Music: Hackney Colliery Band, Band On The Wall, Fri 17 Jan, 8pm
Not what you’d expect from a Colliery Band this lot. You know, soot-faced Northerners. This lot are fresh faced Southerners for a start. Less overalls and hardhats, more cardigans and flatcaps. Still brass is brass is brass.
Hackney Colliery Band is an East London collectives take on the brass band. With trumpets, trombones, saxes, sousaphone and marching percussion, the band are totally acoustic and prone to blowing roofs right off. Not since the Romans wore heavily teated six-packed brass breastplates was brass so cool. Look now:
£10 tickets here.
Film: The Wolf Of Wall Street, Various Cinemas, Opens Fri 17 Jan
Put together Martin ‘Always Scores’ Scorsese and Leo ‘Has He Still Not Got An Oscar’ DiCaprio and you’re on to a winner. The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010), actually Leo (or DiC to close friends) has - with the exception of 2011’s Hugo (he had a cold) - been in all of Scorsese’s films for over a decade, with their latest collaboration exploring the brazen drugs, sex and numbers rock’n’roll 80s excess of Wall Street hotshot Jordan Belfort. A real-life stockbroker and all round filthy rich scallywag. Expect Oscars.
Check Manchester cinema showtimes here.
Exhibition: Jamie Shovlin: Hiker Meat, Cornerhouse, Opens Sat 18 Jan
Difficult to get your head around this one. I know, I’ve tried. At the last count I had 32 emails discussing this project and I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on. I can’t decide whether I’m pissed off or fascinated. Maybe both.
Jamie Shovlin’s long term project was first conceived as a non-existent ‘slasher’ movie soundtrack for a non-existent German rock band created through a load of clips from other ‘exploitation’ stuff cobbled together to produce a trailer. A trailer for a film with a fake Italian director (why Italian?) that was never an actual film. Errr. Exhibitions were later based around the non-existent film and its non-existent making and release. Errr. So this Cornerhouse exhibition will feature ‘re-made’ sections of the non-existent film recreated from other films made around the 70s but actually recorded in the Lake District in 2013. So now there is a film about the non-existent film... Got it?
Nah no chance. Must go and see this exhibition to figure the whole thing out…… And that is marketing. The clever swines.
FREE. Try figure it out for yourself here.
Tour: The Haunted Underworld World, Sat 18 Jan, 1.30pm
The editor Jonathan Schofield's at it again. He's taking people into the dark, the absolute dark, under the Barton Arcade and having his wicked way with them. Loads of stories on this tour both of a historical and hysterical manner. You get to nod and squeal in sequence like that Churchill bulldog having a panic attack. This is the only Manchester tour taking place in the absolute dark apparently.
Tours cost £8 each and and last just over an hour. Minimum age is ten for these tours - but if the child is very sensitive, best not to wait they're over 12. Meet in St Ann’s Square, at the War Memorial, City centre. Book here
It's odd down there
Gig: Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip, Manchester Academy, Sun 19 Jan, 7pm
One of those acts that pop up at festivals all over the shop. I’m fairly sure they’ve been at every festival I've ever been to. Or seem to be. Rumour has it they're actually immortal and have been playing festivals since they began with the birth of Hendrix. They've just changed their monikers every decade or so to avoid detection. At Woodstock 1974 they went by the name Gary the Bag V Unscrupulous Dave.
Right. This hip-hop duo consisting of ‘street-poet’ Scroobius Pip and Dan, the-DJ-one, are the only genuinely talented and interesting things to come out of Essex since Graham Gooch started rollicking balls all over the shop. Clever rhymes and break beats. John Cooper Clarke with an Apple Mac and some clever software. Fresh stuff.
Tickets £14.85 here.
Art: Grayson Perry: The Vanity Of Small Differences, Manchester Art Gallery, Until Sun 2 Feb
Grayson Perry is the only Turner-prize winning artist to actually take on the form of a Turner-prize winning piece himself. A cross-dressing, teddy-bear carrying bloke from Chelmsford with a handbag designed to look like a testicle satchel. No really, look here.
This exhibition boasts a series of six tapestries, measuring 2x4m each, telling the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste. Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, a morality tale charting the evils of eighteenth century life, the six tapestries chart the class journey made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry. Wouldn't fancy wandering in to Sunderland with a scrotal handbag myself. The guys got balls...
FREE. More info here.
Theatre: Re:play Festival, The Lowry, Opens Monday 20 January
Eight productions have been announced for the Library Theatre Company’s re:play Festival 2014, a festival that rounds up all the best in Manchester and Salford’s fringe theatre scene and plonks them on a stage in The Lowry. One Hand Clapping, a novel by Harpurhey-born man of the pen Anthony Burgess, is one of the festival’s most anticipated productions.
Howard Shirley has an unusual talent. Possessing a photographic memory, he uses his talent to enter and win a mega-money TV quiz show. Also turns out he’s also a clairvoyant (bloody show off), meaning he can predict racing results. Needless to say he and his wife Janet become filthy rich. But, as these things do when you've got everything you could ever wish for, it all begins to go a tad askew. Not much of a play if it didn’t.
£8 tickets here.
Comedy: XS Malarkey, Pub/Zoo, Grosvenor St, Tuesday 21 January
Laughing is good for you. Much better than an Activia, or even reading a whole book. That’s how good it is. Psychoneuroimmunology, a term made up by some guy to squeeze some dollar from miserable rich folk, states that not only can laughter support the immune system, but also improve blood pressure, stimulate the organs and reduce pain.
Stimulate the organs is the best one. I'd always assumed our organs were in a constant state of stimulation. Otherwise we'd be dead. But still, pseudoscience aside, laughing is pretty funny.
Good then that XS Malarkey is back at the Pub/Zoo, the only bar in Manchester where you can both have a pint and pet a goat. Some chuckle-mongers called Rob Deering, Andrew McBurney, Rob Rouse and Bobby Murdock will be dishing out the gags. At least if stand-up doesn't work out they’ve got the perfect names to form a Country band. Bobby particularly.
Tickets £5 here.
Music: James Arthur, O2 Apollo, Wednesday 22 January
That grumpy bloke from X Factor and Manchester Christmas lights switcher-on'er James Arthur is returning to the city on his first major tour since releasing his debut album. Despite hammering the Christmas charts in 2012 with Impossible, he was beaten to Christmas Number one by Hillsborough charity-single He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, originally made famous by Mancunians The Hollies in 1969. Unlucky James. Catch him before he pales into obscurity. Joe McElderry anyone?
Tickets £32 here.
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