Things to do in Manchester this week: 26th January - 1st Feb 2018

Here we go, the last few days of being poorer than Oliver Twist on the dole, as soon as Monday the 28th comes around you can start flashing the cash again, making it rain and spending 500 quid on one night out in 5th Ave. Here's a few things you can spend your dollar on once it comes in...

By Ben Brown | Last updated 30 January 2018

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You Dig? NY Disco 1970 – 1982
Friday 26th January
New York in the 70’s was a rather depressing place. Not that I was there of course, but through the magic of YouTube, documentaries and the movie The Warriors, I believe I’ve got a good grasp of how bad it was. The city was in the grip of some serious economic woes – going completely bankrupt, smelling like shite and with the chance of getting stabbed in the nose on your way to work standing at ‘certain’. That’s probably why the music from the city at the time is so bloody good – people needed something to retreat into and make them forget how horrible it was outside. This night at the Deaf Institute will showcase some of the best disco tunes imaginable, in a sort-of tribute to places like Paradise Garage and Studio 54. You definitely won’t get stabbed in the nose either.

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Manford’s Comedy Club: Cheadle
Friday 26th January
As anyone who has ever read any of my writing will know, I’m a comic genius. Not only are my references out of control, but I have split-second timing and have really managed to perfect the kind of highly offensive jokes about ethnic minorities that you’d find on a Top Gear special. I couldn’t do stand-up though. Not only would it destroy my ego but probably also my ability to walk, as a gang of enraged punters would likely decide to beat the shit out of me for ruining their night. Jason Manford has done alright from it though, and even though he struggled to hold down a job at the BBC, he’s now putting on Comedy Nights – this week in Cheadle.

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Hamlet at The Lowry
Starts Friday 26th January
One of Bill Shakespeare’s most revered and adapted works, I’ve never actually read Hamlet, or even been to a play where they are acting it out – but I think I know what it’s all about. I believe it is a story about a Danish bloke whose dad gets killed by a stampede of wildebeest, all of which was orchestrated by Hamlet’s evil uncle – Claudius. It’s a revenge story where Hamlet’s dad returns as a ghost, and Hamlet puts together a crack team – including a wise-cracking meerkat and a farting warthog – to get the throne back. This RSC adaptation re-jigs the setting to the modern day and looks to be a fantastic contemporary take on this age-old classic tale.

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Queer Contact Festival 2018
Starts Saturday 27th January
It’s been 10 years since the Queer Contact Festival started celebrating the rich diversity of LGBT+ arts and culture and this year looks set to be their biggest yet. It’s the kind of festival where you can expect a wide range of events, including theatre, comedy, music, spoken word, clubbing and loads, loads more. I’m not going to list everything here because I’m a very busy man, and very lazy, so head over to their website for details on what’s going on. Personally, I’d recommend catching ‘Dancing Bear’ at the Palace Theatre.


Art Battle Manchester – There’s Trouble at T’mill
Saturday 27th January
The concept of Art Battle is simple. Get a load of people in a big room, plonk some artists in the middle with some felt-tip pens, crepe paper and PVA glue and give them each 30 minutes in which to create some art. I then presume the crowd vote on who’s is the best, most likely using some form of sophisticated clap-o-meter device. It all sounds rather exciting, and to be fair, watching someone create a piece of art right in front of your eyes is very impressive, especially considering most art these days is either done with the help of computers or is just a bottle of ketchup floating in a bucket of piss (which then sells for £1m at Sotheby’s). There’s also some banging tunes and booze to keep everyone happy.

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One Deck Wednesday with Maxine Peake
Wednesday 31st January
I get the impression that it will be rather busy at Electrik in Chorlton on Wednesday. I expect there to be a huge crowd, all frothing at the mouth, trying to get their hands on one of the brilliant kebabs that they serve, especially the Lamb Shawarma which I could quite happily eat from now until I ended up in a meat and bread-based coma. Or perhaps it will be busy because Maxine Peake will be taking to the DJ booth for this rather special One Deck Wednesday. I understand that Maxine is a big fan of obscure Euro Pop hits, so you can expect a combination of Aqua, The Cartoons, Vengaboys and those blokes that sang that song about that blue guy who lived in a blue house somewhere. It’s free too which is going to add to the carnage.

Electrik, 559 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0AE


Fair Play Vinyl Fair at Behind Closed Doors
Thursday 1st February
Starting at 5pm, head on down the steps of BCD for a mecca of music – where you’re unlikely to find that Kylie Minogue album that everyone has but perhaps get your mitts on that 1982 Gilberto Gil Brazilian funk album that you want to impress your attractive next-door neighbour with because you’re terrible at chat. Behind Closed Doors’ brilliant Vinyl Fair continues to allow people with big jumpers and circle glasses to buy some cracking records, from a variety of rotating sellers, whilst also enjoying some banging tunes and the odd cocktail. All this vinyl stuff makes me wonder whether tapes will ever come back. Or the Sony Minidisc. Probably not, which is a massive shame if you ask me.

Behind Closed Doors, 93 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LW


Journey Through India – The North
Thursday 1st February
Shameless plug time. We’ve got together with legendary Indian restaurant Zouk to bring you a Journey Through India – which, this time, will concentrate on the Northern regions of The Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and a little bit of Pakistan thrown in there too. It’s a 5-course set menu, with loads of dishes as well as probably the greatest curry known to man – the Lamb Nihari. There’s also some complimentary bevvies – all for 25 quid! I’ll be there on the night, so if you’ve ever wanted to punch me in the face, now is your chance. You can check out the menu right here – and buy tickets below if you fancy it.

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