The Smile story so far
‘Smile’, at ‘The Star & Garter’, began in September 93. It rose from the ashes of ‘The Candy Store’, which ran from October 91 to August 93 at the now defunct ‘Banshee Club’.
The resident DJs of ‘The Candy Store’, Emma and Becky specialized in playing obscure 60s garage, 60s girl groups and c86. Halfway through ‘The Candy Store’s’ tenure the ‘Banshee’ moved premises to Piccadilly Gardens. The management of the ‘New Banshee’, as it became, wanted to develop a mainstream nightclub and ‘The Candy Store’, had to find a new home. Becky moved south at this point so Emma, with her boyfriend John, was left with the task of finding a new venue. It soon came in the form of ‘The Star & Garter’, and with the new location came a new name, so ‘Smile’ was born.
They drafted in, regular punter and DJ from the Candy store days, Julian and the three became the regular mainstay of ‘Smile’ for a time. ‘Smile’ did not get off to a flying start. In fact it took until late 95 before the average weekly attendance rose above 30 people. The catalyst for the rise in ‘Smile’s’ fortunes was the arrival of the new regular DJs John and Yumi. They offered more diversity in playing 60s mod bands, 80s pop and current indie. Emma and John continued to play sixties girl groups, northern soul and c86. This proved a wining combination and people arrived in their droves.
New Years eve 95/96 proved to be a success signaling the way ahead for ‘Smile’. 96 saw ‘Smile’ jam packed with people being turned away. Even the departure of Emma and John to Australia did not dampen matters. In fact ‘Smile’ went from strength to strength Julian, John and Yumi at helm. They were aided and abetted by occasional guests in Ryan and Yanni (80s pop enthusiasts) and Bob Stanley (St.Etienne) made an appearance at the decks in December.
Smile continued riding high in 97 with an excellent New Year’s eve and sell out nights. Highlight of the year had to be when ‘Smile’ transformed one December night into the Belle and Sebastian aftershow party.
98 continued in this vein until August when John and Yumi bid farewell to Smile. Their departure saw a lull in ‘Smile's’ fortune, but Julian continued with occasional guests, including recently returned Emma and John. This saw ‘Smile’ perk up for the new years eve.
In January 99 there was a change in the personnel once more. Neil, a ‘Smile’ guest DJ, and Anne Marie took up the challenge to reinvigorate ‘Smile’. In keeping with spirit of ‘Smile’, they made the music more reflect the taste of clientele. There has been guest DJs from other successful Manchester club nights including Simon from ‘Tiger Lounge’, Andrew from ‘Get a Grip’ and Erland from ‘Night and Day’ (member of the kings of convenience and ex ‘Peach fuzz’).
Since then smile has gone from strength to strength. However Smile now has many DJs including Owen + Simon (Tiger Lounge), DJ Payne, DJ Q, DJ Slatex (Sideways Sound System) and Andy Woods (From Get a Grip).
Its usually preceeded by acoustic anarchy - a chance for budding musicians to strum their guitars and in a Bob Dylan meets Joan Bias sort of way.
‘Smile’ continues every Saturday... see you there..
Some acoustic anarchists expressing thier pain.