Art: A Highland Romance: Victorian Views of Scottishness, Manchester Art Gallery. Opens Friday 20 September
Ah Scottishness: Shortbread, Tennants, Fergie, Braveheart, Tartan, Robbie Burns, Whiskey, Rab C Nesbitt, Kilts, Billy Connolly, Cattle, Highlands, Porridge, Celtic, Rangers, Stevenson, Haggis, Nessie, Bagpipes, fried stuff, Alexander Graham Bell, Ben Nevis, Andy Murray, Irn Bru and a hankering to break away from the Union (probably for a minority).
Well, the vast majority of that lot won’t appear in this exhibition, what there will be however are desolate snowscapes, dramatic stag hunts and castle ruins. Bit more pastoral then.
To coincide with the run-up to the Scottish referendum, the gallery will present some of their most popular nineteenth century paintings and works on paper by Scottish artists. These will be shown alongside depictions of Scotland by artists from England, which together will be used to explore how ideas of Scotland and Scottishness have changed over the last two centuries.
FREE. More info here.
Theatre: An Evening of Burlesque, The Opera House, Friday 20 September, 8pm
Much like GTA5, UKIP and Miley Cyrus (or Smiley Virus, thank you) the art of burlesque seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment. And most of it is crap. After all, a strip show in which the best bit is removed seems somewhat vapid doesn’t it? Well, take Britain’s biggest burlesque show with Royal Academy-trained bombshells and a knife throwing act then no, vapid it ain’t my friend.
This is burlesque done the right way, plus there’s always the slight chance that you may see someone speared by a throwing knife... or even a boob.
Tickets around £30. Book here.
Club: So Flute w/ Andres, Roadhouse, Northern Quarter, Friday 20 September
Electronic soul hip-hop night So Flute has begun to build a head of steam over at perennial NQ venue Roadhouse. Having somehow coaxed superstar-globe-trotting-musical-wizard Gilles Peterson to Manchester earlier this year, this Friday will see So Flute welcome Detroit’s deep house don and chief hip hopster DJ Dez Andres to the decks. Getting hold of his first drumkit aged three, Andres made his name DJing on the Cali underage party scene and eventually went on to DJ for the late J Dilla’s Slum Village hip hop crew. Skipping effortlessly from soul, jazz, disco, rap to house, Andres has got niftier fingers than Fagin… and much better clobber.
Film: Metro Manila, Cornerhouse, Opens Friday 20 September
Academy award nominated director, Sean Ellis, delivers one of the most critically lauded films of the Sundance Film Festival with this foreign migrant drama that quickly begins to descend into a twisting and turning crime thriller set against the corrupt and sprawling capital of the Philippines.
Jake Macapagal stars as Oscar Ramirez, when the price of rice hits an all time low Oscar, a desperately poor farm-hand, sets out with his family in search of a better life in Manila. The naïve Oscar is soon drawn into the clutches of the city's numerous racketeers and scoundrels while his wife succumbs to seedier pursuits in order to keep the family afloat.
A poetically delivered and disturbing metropolitan survival tale that reflects the harsh realities of those trying desperately to seek out an existence in climates a thousand miles from our own.
Makes the trials and tribulations of the Corrie lot, like buying the wrong type of marrow, seem a tad trivial doesn't it. Pipe down Deidre.
Event: #TwitFaced Round 7, Vega Lounge, Manchester235, Friday 20 September, 6pm till late
Described as a ‘very informal networking event’, this event is a chance for likeminded folk, or anyone in Manchester on twitter really (mostly those bloody media types though… repugnant lot) to break through those digital walls imposed by everyone’s favourite slice of social media and actually talk to people… right in their face. Old school.
There’ll be drinks (which helps), give-aways, offers, music, fun, magic, poetry, casino games and all round jovial merriment to be had left, right and centre. Those TwitFacers have organised a free welcome shot for every guest who arrives before 8pm and there’ll also be an early evening happy hour from 6pm-7pm with 20% off all drinks.
