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Things to do in Manchester this week: 16th – 22nd March 2018

There's plenty going on this week, from something for the kids right up to something for the big kids. I've mostly concentrated on the stuff for adults though because I don't like to have children at the events I attend. They just get their sticky mitts everywhere. Enjoy this selection of the best of what's going on....

Fleetmac Wood @ Band on the Wall
Friday 16th March
When they went touring a few years back, Fleetwood Mac saw dollar signs in their eyes and started charging about £150 per ticket to watch them. Screw that. I wouldn’t even pay £150 for a car, never mind watching a bunch of old fogies prance around on stage trying to capture the ‘old magic’ while really thinking about what denomination they want their millions delivered to them in. Personally I’d go for 10 pence pieces so that I could have a room full of coins like Scrooge McDuck. Fleetmac Wood on the other hand won’t be going away with millions because their club night at Band on the Wall is only a tenner. It looks great though, and if you’re a fan of The Mac – it shouldn’t be missed.

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St. Paddy’s Day
Saturday 17th March
Like an angry Jim McDonald after Steve got beaten up, St Paddy’s Day is here and it’s ready to bash your head in with a combination of booze, guitars, shouting and generic green clothes. Actually I don’t think Jim McDonald is from Ireland. I think he’s Northern Irish. Scrap that. Like an angry Michael Flatly, St Paddy’s Day is here to jump up and down on your head while wearing tight trousers with a combination of live music, free Guinness, special cocktails and generic green clothes. Check out this list of things that are happening this Saturday – I promise it is free of any atrocious analogies.

 

Camp Lo @ The Whiskey Jar
Saturday 17th March
I once went to watch Camp Lo at Sound Control with my mate Steven Pankhurst and it was one of the oddest music experiences in my life. First of all, it was on a Sunday night which is pretty mental. Most importantly though, there were only a few of us there and I ended up having to give constant approval, motivation and the odd thumbs up to the Camp Lo lads because their heads went. It was a top gig though, and I can guarantee that The Whiskey Jar won’t be as quiet. Not only is it on a Saturday (much better) but they always manage to rock some proper good parties down in the basement and this one won’t be any different.

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Virtual Reality Arcade
Saturday 17th March
This weekend sees pop-up event the ‘Future of Video Games’ come to town where you can strap on a stupid looking helmet thing and get involved in Virtual Reality ‘experiences’. Sound rubbish? Well I’m not very good at describing things – especially if they’re in any way technical. It looks to me though that there’s some Star Wars games to play, Gran Turismo and even some proper mental horror things where you get chased about or have to creep around a manky old house while ghosts and shit scare you. If you head over to the link below it looks an awful lot more fun than I’m making out.

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ComedySportz
Saturday 17th March
Even though it’s got probably the worst name in the world, ComedySportz is a proper good laugh if you’re a fan of the kind of improvisation you’d find on Who’s Line Is It Anyway in 1997. It’s a family friendly competition where 2 teams battle against each other for laughs using gags, games, sketches and songs inspired by audience participation. It’s probably not a good idea to just start shouting out random IKEA furniture names though, the more constructive the suggestion – the better the show. Quite why they insist on having a ‘z’ at the end of their name though is beyond me. Silly Sodz.

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RNCM Opera: Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck
Saturday 17th March
I’ve never really understood what the message is in Hansel & Gretel. If my memory serves me correctly, their dad got married to a horrible wench who convinced him to dump his only two children in some dark, depressing woods somewhere in the middle of Germany. There’s a bit in there about breadcrumbs too which I can’t really remember but they end up at a house made of toffees and crisps and chocolate and inside lives an old woman. The old woman then ends up putting the lad (Hansel I think) into a cage to ‘fatten him up’ even though not feeding him will have to opposite effect. I won’t ruin the ending for you because I can’t remember it, and if you want a re-cap, head on over to the RNCM this Saturday for the operatic version.

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Miss Saigon
From Wednesday 21st March
I’ve been slogging away though last year’s excellent Vietnam War documentary and I think it’s safe to say – that shit was fucked up. Big time. I’m only on episode 4, 9 years into the 20-year conflict and there’s been so much happening that I’ve had to start writing notes. It’s also mega-depressing too, which, to be fair, I should have expected from a war documentary. This week sees Miss Saigon come to the Palace Theatre, and I believe it may also be a bit depressing too. It’s a love story set in the last days of the war, but surely there will be a happy ending? There has to be. Someone needs to go and find out for me please.

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We Gotta Get Theroux This @ Joshua Brooks
Wednesday 21st March
Everyone was all over this a couple of weeks back and now here’s Ben Brown, late to the party as always. It does sound proper good though. Organised by the Louis Theroux Appreciation Tour, they promise “wall-to-wall Theroux” with club classics, Theroux clips and Theroux branded giveaways. The geezer is an absolute legend so he deserves this kind of adoration and support. I especially enjoyed that one he did on his Weird Weekends where he ended up in a porn film. I’ve still yet to find the one he was in, despite many hours of dedicated searching. Ah well. Back to the search.

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Journey Through India: The East & North East @ Zouk
Thursday 22nd March
There’s always a shameless plug in these things now and this is it. This is the second in our series of ‘Journey Through India’ events held at Zouk, and this one is concentrating on the cuisine in the East & North East. So you’re looking at a 5 course menu (with 2 drinks) inspired by the areas of West Bengal, Kolkata and the Seven Sister States. It’s only £25 per person and I assure you – you won’t be leaving there hungry. I attended the previous event and I was so full that I didn’t even bother with my big bowl of Frosties the morning after. And that’s saying something. Buy tickets and check the menu below.

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