Festival: Manchester Beer and Cider Festival, National Cycling Centre, Fri 12pm-10.30pm and Sat 11am-7pm
Sportcity seems like an odd place to hold a festival dedicated to boozing. Like holding a long distance running event between varying Wetherspoons. Better yet that the Velodrome in the National Cycling Centre will remain operational throughout.
This is the largest beery event of its kind to come to Manchester, with sixteen bars, 300 cask ales from 100 breweries and 75 ciders and perries on offer. Let’s hope none of the cyclists accidentally pick up a pint instead of water. No brakes those race bikes. Velodromes have high sides.
Tickets on the door. Friday £3 before 5pm/£5 after 5pm. Saturday £4. Discounts for CAMRA members. Info here.
Retail: The Empty Shop, Manchester Arndale (in front of Next), Opens Thurs 23 Jan from 6pm
On first hearing, an 'empty shop' sounds crap. Like a dry swimming pool, or some Turner-prize entry exploring something innane about society’s lustful and insatiable consumerism. It's always about society. In which case, right outside Next is bob on.
Thankfully, this is a charity thing that began in Brazil, with Manchester being the first UK city to hold the event, and only the third in Europe.
This is the jist: An empty shop. We (Joe Public) fill it with unwanted clothes. Stylish folk make it look nice. The clothes get sold (or maybe they don't - nobody seems to know) for charity. What’s left at the end of the day is donated to local homeless charity The Mustard Tree. Then the cycle begins again. Confused? Go take a look. Take some clobber too. Do your bit. And there’ll probably be someone from Corrie there. There’s always someone from Corrie there.
Film: Scratch and Sniff Cinema: The Wicker Man (Final Cut), Cornerhouse, Sat 25 Jan, 8.30pm
Summerisle: Great place to be a pagan. Crap place to be a copper.
This cult 70s British horror classic sees a devout Christian policeman visits the remote Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl and gets weirded out by pagan locals who appear to be preparing a human sacrifice. Things get a bit heated at the end.
The Scratch and Sniff lot add an extra dimension to your typical cinema experience. Just sitting and staring is a mug's game. At ten points throughout the film, attendees will be instructed to scratch specially constructed cards given to them before the film and have a sniff. Whisky, fish, chocolate and burning flesh. Hard one to get right that last one. Smells like pork scratchings apparently.
£8. Very few tickets left here.
Drink: World Whisky Tasting Session, Kosmonaut, Sat 25 Jan, 3pm-5pm
To coincided with Burns Night, a celebration of the poetry and life of Simpsons character Monty Burns, top NQ bar Kosmonaut will play host to a whisky tasting session with each tpye matched to canapés including Zebra Burgers (Zebgers), gravadlax (salmon) and Dutch oliebollen which translates as oiled balls. The latter being a favourite on Tariff Street I hear.
Whiskeys included: Japan’s Nikka Whisky, Swedish Mackmyra Single Malt, South African Bain’s Cape Mountain Whiskey, American Willett Kentucky Bourbon and Dutch Millstone Single Malt.
And as they say: You should always, always mix your whisky.
£5 tickets can be bought at Kosmonaut on Tariff Street.
Theatre: Brendan Cole: Licence To Thrill, Opera House, Sat 25 Jan, 7.30pm
If you’re a fan of So-You-Think-You-Can-Strictly-Come-Out-Dancing-With-The-Stars… On-Ice, then this show is right up your cup of tea.
One of Strictly’s most talented and tabloidy dancers, just behind Ann ‘who signed her up for this?’ Widdecombe and John ‘he’ll probably fall over’ Sargeant, Cole has been touring his live shows since 2010. This time around he’s joined by a twenty–strong cast of musicians and dancers including Aliona ‘if the Cheeky Girls were attractive’ Vilani and his brother, Scott ‘this is getting boring now’ Cole.
Tickets £29.90-£42.90 here.
Comedy: Shits and Giggles, Antwerp Mansion, Rusholme, Sun 26 Jan, 7.30pm-11.30pm
Last week I wrote this for something else but I’m going to use it again here because it’s good stuff: ‘Laughing is good for you. Much better than an Activia, or even reading a whole book. 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 hoped my our organs were in a constant state of stimulation.’
Actually that wasn’t as funny the second time around (probably not even the first) but what is funny is that Jazz-man from The Fast Show, Jon Thompson, who’ll be making a stand-up comeback at the best Manchester venue you’ve never heard of - not 2022NQ, everyone’s heard of that now. Nicccccce.
