Manchester AfterDark

Manchester AfterDark


Our Label Review

Label has the unenviable position of sitting next to the Living Room and Moon Under Water in the most evident example of polar opposites within any bar circuit across the city. Neither venue is likely to create extra custom for Label, but also this means that they are not fishing for the same clientele either.

Label falls easily between these two bars. It caricatures the bland, beige, Ikea look that so many bars tried to uphold as modernity throughout the noughties. It's posh compared to the Wetherspoon, it's cheap compared to the footballers' favourite. If you occupy the middle ground, if you buy new clothes regularly but they're from the Arndale rather than King Street, Label is probably the sensible choice for you.

What is a less then sensible choice, is the excessive volume on the upper floor before even 11pm on a Saturday night. In the dancefloor-oriented basement it would be fine, but the upper floor is a place for conversation as you build yourself up for the peak hours and possibly a dancefloor, possibly elsewhere. The problem is typified by our issues with the bar staff. One of our number asked for two brandy and cokes. Their bartender dutifully stuffed mint leaves and ice into tall glasses and produced two mojitos. We're not sure how one translated into the other, but we're sure the decibels were to blame, not that this prevented the bartender from blaming the customer, who then had his change thrown at him along with the correct drinks.

Had the chat-murdering music been anything of real quality or innovation, something remarkable, we might have excused its intrusive manner. However, in keeping with the environment and service, the music is predictable. Heard-it-a-thousand-times-before vocal funky house for the Galaxy 102 crowd. You're on to a winner if you land a DJ gig like Label because you'll never have to buy any new music.

We think it's fair to say that if Label were a label, it would only be Gap or Next. They've just taken what they've seen elsewhere in terms of bar operations and reproduced it for the masses.

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78 Deansgate M3 2FW


0161 833 1878