Things to do in Manchester this week: 11th - 17th May 2018

What a Bank Holiday weekend that was eh? Not only was it absolutely scorching but there was so much going on that just to have a quick little nap on Saturday afternoon felt like I was wasting my life. Bloody brilliant. Don't be down heartened now that it's finished though - get your teeth stuck into some of these beauts...

By Ben Brown | Last updated 12 May 2018

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Norman Jay MBE DJ Set at Band on The Wall
Saturday 12th May
I wonder what was going through the Queen’s head when she was awarding Norman Jay his MBE in 2002? He was awarded it for his services to music, which he definitely deserves – being one of the most respected and popular DJs in the world today, bigging up those legendary warehouse parties that you’d find in Stoke in 1989 and continuing to bang out bangers all over the shop. But I seriously doubt the Queen has ever even listened to any music other than some classical vinyl and the odd Michael Bublé mp3 on her solid gold iPod. She might have had a quick listen to that Sex Pistol’s song once in the 70’s but would have been so disgusted that she threw her 8-track player at Charles’ head. Oh, and she definitely listens to Gary Barlow. Loser.

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World Buckfast Day at Jimmy’s
Saturday 12th May
It’s not just at Jimmy’s where it’s World Buckfast Day – it’s everywhere. The streets of Hull, Rhyl, Glasgow and Oldham will be stained with the dark violet colour of Bucky, as revellers enjoy it’s smoky, sweet aroma amongst friends down the park, at a bus stop or on the dock in court. It’s a legendary drink, everyone who tries it loves it and I shall be spending my Saturday absolutely off my rocker drinking it. Go to Jimmy’s if you want because they have a party celebrating it. Check more information out below.


Crepe City: Manchester
Saturday 12th May
No this isn’t anything to do with Neil Buchanan and his terrible red jumpers – there won’t be any crepe-based Art Attacks here. Nah, this is all about trainers. Sneaks. Shoes. Kicks. Feet Wrappings. Runners. Slorps. Slips. Uppies. Takkies. Nice Fresh Kickz. If you know the difference between your Forest Hills and your British Knights then you’re in for a treat with this bad boy. There will be a massive collection of trainers for sale, collectors, customizers, food, drink, chips and hopefully those people who can tie their shoe laces in mental ways.


Food 4 Thought: Hit & Run x Love For The Streets
Saturday 12th May
Now I’m not going to pretend that I know what any of the words on the flyer above mean, or what they even represent or even what music comes out of them when you put them in front of loads of people. But it looks like a brilliant idea and something that will do a bit of good for people in the city who are struggling. Basically, you need to bring 4 non-perishable items with you for entry into the festival, where you’ll find all the above names (DRS, Chimpo, Mason Collective, Children of Zeus etc) as well as a bit of BBQ action, ping pong, booze and general fun-ness. If you don’t want to bring any food with you, either because you are tight or you have thin little arms and can’t carry them, you can buy a ticket below.

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The Bay Horse Tavern Comedy Quiz
Tuesday 15th May
I’m a big fan of pub quizzes and have won them all over the world including Bolivia, London, Manchester and the manky Pontins in Prestatyn. It’s my uncanny ability to remember even the most mundane of information, store it away in my little brain box and then pull it out while sinking pints and scoffing Nobby’s Nuts at a quiz. Well I’ll be there on Thursday when The Bay Horse in the NQ unveils its new weekly Comedy Quiz. Now don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quiz about comedy – it’s actually a quiz WITH comedy – so bring your side-splitting sewing kit with you. There’s some bloke off of The Chase there too who will be Quizmaster but I don’t know who he is because I’m more of a Pointless man.

To book a table, contact The Bay Horse Pub at or give them a bell on 0161 669 5799.


Blood Brothers at The Palace Theatre
Starts Tuesday 15th May
This musical tells the story of two twins who were separated at birth and ended up growing up on opposite sides of the tracks. One was adopted by a lovely business man named Ray, who owned his own limo business and thus was able to provide lavishly for his son. The other grew up in the rougher part of town, looked after by his very protective mother Lisa, who, although she didn’t have two pennies to rub together – still provided a great upbringing for her son. Then one day they were both at the mall, trying some clothes on and they both discovered that they were twins. It kicked off a bit but then they all moved in together and general PG-rated hilarity ensued. Until their next-door neighbour Roger started coming around that is. It really is brilliant though, you should watch it.

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Clubbed: A visual history of UK club culture at The Refuge
Wednesday 16th May
Down at The Refuge on Wednesday you’ll find Clubbed – a celebration of the best graphic design in UK clubs – charting 35 years of logos, fonts, posters and flyers – many of which will be showcased on the night. Of course, with it having something to do with clubs, there’ll be some DJs knocking around, as well as an exclusive talk by Rick Banks who’s made the book which this event is celebrating. Expect plenty of Peter Saville and Ben Kelly, but I’m sure there are a shit load of other people still banging out some classic club flyers and posters. Perhaps you haven’t seen them though because none of them produce posters for Tiger Tiger on a Saturday night. It’s a FREE do so you might as well get involved, you’re not going to be doing anything else with your Wednesday night.

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Beautiful Monsters at The Portico Library
Thursday 17th May
There’s a book – Historiae Animalium – which was written in the 16th Century by a bloke who could easily have gotten a job working in Hollywood nowadays. Conrad Gessner set out to make an encyclopaedia of Renaissance zoology – basically categorising all the weird and wonderful animals that all those dumb-dumbs thought existed at the time. So, you’ll find unicorns, tigers with long necks, krakens, weird rhinos wearing chain mail and a rather dashing dog-lion with a face on its arse. It’s actually a pretty interesting look at natural history of the time and so The Portico have set up an exhibition featuring a collective of 7 international artists who’ve taken inspiration from it. I wrote more about it here. Check it.


Hikikomori at The Lowry
Thursday 17th May
‘Hikikomori’ is a word that they use in Japan nowadays that literally means ‘withdrawal form others’ and it’s getting very popular indeed. There’s a whole half a million young people in Japan – mostly Tokyo to be fair – who just don’t want to leave their house and interact with the outside world. Instead they play on Tamagotchi’s or piss about with a virtual girlfriend or something. It’s a proper serious thing over there and something that this play at The Lowry aims to address and perhaps try to begin to understand. It’s a futuristic story allowing audiences three different viewpoints on the same story – basically about a lad called Nils who decides to hide in his room and never leave. Poor little sod.

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Museums at Night 2018
Thursday 17th May
Yay! It’s Night at the Museum time when all of the museum artefacts come to life to try to save Ben Stiller’s movie career! Well, I don’t think that’s actually going to happen to be fair. What he needs to do is stop messing around with kid’s movies and work his way back into more serious, meaty roles. Show off that classic Ben Stiller anger that we all loved in Dodgeball and that one episode of Friends. Okay, less Ben Stiller and more Museums at Night 2018. It’s when museums across the country open up their doors and let people in late – putting on various exhibitions, events and other fun stuff to keep you there and keep you interested. The Portico is doing their weird monsters thing, Manchester Art Gallery have loads of stuff on and the John Ryland’s is open late too. Here’s all the information you need:

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