we were about to miss…
Comment 1 comment on this review
Joanna_Bean, 16 April 2009:
I went to the Ruby Lounge for the first time last night to see a gig, so I obviously cannot comment on this place as a club but as a music venue, it’s pretty good.
It’s kind of reminds me of Academy 3 as a place to see live music, small, intimate and close up and personal with the act.
The only downside was that there was no stage to speak of, just a barrier between the crowd and the group, so even though I was near the front, it was probably difficult for people at the back to see what’s going on. I’m not sure if this changes with each gig though.
Good venue though, and have already got a couple more gigs lined up to see there.
Located in the City Centre, Ruby Lounge is definitely a hidden gem. The decor is quite different to most metal clubs. Instead of drowning itself in the obligatory black, The Ruby Lounge instead employs subtle shades. It even has a shiny bar!
Drinks are on the more expensive side but the selection is excellent. The main downside is a lack of draught beers.
Ruby Lounge is home to a fantastic night on a Saturday when there are lap dancers are available for hire! I have also been witness to jelly wrestling but I don’t think this is a regular event, for shame! If you love your rock music, nice drinks and semi-clad ladies, then this place is worth a visit for you!
I’ve only been here to see a gig but it wasn’t a great venue for it. It’s got an alternative, bare feel to it, but the stage area is quite narrow and it gets really crammed meaning it’s pretty hard to see the band unless you’re right at the front.
The Ruby Lounge in the last few years has been known by so many different names it has been hard to keep up. The Ruby Lounge is quite new and now does live gigs and club nights. Compared to the tacky house music it used to play under different names this is a welcome change. The bands are always very good and the nights are cheap to get into. The place itself is quite big but the stage and dancing area could do with being a bit bigger. It isn’t a mosh club either, you can chill out easily and there is a very friendly atmosphere. They have a seperate darkened room as well where you can sit and relax and has a 'caberet’ feel to it. This is a very good place to go before say, the warehouse project or Sankeys to get you in the mood. Recommended.
Ruby Lounge does have some great lie gigs during the week, saturday nights it turns into caged asylum- a metal lap dancing club. The atmosphere is good, but you do get the single men who come to look at the dancers, and you get the other people who come to dance and have a good time.. the dancefloor is a good size for the size of the club, drinks aren’t cheap but they do offersome drink promotions every now and then. They sometimes have after parties for metal gigs and UFC fights. They also sometimes have fancy dress/ themed nights so best to check out the website- you could get reduced price entry or a free drink!
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