Today, dance music may not be the first thing that people associate with Salford. But like many major cities, the underground scene is always thriving.
Salford saw a lot of musical talent back in the ‘Madchester’ movement, most notably ‘The Smiths’ and ‘Joy Division’. But music has changed.
Thanks to the boom of ‘acid house’ ravers in Manchester in the late ’80s and early ’90s a flame of dance music was kindled in the city. This flame burns brightest in Salford thanks to nightclubs, such as ‘Hidden’ and ‘The White Hotel’. These clubs are keeping the underground music scene in Salford very much alive, especially during a time where they cannot legally open.
A recent addition to the underground dance music scene is “The Rec Centre”, located on Mary Street, above ‘Hidden’
The Rec Centre offers special consideration for members of the LGTBQ+ and BAME communities along with people on universal credit and benefits, as it is free for them to book a slot. The centre asks for £10 per hour and offers a space for budding DJs to mix and record on the best equipment in the field. The concept is the first of its kind in Salford.
Chris Theedom, the founder, started promoting on the dance music scene five years ago. Running parties dubbed “Strange Riddims” and hosting the popular underground radio, “Limbo Radio”. The Rec Centre is Chris’s most recent project, as it has only been open for a few months. Even in the opening of a new business venture in the midst of a global pandemic Chris says: “Response online has been overall very positive, lots of people have come through.”
This may be due to charity events that the centre showcases. An upcoming event is Abena’s 12-hour mix for charity, on December 12, and how HiddenRadio is doing streams every Friday from his venue. On top of this commercial success, Chris boasts how his centre is COVID safe, as he says: “No matter what Tier we’re in I’ve always been sure to wipe down surfaces and only allow what the government guidelines say.”
Chris has a few ideas in the pipeline for the future and helping the community further, he mentioned: “I want to run activities for under 18s but there are legal implications with this, as we’re technically in a nightclub.” Chris is very passionate about his community and is always looking out for new ways to help out. When prompted on what the community brings to Salford he said: “(The Rec Centre) provides a physical community space for people to relax and mix, especially when clubs and bars are shut.”
In these uncertain times, one thing is for sure. Salford is still passionate about music.
To find out more about The Rec Centre’s website here.