Manchester Online – Funkademia returns!

Dave Payne is the man behind the legendary Funkademia and Northern Funk nights he also masterminded the overhaul of Zumeba on Oxford Road

Having sold Zumeba recently his two club nights found themselves without a home which was a shame as they have both been mainstays of Manchester’s club scene since 1995, attracting a membership of no less that 17,000 people.

Put it like this: it’s been a long time since Dave has needed to print flyers to fill either of his nights, which is why it’s great for the city that Funkademia now returns to that upmarket slip of a thing, for a new weekly Saturday night.

“We opened last Saturday for the first time,” says Dave,” and I’m pleased to report that everything went fantastically.”

Along with the usual party people the launch night saw Ricky Hatton, Vernon Kay, Shaun Ryder and Mick Hucknall make a guest appearance. They weren’t all out together of course. That would be plain weird.

“Hatton was, as ever, a true gentleman,” says Dave. “He refused any form of special treatment, insisting on going to the back of the queue like anyone else would and paying his way in. A really nice guy, according to staff and punters

Hucknall had, of course, just done a secret Simply Red gig at Life Café so was just after a relaxing drink after the show.

Shaun Ryder, we suspect, was just out.

Doors were opened at 10.30pm and by 11pm the dancefloor was full,”. says Dave. “By 11.30pm the club was completely sold out with queues stretching right down the block all night.”

Just like old times then. Which is why Funkademia’s ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ philosophy still works so well.

We’ve still got our original core line-up of DJs,” says Dave, “including Jon Busstop, Fritz Great Lakes, Myk Nolan, Dave Booth & Trafford Lovething. In fact the only DJ missing is Jason Vereker who now lives in Amsterdam – having just got a great new job – but he will be flying into Manchester once a month just to DJ his favourite gig.

We’ve also drawn in Mancunian favourites Good for the Soul to play for us this Saturday which is great because we’re big fans of Jamie Scahill and the gang.”

So if you’re fans of funk and soul make your way down. Mine’s a margarita.

The Guardian

Funkademia\Northern Funk – ass shakin bass quakin’ funk that keeps ‘em coming back for more


Funkademia – Manchester’s roadblock soul session – you couldn’t imagine having more fun anywhere else

Metro News

If you are a dedicated disco Dr or Diva there is nowhere better to go in the City than funkademia

The Big Issue

Copping off potential – very, very good. It gets so packed you can have copped off without knowing it


One of the country’s best kept clubbing secrets. So busy they don’t have to advertise it. Quality dj’s quality club nights. Do yourself a favour & check it out. Get there early though the queues go right round the block

The Guide

After years of sell out events Funkademia & Northern Funk keeps movin on. Regulars will be glad to hear that their new home is no great distance. The residents roster continues to supply a fun back order of soul, funk, disco with DJ’s the calibre of Blues & Soul’s Pete haigh and Jason Vereker involved you’re assured a deeper more refined selection alongside the party classics on which the nights strong reputation is built.

Manchester Evening News

Funkademia is a long running and consistently busy night exploring soul & funk with a sprinkling of disco. A chronological history of black music which means every week is a different journey to the same musical conclusion. The night takes in guests like Trafford Lovething, Jason Vereker & fritz Great Lakes – solid dj’s one and all.

City Life Clubbing

The funkademia team the collective of dj’s who’ve been providing the city with ‘entertaining, elevational and educational’ weekly night funkademia for years demonstrate more of the variety and energy thats driven the nights success since day one. The classic northern soul based Northern Funk came into the world as a much demanded spin off – good news for the fans of Manchester’s funkiest weekends. Its impressive that Mancunians are still so enthusiastic about dancing – and a testament to the triumph of content over style.

Manchester Evening News

WHEN it comes to being an institution in Manchester you’d have to go pretty far to beat Dave Payne’s weekly nights.

I was reading about The Twisted Wheel’s 40th anniversary last week,” says Dave, “where the promoter said that he thought that Manchester truly is a soul city. I completely believe that to be true.”

