Music: Magic: A Kind of Queen, Oldham Coliseum, Friday 31 May, 7.30pm
Anything that puts gold wings and hot pants on Brian Blessed is usually quite a bad thing. However, Queen’s Flash (you know, Da dum dum dum dum dum dum Flash [Boom] Ahhhhhh) became a theme tune to many’er millenial's childhood. Whether or not this tribute act will perform Queen’s greatest track is yet to be seen. What they certainly will be playing however are anthems such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions and We Will Rock You. While claiming they are not “trying to emulate Queen visually”, because nobody can possess hair quite as bad as Brian May, this six-piece will be doing the whole shabang completely live, as you’d expect really.
Art: Harold Riley: Salford 1947 to 2012, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Until Feb 2014
While most of us were digging detritus from our nostrils and drawing nobs in textbooks at eleven-years-old, Harold Riley had just sold his first painting to Salford Art Gallery. The smart arse. Since then Harold has devoted much of his life to capturing the essence of Salford and its people. Heavily influenced by best pal L.S. Lowry (whom he met as a student), Riley is also an accomplished portrait artist having been commissioned to paint figures such as Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy and that Filipino baiting gaffester, Prince Philip. This is an opportunity to see the largest collection of his work gathered in the city that inspired him most.
Market: Vintage and Fashion Market, St Ann’s Square, City Centre, All weekend
An abundance of vintage fashions and contemporary wares from a host of local independent designers and fashionistas. Having moved from their once a month slot in Piccadilly Gardens, the Vintage and Fashion Market will now be an annual four-day event in St Ann’s Square. Grab some burlesque wear from Etra Design, a spot of tie-dye from Pretty in Punk or Jewellery from Earth Chic crafted with tagua nuts. I always been partial to jewellery that resembles nuts.
Theatre: A Doll’s House, Manchester Royal Exchange, Until Saturday 1 June
Things tend to be better once banned. Books (The Satanic Verses), Adverts (Kylie for Agent Provocateur) and Drugs (crack). Henrik Ibsen’s late C19 marriage-bashing play was originally banned in the UK by the Lord Chamberlain for its controversial attack on the monotony of married life and the depiction of the ornamental role of women in society. Bloody fuddy-duddys. Cush Jumbo’s stint as the play’s protagonist has been lauded as 'magnificent' by The Guardian and as a 'rising star' by The Telegraph, so catch a glimpse before she’s gone.
Parade: Manchester Day Parade, City Centre, Sunday 2 June, 2pm - 4pm
First conceived back in 2010, the parade has become an integral part of the city centre's calendar of summertime events. Celebrating everything great about this culturally diverse, creative, innovative and swagger'ish city of ours. Last year over 45,000 came out in the sunshine and watched the parade snake its way through the city, starting at Liverpool Road, the parade will dance it's way down Deansgate and St Mary's Gate, back up towards the Town Hall and then the Midland, finishing back over on Liverpool Road. All in a handy two hour festival of glitzy campness (not quite as camp as Pride but what is? I've been to tent conventions hosted by Dale Winton that were less camp than Pride).
The theme this year is 'Wish You Were Here', a celebration of place, people and identity. Which is strange because it looks almost certain that there's to be a giant purple octopus in the parade. Why is an Octopus always good in a scrape? Because it's well-armed. Our new favourite octopus-themed gag.
Comedy: Top Drawer Funny Presents Cornerhouse Comedy, Cornerhouse, Sunday 2 June, 7.30pm – 11pm
This new fortnightly comedy club brings a host of emerging talent to the city centre with Stretford’s own Des Sharples, nymphomaniac Susan Vale and former-juggler Steve Royle (since that infamous accident with the baby and the trowel, he never juggled again) opening proceedings this Sunday night. Handily, it’s all over by eleven so you even have enough time to go home and lovelessly throw together a spam butty for Monday’s soul-punching lunch. Also, it beats watching that assembly of drips on BBC’s £22m karaoke contest The Voice. I’d rather give £150 worth of crystal meth to a tramp than pay the license fee for that shower-of-shit.
Sport: Red Heart United: Manchester United vs Real Madrid, Old Trafford, Sunday 2 June, 9.30am – 6pm
Zidane. Robson. Figo. Yorke. Hierro. Stam. Sheringham. Cole (Andy, Andy). All average players and all playing at the Legends face-off this Sunday in aid of the Manchester United Foundation; an organisation which helps kids from some of Greater Manchester’s most impoverished areas. As well as the match, which kicks off at 2.30pm, there’ll be all sorts going on around the ground and pop behemoths JLS and Tinchy Stryder will be warming up the crowd pre-kick off (warming being the operative word).
Oh and some little ginger fella called Scholesy has just been added to the squad. Bench fodder.
Under 16s from £5. Adults from £20. All proceeds go to charity. Information and tickets on Red Heart United here.
Theatre: Happy Days Are Here Again, Opera House, Monday 3 June, 2.30pm
Sunday, Monday, happy days. Tuesday, Wednesday, happy days. Thursday, Friday, happy days. Saturday, what a day, groovin’ all week with you. These days are ooouuurrrsss, happy and free (Oh happy days). These days are ooouuurrrsss, share them with me (oh happy days).
Goodbye grey skies, hello blue… You know the rest. This musical tour down memory lane offers up over 60 songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s, paying homage to artists such as Elvis, Buddy Holly, Brenda Lee and even the undeniably-heterosexual Cliff Richard. With tickets from £10 that’s under 60p a song. Cheaper than iTunes that.
Sport: Redbull Road to Harbour Reach, Salford Wake Park, Tuesday 4 June, 5.30pm – 8.30pm
A few weeks ago we were invited to head down to Salford Quays' new Wake Park (read the article here) and it was an absolute blast, if a little chilly on the willy. Well this Tuesday some of the world’s best wakeboarders are set to descend on the new Wake Park as part of Redbull’s Road to Harbour Reach tour, a four-stop UK tour ahead of the final international competition in Liverpool next week. These wakers will be performing a series of tricks, stunts and mostly lounging around with long blonde hair saying douchey things like “rad” and “narly”.
Film: The Stone Roses: Made of Stone, Cornerhouse, Wednesday 5 June, Opens Wednesday 5 June
Back in 2011, frontman and iconic Manc-monkeyman Ian Brown gave Shane Meadows, celebrated director of This is England, a call to tell him the Stone Roses were reforming. It is said that Meadows, in sheer elation at the news, leaped from his taxi and grabbed the nearest person, which happened to be a 92-year old former lunch-lady called Doris, and then participated in a hedonistic and debauched afternoon of sex, acid and Fool’s Gold (Meadows refutes this).
Meadows' film charts the band’s history dating back to 1983 and leading up to their recent comeback shows, including their sell-outs of Heaton Park last year in which they sold 220,000 tickets in just 68 minutes. Apparently Ticketmaster HQ exploded.
Family: Sea Life Opens, Barton Square, Trafford Centre, Thursday 6 June
How does an octopus go to war? Well-armed. My favourite octopus related gag, and there’s a plethora to choose from. Well this brand new attraction coming to the Trafford Centre on Thursday does indeed have a common octopus (it drinks Stella and reads The Daily Star). There’s also sharks, turtles, hermit crabs, big-bellied seahorses (they’ll only eat Pukka Pies), jellyfish, clownfish, lionfish, just loads of things that swim really, oh and some of those Steve Irwin-bothering Stingrays. The bastards.
They also have a European first; the marvellous SeaTREK experience (read our article here).
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