A wonderful photo of DJ Christian Wood - one of Manchester's most talented and versatile players at the Friends & Family night at the Roadhouse.
Photo by the great Al Baker - a brilliant documenter of Manchester's club scenes for many years.
Text is taken from a piece in Time Out (see link) marking the closure of the Roadhouse.
[Year is a guess]
Having brought Friends & Family out of retirement for two already sold-out shows at The Roadhouse before it closes, the inimitable Woody (AKA The Nudge) shares his memories of the club night when it was at its peak, and selects ten tracks that rocked the club to its core. Take it away, Woody...
'Friends & Family came about after a difficult six months of Counter Culture, which was the monthly Fat City night at Planet K, an 800 capacity venue on Oldham Street back in the late '90s. I was helping Fat City owner Dave Walker run the events from '99 to spring 2000 and in the summer we stopped to refresh. The following months I got by financially by spending a few months helping Electric Chair on some covert promo missions. Dave called me up late July and said they (Darren Laws, Howie Martinez, Matt Triggs, Martin Brew, Mark Rae etc) had come up with an idea for a weekly night in a smaller venue and wanted me to promote it with Dave. Made sense as Dave was great at organising and planning and I was great at getting fucked every night of the week on a shoestring budget. Friends & Family was born.
'The next six years were fantastic. Three elements came together just at the right time in the post Hacienda fallout. 1: the amazing Roadhouse venue. 2: the abundance of on-tap world class DJs and selectors, fuelled by the eclectic music explosion of the time where you had to play many styles or get booed, and 3: an abundance of great open-minded, up for it people. At its best the club was crazy. The BBQs around 2003 – 2004 were so mental I really believed you could not be in a better club on the planet at that moment. I felt blessed I could play in such an amazing atmosphere. The music was regularly and unashamedly party but ‘party’ is a bottomless pit spanning all genres so gems would constantly be discovered by the residents and regular guests. That party lasted six years for me.
'Two weeks ago the Roadhouse announced its closure. It’s a sad thing. Not because the club is going (that would have to happen at some point) but more for the loss of a home for Manchester's music community, as the people involved in the club made a place which felt like home for many years. Big respect to all the staff who worked there over the years and a special shout to Jon Green, Emma, Rob and Kate Mountain. Can’t finish up without a nob to Steve Lloyd. RIP fella. Also shouts to all resident DJs over the years, which is too many to mention. Oh, and you cannot even talk about Friends & Family without mentioning Master Of Ceremonies in Chief, Kwasi. Dom Blood & Fire brought that meeting of the minds together, and we have been on the laughing gas ever since, Eh he!!!'
Artefact added : 8th February 2016