And so he should, for week in week out Dave’s club nights are packing ‘em in, creating a bustling night for those who like to dance the night away but don’t want the thumping of a 4:4 beat.

“Whenever anybody asks about Funkademia I always tell them it’s ‘a chronological history of soul and funk’,” says Dave. “This means they start off with the old sounds and work their way up to the present day with the capable support of a revolving team of eight or so resident DJs.”

“We don’t even do flyers any more,” says Dave rather surprisingly, which begs the question: How on earth do people know about the night?

“It’s largely word of mouth,” comes the reply. “We concentrate very heavily on our membership database which is now up to 10,000 people.”

If all of them turn up on the same night you’d have serious crowd safety issues, surely?

“Luckily that’s not happened yet,” says Dave, “Though by the end of the night the dancefloor does get pretty packed.”

With a packed and friendly crowd week in week out, it’s good to know that there’s a fixed point of reference in Manchester’s ever-evolving club culture.

Customer Reviews

From Manchester After Dark

Cinders: This has to be one of the best saturday nights going. the music, without question, is always good, the dj’s play such an eclectic mix and the venue gives you much more room to move and also to chill out. what ever mood you’re in this place will lift your spirits and make it impossible for you not to move your feet!
Rating: 5/5

Sidney: I don’t know what can i say – I am all funked out. YEAH!
Rating: 5/5

Mongoose: This has to be one of the only places in Manchester that is A- not up its own ars*e, or B- Full of idiots. Fantastic music, great club!
Rating: 5/5

Kev: Funkademia…put simply, is the best night out I’ve had. It’s the dictionary definition of cool, and if you can’t dance here, then you’ve got no legs. Great tunes, great atmosphere…what more could you want?
Rating: 5/5

Andy: Have been a regular at Funkademia for the last few years and it never disappoints! Friendliest in Manchester with the best tunes….if you’ve never been, then you dont know what you’re missing!!! Now this is what I call dance music….
Rating: 5/5

Big Joe: What a night! Went there for the first time last weekend and the atmosphere is fantastic. There was a great variety of funky tunes which make you wanna dance allll night! Everyone in there is really friendly and that goes for the staff too. If you get a flier from one of the Pr’s near by you get all this for £2.50 entrance!!! Highly reccomended for a great night out.
Rating: 5/5

Col: Finally, after many years trying to find a place thats in tune my needs, I find one!! With music that makes me wanna funk the night away.
Rating: 5/5

Niki: Cannot fault this place! The best music in Manchester, Drinks aren’t badly price and the crowd and bar staff are always so friendly. Go there if you want a good night!
Rating: 5/5

From Funky Towers:

Jayne, Didsbury. “Just wanted to say thank you for Northern Funk last Friday. I’ve never had such a good night clubbing in my life. Keep up the good work. Heading back this week with my girls”

Simon, Alderley Edge. “What a good night you guys have got going. Manchester has needed a night like this for ages – wish I had discovered it sooner”

Sarah, Sale. “Had to write in to tell you how bowled over I was to hear the new Motown Remix of Lets Get it On – never heard it in a club before and it sounded fantastic. More, more, more.”

Simone, London. “Can you lot move your night to London please. Came up last Saturday & it was all that a funky club night should be. Beats the pants off anything down here & everyone was soooooooo friendly. Will be bringing a crew up again very soon”

Ashley, Bury: “Cool place, top tunes, fit birds and all for under a fiver. I think I’ve found soulful heaven.”

Michelle, Mcr City Centre. “As an air hostess I’ve been clubbing literally all over the world but I can honestly say your nights are the ones I’ve enjoyed more than anywhere. Flying back from NYC tonight & we’ll be coming straight there. Keep that podium free”

Ross, Cheshire. “Been hearing about your nights for a while now & tried it out on Friday. Got to say it was fantastic. Not sure who was dj’ing but he was top drawer – knew his tunes & kept us on the floor all night. Definately be back soon for some more good funk.”