Live Review: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at New Century in Manchester

We sent keen gig-goer, Abi White to one of Manchester's newest music venues on Saturday, to experience Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur's emphatic live show. Read what she thought of his performance in her live review

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 17th Oct 2022

It might appear to be the newest venue on Manchester’s music scene, but New Century is the secret hidden gem that is steeped in an iconic history - hosting musical legends since the 1960s.

Once welcoming the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner, The Kinks and The Stones, it then became known as ‘the place to be’ for acid-house parties, before remaining almost abandoned over the last fifteen years.

That was until the regeneration of the NOMA district in Manchester, where the venue has been brought back to life and restored as a creative college, bar and kitchen and events space; officially opening this September.

When I heard that Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs was stopping off in Manchester on his 2022 tour, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity for me to check out the new venue on every music fan in Manchester’s lips.

Image credit: Now Wave /

As I strolled through the doors under the glowing ‘New Century’ sign, I was met with feelings of eagerness and anticipation; I was about to step foot into a fresh new venue that I’d never been to before.

I audibly let out a ‘WOAH’ as I pushed open the door into the music hall. With a shiny varnished retro ballroom floor and a ceiling covered in multicoloured lights that has remained unchanged since 1962, it was like going back in time, whilst also seeming futuristic at the same time.

It was the perfect venue for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, especially following the release of his most recent album ‘When The Lights Go’. Filled with euphoric synths and disco melodies, and teamed with an 80’s drum machine, the nostalgia his tracks evoke fit the retro venue perfectly, making it feel like a disco in a classic 80s movie.

As the lights dimmed and he walked onto the stage, a warm orange glow lit up his equipment. It felt marvellously atmospheric as he took his place in front of a black draped curtain - lights glowing behind the curtain too.

It wasn’t long into the set before the synths in ‘The Distance’ began floating around the music hall. The moving landscape of sounds was instantly recognised by the crowd, who let out a cheer of approval before he plunged into ‘The Sleeper’ and ‘Don’t you forget about me’.

Both of those tracks are standouts to me. They’re packed full of emotion and feel so euphoric, and despite the latest album being about heartbreak, it’s upbeat and impossible not to dance to.

‘Sound & Rhythm’ is my favourite from this album. I’m a huge Kylie Minogue fan and grew up listening to her albums, and this track really took me back and reminded me of listening to ‘Lightyears’ in my mum’s car (Broom broom). It’s the only instrumental track on the album and in a previous interview, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs said he wrote it after being inspired by memories of being a teenager at Glastonbury, ‘hearing the dance stages echo across the fields’. You can only imagine the reaction this track received after learning what inspired it.

It was now 40 minutes into the set, and the black draped curtain still hadn’t dropped to reveal the glowing lights behind him. The room, ironically known for its iconic ceiling full of lights, felt a little too dark. I was trying to work out whether it was intentionally left dark to mimic and reminisce on raves in the 90s, or if it did need a bit of a light show. This didn’t really impact the set too much, but it was enough for me to notice.

The feel-good ‘Be With You’ played towards the end of the set before one final euphoric bow out to ‘When The Lights Go’. This was honestly one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a long time and one of my highlights from this year. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur’s latest album is so textured and filled with so many tiny precise details that I’ll now be listening to it regularly for at least the remainder of the year.

‘I’m very much looking forward to coming back, see you again sometime,’ he exclaimed and I already can’t wait to catch a set from him again soon.



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header image credit: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs /