When jazz is mentioned, I think of old black and white movies, with a lone saxophone filling the room with it’s mellow sound, candleight glowing on tables of glossy black, plush seating and the audience listening intently.
Whilst Manchester has it’s fair share of music venues, there’s nowhere really that fits the bill. Nowhere with that sexy hint of opulence, glamour and luster.
Well, there wasn’t. Now however, beneath Cafe Istanbul, there is now a new venue, that aims to bring a little of that burnished soft screen glamour to the city. La Gitane.
The opening night last week, saw some of my favourite people performing, Matt Nickson, a regular on the jazz (and indeed vintage scene) in Manchester alongside our own Lucy Hope, The Chanteuse was bringing her own vocal talents to the night.
I couldn’t resist.
Inside, it’s stunning. All the black and white film glamour I’d hoped for, with a tickle of Liberace thrown in, I love it. To add to the glamour, there are fine wines, champagne and craft beers to sip as you watch and listen, I was rather glad I’d worn a pretty dress and not skimped on the make up.
Though I was but a wallflower compared to Lucy (I need that dress please).
Matt performed a number of his own tracks, sending goosebumps down my arms and getting my foot tapping away, while his lovely wife looked on (seriously relationship goals right there).
Lucy flitted from the dramatic, to the emotional, to the happy – her voice reminding me why I’ve always had a soft spot for Edith Piaf, much to my mum’s bemusement.
Though my own visit was fleeting (this time), I’m told owner Sacit Onur has big plans for the club and looks forward to it becoming a fixture on the Manchester music scene. As someone whose musical tastes flit from opera to death metal, it’s ideal for those nights where I don’t want to have to stand on tiptoes to see above the tall people standing in front of me at a gig, or strain to hear in a busy bar. For a night when I just want to close my eyes and see where the music takes me, and with Matt will be overseeing the music performances at La Gitane , I know I’ll be in safe hands.
La Gitane is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and guests will be entertained by a variety of musicians, from 9pm through to 2.30am. Table reservations are available via Café Istanbul.
With thanks as ever to Carl for the amazing images (still hate having my photo taken). Mine are the less amazing ones.