Music: Prince, The Manchester Academy, Fri 21 & Sat 22 February, 7pm
‘Quick it’s at the Academy… at the Academy? Oh well… get online quick… go, go, go… £70? Weren’t his London shows like a tenner? Bit steep… oh well it’s Prince… quick click on that… annnnnnnd it’s gone. Bugger it.’
Quite why we’ve listed a gig that you’re as likely to attend as a North Korean gay pride rally we’re unsure. Seemed like we had to, it's all we've heard about. Perhaps you snagged a ticket, perhaps you have a spare £200 to drop on a ticket from Seatwave, you might even have a kidney you’re not particularly keen on. In which case, bully for you.
For the rest, there’s still rumours of a smaller off-the-cuff Manchester gig to be played post-Academy (Soup Kitchen or Roadhouse or that news stand across from M&S or somewhere). If not, there’s always the X Factor Live Tour at the Phones4U Arena this Saturday, so yeah, who’s laughing now……
Tickets (currently £226) here.
More Music: Rudimental, 02 Apollo, Fri 21 & Sat 22 February, 7pm
Missed out on Prince? How about this drum’n’bass troop that burst out of Hackney last year and took the festival scene (including Parklife) by storm with tracks Feel The Love and Waiting All Night instead? They’ve also just slapped down competition from Bastille and best-thing-ever One Direction to scoop a BRIT Award too.
What? They’re sold out as well? Bloody nora, anyone not sold out this weekend?
(Tickets currently £40 here.)
Even More Music: Jake Bugg, The Ritz, Sun 23 February, 7pm
A musician beaten to a BRIT this year by David Bowie (who?), but who most certainly couldn’t care less anyway (Jake recently said of the BRITs: ‘It’s boring and I don’t really want to go”), and can always be relied upon to turn up in Manchester and play a gig every other week - this being his 47th Manchester gig in the past twelve months - is young Bugg - interviewed by Confidential here.
Jake Bugg is playing his 47th MCR show
Must be tickets for this one? No? Really? Right bollocks to it, X Factor Live Tour it is…
Art: Meat Collective, Twenty Twenty Two, Until Weds 26 March
Just as people were figuring out what and where 2022NQ was, the so-edgy-it-might-fall-off-its-own-edge club-cum-exhibiton-space-cum-table-tennis-hall has gone and changed its name. Well, it has but it hasn't. The NQ and numericals have split-up (citing artistic differences), it's now just Twenty Twenty Two.
Rumours suggest in a few months it'll change to TTT (formerly known as Twenty Twenty Two [formerly known as 2022NQ]). After that's it's not even going to bother having a name. Nor serve anyone. Nor let them in.
TTT have introduced a new exhibition space (more of a wall actually) given over to underground artists. The Meat Collective, a Manchester rabble behind THAT Lady Gaga dress (maybe), do weird, gorey, fanciful stuff. Like Ralph Steadman with a pack of crayola and a meat cleaver.
FREE. More info here.
Drink: Frontier Fridays, Kosmonaut, Northern Quarter, Fri 21 Feb, 5pm till late
NQ favourite Kosmonaut (reviewed here) is set to launch a new end-of-week party this Friday, Frontier Fridays will kick-off when work kicks-out at 5pm. Handy.
This launch party will see all of the bars resident DJs, Dance Lady Dance, Damien (Club Cirque), Jon (Now Wave) and Frameworks including Kosmonaut’s top-banana Pasta Paul (so called because from birth he’s only ever eaten pasta, bananas and vinyl) providing the music and a few free drinks doing the rounds, well, one round. Not to be sniffed at.
FREE entry. More info here.
Classic: BBC Philharmonic, Bridgewater Hall, Fri 21 Feb, 7.30pm
Many people are unaware that the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra has its roots buried deep in Manchester, so here’s a short history:
In 1922, a Manchester radio station manager formed a 12-person orchestra called the 2ZY orchestra. By 1926 it was renamed the Northern Wireless Orchestra and partly BBC funded. But in 1930 the pesky BBC cut funding to focus on the newly formed BBC Symphony Orchestra in London and the NWO was disbanded in 1931...