FREE. Register for the event here.
Family: SwimBritain, Manchester Aquatics Centre, Saturday 21 September, 9am-5pm
Olympic silver medallist Keri-anne Payne, Olympic bronze medallist Steve Parry, six-time Paralympic medallist Claire Cashmore and members of the GBR Women’s water polo team will be taking to the Manchester Aquatics Centre pool with members of the public to swim 1000m each in a team relay of four legs. The event comes as part of the British Gas SwimBritain programme which aims to encourage 500,000 people to swim more regularly by 2015 in one of those let’s make everyone fit, healthy and happy movements. Hippies.
On a more serious note though, it has recently been reported that an increasing number of children are leaving school without the ability to swim properly, with only 50% able to swim just 25m. That’s pretty woeful. Get them off the bloody Xbox and chuck them in the pool. Make sure they’re wearing armbands beforehand, or, you know, the social.
FREE. Although sign-up to the event has closed, spectators are still welcome to go along and see the Olympic and Paralympic swimmers.
Event: RedBull City Trial 2013, Exchange Square, Saturday 21 September, 11.30am – 4pm
RedBull City Trial is back, bigger and better than last year. They're inviting some of the world's top riders, including twelve time world champion Dougie Lampkin, British Champion Michael Brown and four time British trial world champion James Dabill amongst a host of other pro and junior riders to go head-to-head and battle it out on the unsuspecting streets of Manchester. There’ll be four rounds throughout the day in which riders will take on the custom-built course, designed to push the competitors to their limit for the chance to be crowned the City Trial champion. Rad.
The event is unticketed and FREE. So get down early to get a good spot. More info here.
Drink: Zombie Shack, Above the Thirsty Scholar on New Wakefield Street, Now Open
You’d have thought the tick-tock of the tiki clock may have run its course in Manchester by now. What with the Hula Tiki Lounge, Liars Club and Keko Moku now regular pillars in the Manchester night time circuit. Indeed, the early-hours question of ‘Where shall we go now?’ has been completely dropped from the mouths of the city’s night hawks. We now just switch to autopilot and shimmy on towards Liars or Hula (whichever is closer) like a pack of thirsty rum zombies. Rumbies if you will.
So you may have thought that the pineapple bubble was about to burst. Apparently not, some clever bugger has dropped another tiki bar, the Zombie Shack, slap bang in the middle of studentdom, right above long-haired rockers favourite the Thirsty Scholar. And with the UK Tiki Fest 2013 heading to Manchester’s New Century Hall in mid-October, it looks like tiki is here to stay. Tikilating stuff. Sorry.
Zombie Shack, 50 New Wakefield Street, M1 5NP. Now open.
Sport: Manchester City vs Manchester United, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 22 September, 4pm
Arguably now THE biggest game of the Premier League season, no sod it, unarguably now THE biggest game of the Premier League season and one of the most hotly anticipated club fixtures in all of world football, the first of this season’s Manchester derbies looks set to be a fiery one. With two new managers wet behind the derby ears and looking for a quick-win-over with the fans (each achieving only two wins in their opening four league games ), seven goals scored between them in their recent respective Champions League match-ups, and a newly invigorated (but probably still sulking) Wayne Rooney doing what he does best (just play football Wayne you nob), it looks set to be a belter… so will probably end up nil nil.
Fancy going to the game? Easy, got a spare kidney?
Tickets: Impossible. Watch on Sky Sports 1 or at the pub... make sure it’s the ‘right’ pub though.
Food: Manchester House, Spinningfields, Now Open
Seems like this one has been on the horizon for yonks, then again a £3million Michelin-seeking fine-diner by Tim Bacon and Aiden Byrne was never going to be a slap dash affair. Even a bloody cup and saucer cost around £80. Bit excessive, Ikea’s Dinera six pack is only a tenner. Someone should have told the gaffer. Anyway, our prized food devourer Gordo reckons their roasted pigeon with black cherries and pistachio starter (or ‘Beginning’… how quirks) for £16 will not be beat this year, while the House’s accompanying Lounge and bar with sprawling city vistas has been described as ‘design magazine porn’. Manchester House also lays claim to the oddest looking urinals this side of Saturn, pee for take-off.
