There’s no avoiding the charm of The Oast House. It’s kind of irresistible. Boasting perhaps the best beer garden in Manchester and an achingly cool cellar-like bar area, it’s the iconic jewel in the Spinningfields crown – a classic Mancunian ale house in subtle cosmopolitan makeup.
A product of the New World Trading Company, The Oast House sports a face-shifting appearance that changes with the seasons (as any outdoor-based venue in the rainy city ought to).
A row of numbered wooden boards have been hanging above the entrance in recent weeks, below a cluster of drums and guitars. On Sunday 31 July around 4pm, those numbers read 10,000 signifying the New World Trading Company’s 10,000th gig.
It was only fitting that The Kick Back Sundays – a duo who can be considered part of the New World Trading Company furniture – performed gig 10,000 in the very same spot they kicked things off several years ago.
They’ve been trundling around the country in a tour bus these past few weeks to celebrate the NWTC’s glowing achievement, hopping off at the organisation’s home venues such as The Botanist, Smugglers’ Cove and The Club House to strut their stuff in front of wide-eyed audiences. The big performance, however, took place in the same spot where it all began – the courtyard stage of The Oast House.
And boy, were they on form, drifting between pop covers such as Craig David’s 7 Days and The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me Baby to soft rock classics like Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and Oasis’ Half The World Away.
The Kickback Sundays had the crowd (all, incidentally, kicking back on a Sunday afternoon in the pub) swaying, dancing and singing along. Their performance was punctuated by spits of hot sunshine with perhaps the best moment of all coming when the clouds parted just in time for their cover of Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine.
The Kickback Sundays’ showing was a delight and a tough one to top but The Twisted Tubes – a jovial brass band from Manchester – proved to be just as enjoyable. The group belted out chart classics and seamlessly flowed into R n’ B and hip-hop covers, greeted by a deservedly warm reception from the crowd.
It’s safe to say The Tale of 10k had a suitably happy ending on Sunday. Everyone at The New World Trading Company and The Oast House ought to be immensely proud of the achievement, and whilst this is the end of the story for NWTC for the time being, there’s no telling what the future holds for an organisation who’ve put on some terrific events across the United Kingdom in recent years.
We can only hope further monumental musical occasions such as this one are soon to take place in our Mancunian backyard.