Teenage Kicks: Manchester

The Face finds out what young Mancunians love about their city.

We trawled The Cur­ry Mile, loi­tered around Urbis and inter­cept­ed some Xaver­ian Col­lege stu­dents as they queued out­side their exam hall; all to find out why young Mancs are so mad fer it’ (sor­ry).

From the best jazz spots to the drugs du jour, this is how home­grown teens ave it large. 

Beth, 18

What do you love about Manchester? 

I love how it’s so mul­ti­cul­tur­al and every­one knows each oth­er some way or anoth­er. It’s real­ly easy to get along with peo­ple in Man­ches­ter. If you go some­where else peo­ple aren’t as friendly. 

What’s the music scene like?

There’s a real­ly good jazzy hip-hop scene. 

What venues are good here?

Band on the Wall, Matt & Phreds… There’s some bands like The Mouse Out­fit who are doing some big venues – they’re from Man­ches­ter. Chil­dren of Zeus – they’re real­ly good. 

How would you com­pare the cre­ative scene here to London?

It’s just not as pro­mot­ed here. I don’t want to be con­tro­ver­sial but I feel like peo­ple are a bit more hum­ble here. They don’t feel the need to flex as much as Lon­don peo­ple do. It’s kin­da with­in Man­ches­ter but as soon as you start to get into the cir­cle you realise it’s booming. 

How would you describe Man­ches­ter style? 

Very mixed… but peo­ple gen­er­al­ly look fly in Man­ches­ter [laughs].

How long have you lived in Man­ches­ter for?

Saa­di­air, 18 (left):
Since 2013. Before I was in Pak­istan and Russia. 

Daisy, 18 (right): I’ve been here my whole life – a whole 18 years. 

How would you describe Manchester?

D: Shit­hole [laughs]

S: Nah it’s real­ly macabre in the way. It’s nasty but it’s also real­ly fun.

D: There’s some places that are real­ly nice to go to, like the area I live in is the green­est Sub­ur­ban area in Manchester. 

S: I live in Sal­ford it’s real­ly shit. 

What do you like to get up to in Manchester?

S: I like to go club­bing or go to my friend’s house and bash bare drugs. 

Which clubs do you go to? 

S: I only go to Fac­to­ry pure­ly for the drum & bass floor or when there’s a drum & bass night on. Or I’ll go to Hidden.

Do they have a good drum & bass scene here?

Both: They do, yeah. 

Why do you think it’s so preva­lent here?

S: Drugs. 

D: Bare ket [laughs]

What’s the most pop­u­lar drug here?

Both: Weed, weed, weed. 

D: Or spice. It’s not legal any­more. It was legal before and that’s why it became so big. Most peo­ple – espe­cial­ly in Wythen­shawe – do spice. Espe­cial­ly the home­less peo­ple as well, it’s def­i­nite­ly a big thing that they do. 

S: I’ve not done it but I’ve heard that if you see peo­ple doing it they do what I like to call the spice crease’ where they crease over in half. Like what­ev­er they’re doing they just fold. Or they just drop to the floor.

D: Yeh they just sit on the floor look­ing up to the sky with their eyes slight­ly glazed over. 

Izzy, 18

Where in Man­ches­ter are you from? 

Wythen­shawe – I’ve lived there my whole life. 

How would you describe Manchester?

It depends on the peo­ple and the places you go. Here in Urbis is appar­ent­ly cursed, but I think it’s depen­dent on the people.

How is it cursed?

Shit hap­pens – peo­ple hap­pen, zanies hap­pen… Urbis. 

Where are oth­er places that peo­ple hang out?

Unfor­tu­nate­ly there’s a place called New Bridge. I’ve nev­er been there but from things I’ve heard I wouldn’t go. Appar­ent­ly it just seems real­ly trampy. Pic­cadil­ly Gar­dens is real­ly nice, peo­ple just keeps to them­selves and lays in the sun. Here every­one just gath­ers in a mas­sive group. 

How would you describe the fash­ion sense here in Manchester?

Mul­ti­cul­tur­al. You could get road-man, you could get indie or you could just get com­plete goth. Or you could just get casu­al basic or spice head style, as I’d call it. 

What’s the music scene here like?

Chi­na, 18 (left): The music scene’s great. We’ve got the MOBOs – you know, Music of Black Ori­gin, so the music scene is just fuck­ing pop­ping all the time. 

Joe, 18 (right): We make R&B songs and hip-hop shit. 

C: I feel like the Man­ches­ter scene is get­ting big­ger and bigger.

J: We knew Chil­dren of Zeus when they were just like us – just mak­ing it up, and now they’re massive.

C: The music is mak­ing peo­ple notice Man­ches­ter more because we’re get­ting out there, you know what I mean?

J: In Lon­don there’s too many peo­ple so no one’s get­ting noticed but here in Man­ches­ter you’ve got groups of peo­ple all com­ing up togeth­er. I’ve got a group of 10 or 15 friends who are all mak­ing dif­fer­ent types of music but everyone’s on the same vibe, you know what I mean? So every­one gets along.

C: We’re all just pos­i­tive, pos­i­tive people.

Where do you guys like to perform? 

C: Every­where. Band on the Wall, MCR Lounge… I’m doing a big fes­ti­val called MIF. [Man­ches­ter Inter­na­tion­al Festival]

Describe Man­cu­ni­ans in one word.

