Bears: Great British Bear Bash 17, Gay Village, Fri 2 - Mon 5 May
Bear: In gay culture, a Bear is a large, hairy man who projects an image of rugged masculinity.
Better tie your gopher carcass up the tree, the bears are coming to Manchester. Now celebrating the seventeenth year of the Great British Bear Bash, big, hairy, gay men will flock to the village for Beareoke, Bears on Ice, a Bear Market and a Bear pool and sauna party. Whatever you do, don’t menstruate. They can sense it apparently.
Film: Blue Ruin, Cornerhouse, Opens Fri 2 May
This gloomy, moody and gory take on the classic American revenge story recently won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival where it screened in the Directors' Fortnight. The result of a crowd-funded kickstarter campaign, this independent film follows a vagrant loner, Dwight, determined to return to his childhood home and exact revenge on his parent’s killer. Problem is, he’s not very good at it. Darkly witty.
Music: Wild Cub, Soup Kitchen, Sat 3 May, 7pm
There’s something captivating about this jingly, jangly up-beat Nashville quintet. They have that knack of sounding like they’ve been on an advert for a printer or a phone or a yoghurt. Probably because they’re so bloody catchy. Oh wait, turns out they were in a Bose advert. Knew it.
Club: Jaguar Skills and his ‘Amazing Friends’, Sankeys, Sun 4 May, 10.30pm
It is whispered in the swampy rainforests of Central America that this DJ was forged after an aged Japanese Ninja, on a package holiday with Saga in Paraguay, took a shine to the big cat and romanced it.
Jaguar Skills was born. An elusive bugger, only his son, mum and a couple of close friends know the true identity of Jaguar Skills, not even his colleagues at Radio 1. A DJ with a ferocious talent for mixing it up, his creations will make your ears collapse with fatigue.
Music: Sounds of the Other City, Salford, Sun 4 May, 4pm-3am
Many trendies favourite Manchester festival, this alternative orgy of music and art takes place in just about every single venue in Salford, including Norma’s living room on Cedric Street.
Acts such as girl punkers PINS, Sway Record’s Kult Country and Bernard+Edith and minimalists Adult Jazz will play events from Peel Hall to Sacred Trinity Church, The Old Pint Pot to Islington Mill. Beyond the music there'll also be a 'Saturday TV' themed series of events at Islington Mill (think Blind Date and Family Fortunes), a record fair and DJ sets at The Deli Lama and an appearance from The Volkov Commanders, whoever they are.
So alternative it makes BBC 6 Music sound like an Atomic Kitten record.
Tickets £18 here or in person from Piccadilly Records and Common bar.
Drink: Bank Holiday Lock-In, The Alchemist, Spinningfields, Sun 20 April, 10pm
The good first lady and trailblazer of Spinningfields bars has been locking willing bozehounds in its bars over bank holidays since it couldn’t get rid of people the first time around. So they cashed in. 2-for-1 cocktails from 10pm to midnight. Prost.
Theatre: Rock of Ages, Palace Theatre, Sat 3 -Sat 10 May
Following a highly successful five-years on Broadway, a three-year run in London’s West End and a Hollywood movie adaption starring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rock of Ages: The Musical is launching its UK tour in Manchester this month.
A small town girl (naturally) and a city boy rocker meet on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and fall for each other amongst a soundtrack of 30 classic 80s hair, leather, guitars and bonking songs including: We Built This City, The Final Countdown, I Wanna Know What Love Is and Don’t Stop Believin’.
Museum: Vertical Echoes, Imperial War Museum North, until September 2014
To mark the centenary of the outbreak of WWI and part of the Reactions14 series of artworks featuring live performances and installations, Vertical Echoes is a new sound sculpture by renowned American sound artist Bill Fontana. Reacting to the vibrations of visitors entering the museum, sounds reverberating around the museum’s 55m high AirShard entrance will include the roar of a 1WW biplane and the echoes of a field gun from the trenches.
FREE. More here.
Event: The Blues & Gospel Tram, St Peter’s Square Station to Chorlton Station, Weds 7 May, 7.30pm
Part of the Chorlton Arts Festival this one-off event will mark the fiftieth anniversary of one of the more obscure events in Manchester’s musical heritage, the Blues and Gospel Train performance at Chorlton train station in 1964. Internationally acclaimed performers like Muddy Waters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Cousin Joe took to the station for a special Granada TV recording.
Organisers of the festival have teamed up with Metrolink to host blues musicians in the tram carriage on the way to Chorlton, with a short live set also performed on the platform on arrival. The entertainment will continue on at Dulcimer with live music and a full screening of the original Blues and Gospel Train Granada performance.
FREE (but you will need a tram ticket, mind). More here.
Face: Selfridges Beauty Project, Selfridges (Exchange Sq and Trafford), Opens Weds 7 May
A campaign ‘set to be a multi-faceted and thought-provoking exploration on the definition of beauty and what it means in today’s society’, the project will feature a series of discussions, workshops and in-store services set around six central themes: Men and Beauty, Age and Beauty, Adornment/Extreme Beauty, Global Beauty, Androgyny and Natural Beauty.
Talks at the Selfridge San Carlo's Formacia del Dolce in-store featuring TV stars, national journalists and models include: ‘Carefree Black Girls’ (8 May), ‘Who Are You Calling Invisible: Beauty and Older Women’ (15 May), ‘We’re Born Naked, The Rest Is Drag’ (21 May) and ‘The Good, Bad And The Beautiful’ (4 June).
Talks £15. More here.
Drink: Cocktails In The City, Manchester Town Hall’s Great Hall, Thurs 8 May, 6pm-10,30pm
Cocktail has long been creeping its way up the ‘Most Tiresome Words’ pile for some time now, alongside: Literally, selfie, hacking, fracking and Essex. I blame, like I do for most things (including fracking), Wetherspoons.
Still, there remains a legion of cocktail dandies doing it properly, and luckily Manchester's lot are all in one place for this event: Alchemist, Elixir, Epernay and new 'ribs, rump and bourbon' venture Cane and Grain will be there amongst others. Harvey Nichols will be sorting your face and bits out while Almost Famous will be cramming food down your gob like a duck prepped for its tasty fatty liver.
Event: Reeks of Effort and Cheesus Crust Records presents ‘Alleged Explanations’, Kosmonaut, Thurs 8 May, 8pm
Reeks of Effort Records and Cheesus Crust Records will be hosting an evening showcasing music and art produced by Manchester Metropolitan students and resident Manchester illustrators.
The event will feature live music and DJ sets curated by Reeks of Effort Records and Cheesus Crust Records, playing everything from disco to techno in the basement of Kosmonaut. As well as artwork on display there will be one-off prints, comics and cassettes to get your hands on too.
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