£5 tickets here.
Museum: Women and Industry in 1WW, IWM North, Salford Quays, Until Sept 2014
2014-2018 marks the centenary of the First World War in which the Imperial War Museum shall lead a four year programme of events.
This photographic display, on show outside of the museum, reveals huge 5m high images by photographer GP Lewis of the crucial work undertaken by women in industry during the conflict.
The images document women’s vital contribution to the war effort in factories across the North West of England almost 100 years ago.
FREE. Info here.
Music: Dancehouse Live, The Dancehouse Theatre, Weds 29 Jan, 8pm
The Dancehouse, with it’s newly installed 6000 lumen projector with 16ft x 9ft screen and KV25kw sound-system (nah me neither but sounds nifty), is looking to add more live music and audio visual spectacles to its programme of events this year, as well as being home to Confidential's relatively new and flourishing Film Club (next Film Clubs are The Exorcist on Valentines Day - edgy, we know - and The Notebook on 20 Feb).
The theatre wants to focus on bringing in and pushing local acts in its 490 capacity auditorium, the first of which will be Manchester bands Silverclub, Letters To Fiesta and Salfordian band Moscow Transport, formerly known as Lada, before that it was just Mule.
£5 tickets here.
Food: New Bar Lunch Menu at The Lounge at Manchester House & New Brunch Menu at Solita, Spinningfields and NQ
Two big hitters of the Manchester dining scene have two new menus for us to gnash on. If you head to SoLita for brunch and then Manchester House for the new lunch menu, you can skip dinner later. Which is a diet of sorts. DVD next. Just need a fat celeb to swear by it. $$$
Manchester House's new menu - available only in the 12th floor feeder bar for the main restaurant - including Swiss cheese burger, French onion soup and poached salmon and hollandaise sandwich with duck fat chips starts from £9.
Solita's new brunch menu starting from £4.90 includes house waffles, buttermilk pancakes, truffled egg on toast and the Bodybuilder's Breakfast with a six egg white omlette and chicken. And a really heavy drink to lift, like a Mercury protein shake.
Buttermilk fried chicken, sausage gravy and maple syrup for brekkie, Swiss cheese burger for lunch. Watch the pounds drop off.
SoLita brunch menu, Fri-Sun, 10am-1pm.
Manchester House lunch menu, Tues-Sat, 12-6pm.
Exhibition: FC United of Manchester: Union is Strength, People's History Museum, Until 23 Feb
In 2005 FC United of Manchester were formed in reaction to American Malcolm Glazer's controversial takeover of Manchester United - and because many fans were terrified of his upside down head, like Harry Potter and Ron Weasley melted together and aged three hundred years.
Many saw the Glazer takeover as the last straw in the commericialisation of football. A working-class sport absorbed by the Man.
So FC United took it to the man by forming a community football club owned and democratically run by its 2,000-plus members. Membership is open to all with everyone an equal co-owner, holding one voting share in the club. And, of course, they've all stopped watching MOTD. But not because of commercialisation it's just Hansen is so annoying.
This exhibition charts the rise of the club's 'punk football' vision.
FREE. More info here.
Music: London Grammar, Manchester Academy, Weds 29 Jan, 7pm
Now and then a voice comes along that is so powerful that if pointed directly at your face it can strip the cornea from your very eyes. Whitney, Mariah, Christina, Winehouse, Queen Bee, Adele, Florence, Lana, all possess vocal chords that could hold back rampaging buffalo. London Grammar's Hannah Reid is off that same ilk, just don't call her 'fit'. She is, but don't say it. She'll double barrell you.
In the year of twerking, blurred lines, Kimyee and all that other nonsense that us lettered lot pretend not to like, it's great to see an old school young British band making real and potent music. Angsty, smooth and transfixing stuff. See here:
£14 tickets here.
Talk: The Writer’s Mind: Jeanette Winterson, San Carlo's Farmacia del Dolce, Selfridges, Weds 29 Jan, 6pm-8pm
Part of the Selfridges and Whitworth Gallery's collaborative Festival of Imagination comes this discussion with Jeanette Winterson, a multi award-winning writer and professor at The University of Manchester. Winterson has published a number works including the celebrated novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and, most recently, smash-hit Oi. You. Eat a banana - made that last one up.
Winterson will be discussing her work as attendees tuck into a complimentary glass of wine and a tasting plate of San Carlo's signature dishes.
Tickets £10. To book tickets call 0161 838 0610 or email FOI@selfridges.co.uk
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