J: Cre­ative.

C: Original. 

Niamh, 18

How long have you lived in Manchester? 

My whole life – since I was born. I’m Man­ches­ter through and through. 

What are Man­ches­ter teens wear­ing at the moment?

Just more chilled stuff. Train­ers all the time and more causal. Just wear what you want and what you’re feeling. 

What brands are peo­ple wearing? 

Nike – lots of Nike. I feel like there’s two dif­fer­ent types. You’ve got the sports brands that peo­ple wear and you’ve got the group in Man­ches­ter who wear more high end brands like Balenciaga.

Where do you hang out? 

Ter­race in North­ern Quar­ter. The more posh places like 20 Sto­ries, too. I just like a nice atmosphere. 

What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?

The peo­ple. Everyone’s super friend­ly – always up for a laugh. 

Where are you from? 

Bren­don, 18 (right): 0161. Wythen­shawe. That’s where I’m from – ends. 

How would you describe Manchester? 

B: Diverse. 

If some­one had nev­er been before, where in Man­ches­ter would you take them? 

Jaya, 18 (left): I’m not gonna lie, there’s a take­away over there – Crunchy’s Fried Chick­en. That is a bang­ing place man. And the wings, like £2.

B: I don’t even know, I’d take them to like a place that’s high. Like the Hilton Hotel. 

J: Yeaa, the Hilton. 

B: Have you been to the spa place? 

J: Oh yeah 

B: Urgh, I don’t know. I know what I’d do with them but I can’t say. 

J: Selfridges.

B: You’d take your girls Sel­f­ridges? To do what? Window-shopping? 

What’s the best thing about Manchester?

J: Just the peo­ple inside it. The best thing about Man­ches­ter is it’s peo­ple. Ye, that’s true, that’s true. 

B: The com­mu­ni­ty yeah. 

J: Oi, yeah. Everyone’s just, chilled. I’ve nev­er even met my man before. 

How would you describe Man­ches­ter style? 

J: Some peo­ple looked clapped, some peo­ple look alright. Peo­ple don’t care. I feel like peo­ple don’t care. We don’t care, to be hon­est – as long as you’re dressed. 

B: Apart from motives though, when you have to dress nice. Apart from that, Man­ches­ter doesn’t care. We’re just too chilled. 

How long have you guys lived in Manchester? 

S: All my life. 

How would you describe Manchester? 

S: Mul­ti­cul­tur­al. There’s a lot of diver­si­ty, there’s a lot of things you can do, there’s a lot of places you can go. A lot of famous land­marks and everyone’s quite friendly. 

Where in Man­ches­ter are you from? 

S: Old Traf­ford. Home of Man­ches­ter United. 

Do you sup­port Man­ches­ter United?

S: I sup­port Unit­ed. It’s like, ingrained in my fam­i­ly. You get me.

Joseph, 19

How long have you lived in Manchester?

Four or five years. 

How come you decid­ed to move to Manchester? 

My par­ents moved abroad so I fucked off. 

Why Man­ches­ter over any oth­er city?

It’s best for music and stuff like that.

What is the music scene here like?

It’s alright. It’s good for already estab­lished artists and venues. In the North I think it’s the best place for upcom­ing artists cos you don’t want to go to Lon­don cos it’s very overcrowded. 

How would you describe Manchester? 

It’s just fuck­ing Northern. 

But what does that mean? 

It’s grit­ty.


Yeah, I guess so. London’s almost too big for its own good. Man­ches­ter has a real sense of com­mu­ni­ty because it’s small­er. It’s a friend­lier city. It’s the friend­liest North­ern city anyway. 

What do you think the fash­ion scene in Man­ches­ter is like? 

It depends where you go. You can go some places in North­ern Quar­ter and there’s some­one who still thinks it is the 80s. Or stu­dents who are hip­sters turned road-men dressed head to toe in Carhartt

How would you describe your style?

If it fits [laughs]. I don’t know man – I like colours. 

How would you describe North­ern style? 

I think down South they’re a bit more con­scious of how it is. Like clothes fit more into a cer­tain box – you can see it in stu­dents when you go to the park, or places like that. They all wear car­go pants and things like that, which is cool. I think North­erns are just a bit more modest.

What do you do on a Fri­day night? 

I don’t know, go to North­ern Quar­ter or some­thing. I use to like going to Antwerp and places like that. They’ve shut it down now, though. 

Are they shut­ting down quite a lot of venues at the moment? 

Yes, the coun­cil is shut­ting lots of em down. Do you remem­ber Sound Con­trol? They’ve replaced it with stu­dent accom­mo­da­tion now. That’s kin­da the way all city cen­tres are going. I think it will just push some stuff fur­ther out the city. 

Jasmine, 19

What’s the music scene here like? 

There’s lit­er­al­ly every­thing. You can go out to Matt & Phreds in the North­ern Quar­ter and see some jazz or you can go to Band on the Wall. There’s just so many dif­fer­ent places you can go and lis­ten to some real­ly good music, whether that’s in town, the North­ern Quar­ter or Man­ches­ter Arena. 

How would you describe Manchester? 

Com­mu­ni­ty. In Man­ches­ter it seems like there’s this col­lec­tive goal, this col­lec­tive vibe across peo­ple. I feel like everybody’s real­ly friendly. 

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