Manchester's Hacienda has been at the forefront of nocturnal innovation for more than a decade (it celebrates its 15th birthday next month - watch this column for further details) and is arguably the city's best known venue. Every DJ who's anybody (from Todd Terry to Grahame Park) have played there at some time and the Hac is always guaranteed to sell out its New Year's Eve bash before any other club in the country.
Freak, which takes place each Saturday, is the Hacienda's premier night. The DJ line-up is always varied but some features remain constant.
The dress code demands considerable effort from its clientele. Consequently, punters are invariably stylish, and the latest clubbing fashion trends often make their debut here.
An added bonus of Freak is that once you've negotiated your way past the surly bouncers, the night is pretty much attitude-free. The crowd is young (the Hac has always commanded a strong student following), energetic and communicative.
Dance on one of the many stages and you'll get bumped by sweating bodies all night. In many clubs this would be a prelude to a touch of territorial elbowing but at the Hacienda you can expect an apology followed by a 10-minute chat.
Elliott Eastwick and Miles Holloway feature on the decks tonight. The Hacienda's sound system has to be felt to be believed; five hours of uplifting deep house will be throbbing in your head well into Sunday afternoon.
EYE ON THE NEW
"I Want U!" promises "a break from the norm for clubbers who are bored with the increasingly staggering London scene". Tunbridge Wells is unlikely to ever unseat London as the UK's clubbing capital, but this night does have something that few big city clubs can offer.The clientele is young and the venue is small yet pleasant, but it's the vibe that makes this night successful. It's fresh and totally unpretentious; a cross between the best club and best parish disco you ever went to. Disco flavas, thumpin' garage and a generous sprinkling of handbag is on offer. And early arrivals can win a meal for two at one of Tunbridge Wells's finest restaurants
"I Want U!"is at Davinchi's 46 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (01892 538833) 10 Apr 8.30pm-1am, pounds 3 to 10pm/pounds 5 afterReuse content