Event: Chinese New Year, City Centre, Until Sunday 2 Feb
2014 welcomes the Year of the Horse. Which is odd, because I could have sworn that was last year. Isn’t that why we were all eating it? Tesco, Birds Eye, Iceland, Asda, Findus, Lidl, they did a whole thing for it didn’t they? Whacked it in all sorts.
Still, the Chinese insist this year is the horse year, and insist on using the lunisolar calendar over the good ‘ole Gregorian. Then again, we’ll all be using the lunisolar soon enough. There’s 1.3 billion of them. It's inevitable.
Manchester has the second largest Chinese community in the UK (“somewhere around 60,000,” Ed.), with 75,000 people turning out to see the Dragon Parade in 2013, expect this celebration to be a whopper: 2000 lanterns, a Chinese Food Market at St Ann’s, a 175ft dancing dragon, martial arts, Chinese music, cinema, art and, of course, gambling.
Quiz: The Castlefield Quiz, Dukes 92, 18 Castle St, Manchester M3 4LZ. Sunday 2 Feb, 7.30pm.
The Castlefield Quiz is back due to popular demand. Teams of up to six people are welcome. Entry is £1 per person. Just turn up. No advanced booking needed. The event will again be hosted by Jonathan Schofield, editor of Manchester Confidential, writer, blue badge guide, Castlefield fan and all round good egg. Talking of food, Dukes’ famous cheese and pate counter will be open throughout the evening and there will be a half hour break to allow people to eat if they wish. We have 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for the winning teams kindly donated by local businesses.
Light Show: Subliminal, John Rylands Library, Saturday. 6pm-9pm. Free entrance with booking at www.subluminal.eu
Subluminal, a group of design professionals, is bringing its own form of sensory experience to John Rylands Library on Saturday. The late Victorian neo-Gothic building, located in the centre of Deansgate, Manchester, will be transformed by a light and sound installation, ‘taking attendees on a multi-sensory journey through the Grade 1 listed building’. Subluminal is founded by four members of BDP’s Manchester studio along with members of Arup Acoustics and Cundall Lighting and they say, “The Subluminal movement aims to play host to people’s emotions and the event will twist their perceptions of light, sound and space in the forbidden areas of John Rylands Library.” That’s how arty types speak apparently. But if you want a sneak into JRL’s damp and musty parts then this should be good.
John Rylands Library
Film: Rocky Horror Show, Dancehouse Theatre, Oxford Road, Fri 31 Jan, Doors 7pm, Film 8pm
Much like a tsunami or the EDL, it’s easy to see when the Rocky Horror Show has rolled into town. There’s something brilliant about sitting next to a bloke in fishnets on a tram. Not only does it exhibit the glorious myriad of life, but you get to watch elderly folk looking uncomfortable. Which is a show in itself.
They scarcely come more cult than Richard O’Brien’s low-budget freak show featuring Dr Frank N. Furter (a transvestite alien or something) Riff Raff (a baldy butler that resembles a hungry Hulk Hogan), Rocky (Hitler’s Aryan wet dream), a few groupies and even Meat Loaf…bloody Meat Loaf. Expect pandemonium and toilet paper.
£22.50 gets you a ticket including three themed cocktails from Robert Owen Brown. Buy tickets here.
Music: Martin Carthy, Band On The Wall, Fri 31 Jan, 7.30pm
Not many can say that they have inspired Bob Dylan (except Rabbie Burns, Poe, Seeger and N.W.A), of course, generally it’s the other way round, often vocalised by those trying to grasp back a grain of cool (Mumford, KOL, probably Madonnna). Even less can say that they made Hamlet funny – Well, the ‘Godfather’ of English folk, Martin Carthy can.
The original compositor of Scarborough Fair will be playing an intimate gig at Band on the Wall. Carthy remains a largely unknown and criminally underrated folk musician still to this day. Still, might be a fairly long gig. He’s got seventeen albums to draw from. Best bring a sleeping bag.
Tickets £15.40 here.
Talk: Imaginative Lunchtime: Thinking With Dinosaurs, Festival of Imagination, Third Floor, Selfridges, Fri 31 Jan, 12.30pm-1.15pm
Crack-pot Oz billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer once tried to build a real-life Jurassic Park. At one point he'd reportedly recruited the team behind Dolly the Sheep. Palmersaurus Theme Park ended up just being a golf course with a load of big plastic dinosaurs, like a really big expensive crazy golf.
