Elbow’s Guy Garvey backs calls to save Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe

Guy Garvey singing live onstage with Elbow in 2021

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey has spoken out in support of Manchester venue Night and Day, which remains under threat from a noise abatement order that could bring about its permanent closure.

The band had performed at the venue in their early days and returned to the venue last year for an intimate gig to raise money for independent grassroots music venues.

“This a shameful disgrace and we are furious,” Garvey said. “Manchester’s music and arts are things we all share and are rightfully proud of.

“The council and its politicians, its football teams and its universities all use our music in proud promotion.

“Night & Day has taken hundreds of Manchester artists from bedrooms and garages to the world stage.

“The vibrant scene started by Night & Day triggered enormous redevelopment in what we now call the Northern Quarter and making all this happen is a constant bill to bill balancing act.

“That this corner stone of our city’s culture is under attack again is bewildering.”

Night & Day
Manchester’s Night & Day. Credit: Ben Smithson.

Last year, a new resident who had moved to Manchester during lockdown made a noise complaint against the venue when they began to trade again following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. The Northern Quarter institution then received a copy of the planning file for the redevelopment of a building next to where the complainant lived, and it posed a further problem.

“In a critical new development to the story and after receiving a copy of the planning file for the redevelopment of the building next door where the complainant lived, the owners of Night & Day were shocked to find that a crucial acoustic report had not been provided, nor acoustic works completed to the development before it was occupied,” the venue said in a statement.

“This was a condition of the planning consent for conversion of the building next door, to ensure that residents were not disturbed by noise from pre-existing businesses in the area.”

Subsequently, the venue will face a hearing in court from November 29- December 1. A petition to save the venue by removing the noise abatement order has surpassed 90,000 signatures.

Although a noise abatement order isn’t grounds to shut a venue down, it could be subject to seizure of sound equipment, fines and potential prosecution.

Earlier today, the Manchester Evening News reports that the Greater Manchester Music Commission, of which mayor Andy Burnham is political lead, has described the situation as ‘acutely embarrassing’.

“This case beggars belief,” said Jay Taylor of the Music Venues Trust, and co-chair of the Greater Manchester Music Commission. “That Manchester City Council would let this wildly unpopular decision reach this late stage is both mystifyingly short-sighted, shows a poor grasp of the mood of the city, and fails to acknowledge their own failings at a planning stage and any acceptance of accountability.”

He said the situation ‘has the potential to cast our great music city in a very bad light’.

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