Following the increasingly popular but infuriating trend of commercialising the names of venues is Manchester’s historic Ritz Ballroom, which following a £2million refurbishment will re-open next week as …. HMV Ritz. It goes straight in at top spot, supplanting the O2 Apollo and M.E.N Arena as the most excruciatingly named venue in the city.
Originally built back in the 1920’s The Ritz has seen many of the UK’s most famous bands playing there, including The Beatles and The Smiths. It was a much loved destination, but you always felt that the interior hadn’t been improved upon since it was first built over 80 years ago. Its closure in May this year gave everyone a chance to realise once again, that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone and its re-opening will be embraced by cities regular gig and club goers.
Aside from naming disaster, the line-up for the first couple of month’s looks well put together. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip perform at the curtain raiser on September 6th and Public Enemy will grace the newly constructed stage of the Whitworth Street venue the following night. For a list of performers and dates, check the website.
If the £2million has been spent in the right areas; including a top-notch sound system, improved bar area and general improvements to the buildings façade, whilst maintaining the original features that made the venue much loved in the first place; like it’s ‘springy’ dance-floor, then the HMV Ritz will be welcomed back into the Manchester live music scene with open arms.