Didn't quite live up to expectations that one. This talk probably will. Talks often do. Because they're talks. Plus it's free.
Dr. Phil Manning, one of the country’s leading palaeontologists, and Nick Merriman, Director of the Manchester Museum, will be hosting a lively talk about how imagination, alongside scientific enquiry, helps us to resurrect, reconstruct and understand dinosaurs.
FREE. To book email FOImanchester@selfridges.co.uk
Club: Horse Meat Disco (HMD to its pals), Twenty Twenty Two (formerly 2022NQ), Sat 1 Feb, 4pm-3am (HMD from midnight)
Just as people had begun to figure out what 2022NQ was about and most importantly, where it 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 been dropped (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]). And after that it's going to be so achingly hip it's not going to even bother with a name. Nor serve drinks. Nor let anyone in.
The HMD four-man DJ collective are now in their tenth year and have been playing disco before disco even came back around. In fact, they were playing disco before disco even knew about disco. Before CHIC invented disco. Now that's f**king disco.
Free before 8pm. £5 8pm-10pm. £10 from £10pm. So you pay more the less time you spend there. Sound (HMD from midnight)
Sport: Superbowl in the Ballroom, Black Dog NQ, Sun 2 Feb, 11.30pm
You may have noticed the NFL muscling its way over the Atlantic in recent years. So much so that people are even staying up and taking days off work to watch it through the early hours. Which is unbelievable considering it's been proven that nobody beyond the borders of the United States has a bloody clue what's going on.
This is what I've gathered so far: You have to look like a fridge to compete, there's way too many lines on the pitch, the referees throw hankies around like a Morris dancer at Footlocker, headbutting team-mates is encouraged and that somebody usually cocks up during the half-time show. Exposes a boob or sits on a drum-stick or something.
Still, the Superbowl is a whopping spectacle. Drawing in over 100 million viewers worldwide. Just a smidge less than when Hayley died on Corrie. Black Dog NQ are throwing a Superbowl bash, with the big game on the big screen throwing stacks of big free pizza and big wings into your big fat gob.
FREE. To RSVP email email@example.com with the subject ‘SUPER BOWL’
Theatre: Blindsided, Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann's, Until Sat 15 Feb
Bolstered by actress Julie Hasmondhalgh's Corro Cropper copping it, this fourth play by Olivier Award winning Simon Stephens begins in Stockport in 1979 with 17-year-old Cathy. She meets John, who is a faux-accountant, actually a burglar, but also a Thatcherite and by all accounts, a bit of a git. Both Cathy and John are odd, that is clear, particularly as they each individually make sweet love to the stage. Not each other. The Corronites coming to see Hayley will love that.
£10-£36 tickets here.
Art: Relics: Paintings and Drawings by David Lunt, Portico Library, Opens Weds 5 Feb
'The Portico Library is bathed in the afterglow of the Age of Enlightenment, ' Ed.
One of Manchester's great buildings, this subscription-only library is also one of its meeker ones. But then, that's how the Portico likes it, tucked unassumingly away by the never-fancied-it-in-there Bank pub on Moseley Street. Entrance by buzzer, creaky floors, battered antique desks, leather reading chairs, a splendid Georgian glass domed ceiling and even a little old woman selling home-made cakes. Books as it should be, before Amazon bought them all.
The reading room holds art exhibitions, for local and national artists, and book-related exhibitions. The latest being Cheshire-artist David Lunt, exploring cinematic image through painting and drawing.
FREE. Info here.
Event: Ping Pong Cha, Yang Sing, Chinatown, Thurs 6 Feb, 6pm-12pm
Ping pong. Beer. Dim sum. All great in their own right. But package them all together like a Shanghai dumpling and you’ve got yourself a night.
The thing is with table tennis, it’s like the racquet version of the heroin. Easy to find (it's the new bowling), relatively inexpensive and dangerously addictive.
It is also globally recognised that the more beer you consume, the better you become at table tennis. That's why the Chinese do so well at competition level, they're all slaughtered.
Register for free here and reserve a table for £20.
Things Not To Do This Week: Burst a blood vessel in your leg. The whole of MCR will shut down.
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