Actually this is dull, we'll speed it up... The BBC soon realised they’d cocked up, came running back, gave them more money, expanded the orchestra to 90 players in 1982 and changed the name to the BBC Philharmonic. Now they live in Media City and use the Bridgewater as their primary concert venue. This one features new music by the Philharmonic’s Austrian conductor HK Gruber and Scots conductor James MacMillan, along with a new concerto by Gary Carpenter and a musical tram-ride by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. They’ll be joined by the ‘Fantastic Englishman’, jazz saxophonist Iain Ballamy.
Tickets start at only £10 here, and that's for a full orchestra. So up yours Prince, £70? Academy? Pfft.
Food: Manchester Gourmet Club, The Old Parsonage, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Sat 22 Feb
Confidential was sad to see the Mark Addy restaurant shut down, especially to see Robert Owen Brown step away from the pans. His food was as honest as British food gets, with classics alongside game, off-cuts, offal and tripe. Owen Brown always possessed a great 'waste not, want not' principle, we admire that in a chef.
In fact, so upset were we by Owen Browns departure that we donned a full scuba suit and made our way down into the bowels of the Addy to pay homage, used to flood a lot you see, that was the problem (that's also why the carpet smelled like Uncle Albert's boots).
Well Owen Brown is back, and alongside Reserve Wines' Kate Goodman (BBC's Food & Drink) to offer up a six courser with wine, game terrine, wine, cockles, wine, mussels, wine, duck, wine, rhubarb, cheese, wine and wine.
£45pp. Includes six courses and wine with each course. Info here.
Kids: Top Secret: Spies, Disguise & Ways To Hide, Imperial War Museums North, Until Sun 23 February, 10am-5pm
If there are five words so perfectly crafted and likely to send a child buck wild, it's these: Super-Spy-Laser-Maze-Challenge. Wow. Put Disney on the front and give them a packet of Haribo Tangfastics and you could be picking bits of kid out of your hair for weeks.
The IWM North on Salford Quays have put together a number of family activities including a top secret spy school, laser mazes, code breaking classes, story telling sessions and even the opportunity to learn (but don't tell them that, they'll never know).
Should keep them schtum until you pack them back off to school on Monday. And stop pretending you enjoy having the kids at half-term. Nobody does.
FREE. Event calendar here (Note: not all activities are available on each day)
Film: Her, Cornerhouse, Various Times
Joaquin Phoenix plays a lonely, complex oddball (shouldn't be too hard for him) with an uncanny resemblance to Tom Selleck in Spike Jones (Being John Malkovich) latest picture.
Heartbroken after a break-up, Theodore (Joaquin) finds solice in Samantha, a new bright, funny, sensitive female voice in his life. Problem is the entity Theodore has fallen in love with is a bit of software. Logistically speaking it's a nightmare.
Tour: Manchester City Stadium & Club Tour, Etihad Stadium, Seven Days A Week, Various Times
Confidential were taken around the Etihad this week, great fun it was too (full write-up to follow). Not only because we blagged two hours out of the office for 'work', but mostly because it was lovely to see Dave the Accountant unshackled from his desk and spreadsheets and allowed to play out his dream of being Manuel Pellegrini. Here he is:
The tour includes a walk around the Chairman's club (a mere £7000 a season), the chance to take in the pitch from the Directors box, head-up a press conference, tours around the dressing rooms and run out of the tunnel to pitch-side. Just DO NOT, DO NOT touch the grass. The groundskeeper will ram his pitchfork up your jacksie. Ask Dave.
Adults £14, over 65s and under 16s £10, under 4s FREE. Book here.
Art: Joana Vasconcelos: Time Machine, Manchester Art Gallery, Until June 2014
It seems Marie Antoinette can't park. Or at least she can't land. You see, she seems to have misplaced her big fluffy pink helicopter in the Manchester Art Gallery.
Stick with us.
Joana Vasconcelos is a Lisbonian artist (no, not that, she's from Lisbon, Portugal), bringing her huge, textured and flamboyant pieces to the Manchester Art Gallery that pad out the hindermost atrium like a towering, bulbous, patchwork comfort blanket spilling out over the levels with ever. It's quite extraordinary. Fair bit of sewing involved we imagine. There's also an old Morris car covered in a bunch of plastic rifles, a giant crocheted insect and what must be over 100 steam irons opening, closing then letting out puffs of steam? Why? Well, ask yourself, why the **** not?
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