Satans Hollow may well be named after the 1982 arcade game which involved huge fleets of gargoyles floating down screen, inviting torrents of bullets to be fired at them. The club, thankfully, isn’t stuck in the 80s, and it is one of the few places in Manchester that caters for the metal, hardcore and punk music scene.
If you’re trying to find Satans Hollow for the first time, it might be an idea to study Google-maps before you go as it has no obvious sign and sits down a little back street off Princess Street. When you’ve found it, depending on the night, the queue can
either be non-existent or trailing around the corner, but the consistently cheap entry fees, at under a fiver, means you won’t be out of pocket whatever night you go on.
Once inside the place, the scene is breathtaking; it looks like a set from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. The walls are textured and fleshy-looking with faces and bones emerging floor-to-ceiling, and looming large over the DJ is a statue of Satan himself that,
amid the smoke and drunken haze, can be quite unnerving. There are two bars, one at either end of the space, while the dance floor sits snugly in the middle. Seating areas are at a minimum, there’s really only one place which is through some
appropriately eerie looking gates, but the music is really not the kind to be sat through. A definite negative is the lack of an outdoor area: smokers spill into an alley which provides no shelter from the elements.
The people here are young and pierced, almost without exception. Floppy fringes and drainpipes rule supreme so anyone that doesn’t fit the description might feel a little out of place. It seems poetic that a club without any kind of dress code has
developed one of its own that is perhaps even more of a pre-requisite than the traditional shirt and shoes malarkey. Having said that, everyone is friendly and relaxed enough to be singing or shouting to whatever song may be on at the time and you are
soon absorbed into the revelry.
The music in this venue is varied, a good thing you might imagine but it can also disappoint the purists. If metal is what you’re after, and you think that going to a night called Road Kill (Fridays) at a club called Satans Hollow will deliver (who wouldn’t?),
then expect to be a tad disappointed as the first Bon Jovi track of the night spews out of the speakers. Spiked is another night that feels unfocused as the metal/punk theme is stretched to cover styles like emo, pop and various requests. Other nights
include Seduction on a Wednesday night, playing Bollywood, Bomb Ibiza on selected Saturdays which concentrates on punk/ska, and on Sundays there’s live music.
Drinks are cheap with pints generally at £1.50 and bottles at £1, including a reasonable selection of lagers. Spirits and mixers are equally well priced and with a free bar, between 10pm-11pm, included as part of the admission fee on Tuesday nights, Satans Hollow
is definitely affordable and student friendly. The two bars help alleviate any crush during busier nights but, especially during the free hour on a Tuesday, the queues can be a painful experience.
The Last Word
Satans Hollow is a good place to drink, the prices are very low and the decor is interesting to say the least. Musically it is a broad church of underground, guitar-based music but its desire to please may be its undoing for those expecting a little less
evil in the walls and a little more malevolence in the music.