Alas, with ‘beginnings’ starting at £12.50, ‘middle’ at £24 and ‘end’ at £8.50 you may need to sell a child for this one. Only the runt though, keep the good ones.
Music: Ethan Johns in concert, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Wednesday 25 September, 7.30pm
Hey! Manchester presents a concert by acclaimed recording artist and producer Ethan Johns in the intimate surroundings of the Engine House. The Brit Award-winning producer, whose vast production credits include The Vaccines, Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling and Ryan Adams, has recently released the single Don’t Reach Too Far from his 2012 debut solo album If Not Now Then When? There’ll also be support from Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou.
Museum: Game Changers: 125 Years of the Football League, National Football Museum, Until April 2014
First formed at a meeting in Manchester in 1888, the world’s first football league is now 125 years old. Quite a bit has changed in that time.
Discover the major players on and off the pitch who shaped football as we know it. From William McGregor’s Victorian vision, to the great moderniser Herbert Chapman, through the post-war heroics of Stanley Matthews and the sixties superstardom of George Best, Game Changers: 125 Years of The Football League follows the steps to the modern day league and its millions of dedicated fans.
With stories from the 72 current league teams, and never before seen personal mementoes from George Best (on loan from his sister Barbara McNarry and the charity Best Chances). The exhibition also showcases amazing new interactive artwork commissions, inspired by stories in the show, from Chris O'Shea and artist group Soup Collective.
Food: Fizz, Dinner and Dance, Mark Addy Restaurant, Salford, Thursday 26 September, 7pm
The dinner dance has been lost somewhat on my generation (< 30), unless you're Prince Harry or one of Fergie's kids, you know, the ones with twice as many teeth as anyone else. I imagine it to be something like the ball scene from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, but in the village Conservative Club. Less Venetian, a lot of brown.
Well the Mark Addy, that bastion of propa' meaty cooking down on the Irwell by the People's History Museum is reimagining the dinner dance. It's bringing it back, this old institution is making a come back like Cher (for the forty seventh time) or the hair scrunchy.
With complimentary champagne on arrival, a four course dinner by acclaimed head chef Robert Owen Brown and 'post-prandial' (no me neither) live entertainment and dancing. The dress code: Lounge suits (no me neither) and cocktail dresses.
£50. Call 0161 832 4080. More here.
Festival: Manchester Food and Drink Festival, City Centre, Thursday 26 September – Monday 7 October
The North West’s most eagerly anticipated foodie event is back and set to swamp most of Manchester city centre beneath a gloop of glutinous nirvana. The city centre foodie festival that last year attracted over 150,000 people, sinking 40,000 pints of beer and 5,000 ostrich burgers (not so quick now are you) is heading back to the Festival Hub at Albert Square from 26 September to 7 October.
Albert Square will be filled with Manchester’s largest street food fair, a beer festival serving over 100 different local beers, Robinson’s Pub on the Hub, an artisan food market, the festival Tiki Shack, The Birdhouse charity cake sale, and a series of masterclasses providing practical tips from fileting a fish to plucking a pheasant - you start by grabbing the feathers and pulling really hard.
There’ll also be plenty of boozey goings-on outside of Albert Square, with the Big Indie Wine Festival, a whisky festival and a new spirit market where visitors can sample and purchase an array of boutique spirit brands. Remember: Don’t mix your free spirit samples, or you’ll never find your way out.
Rounding off the festival on Monday 7 October will be the Festival’s Gala Dinner, where 15 awards will be dished out (bad um) to the best of the city’s restaurants, bars and chefs. You can cast your votes here.
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