Film: Behind the Candelabra, Cornerhouse, opens Friday 7 June
Before Elvis wore bejewelled flares, before Elton borrowed Timmy Mallet’s comedy specs, before Madonna got pyramidal breast implants and before Lady Gaga slaughtered and wore an entire cow – there was Liberace. Between the 1950s and 1970s he was by far the world’s highest paid entertainer, outstripping the King and even Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinitra.
It’s now 26 years since Mr Showmanship himself, the flamboyant American and outrageously camp stage entertainer Liberace died from an Aids-related illness. This film starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon charts his love-affair and tempestuous relationship with handsome young stranger Scott Thorson, from their first meeting backstage to their very bitter and public break-up.
Food: Live Music Fridays, 47 King Street West, every Friday
Good food and good music, why the two go together like Laurel and Hardy, like Snow White and Dwarfs, like the Middle-East and fisticuffs. Over at 47 King Street West they bring in a different band/artist every Friday to entertain diners as they tuck into the new a la carte menu, including pan fried duck breast with rosti potato and seafood linguine with cod cheeks.
This Friday will see Manchester’s own soulful Hayley Skye performing, while on 14 June, Dominic Halpin & The Honey Bs will be bringing swing, jive and half a kilogram of pomade to the city centre restaurant.
Music: The London Afrobeat Collective, Matt & Phreds, Northern Quarter, Friday 7 June, 9.30pm – 1am
Michael Eavis, dairy farmer, founder of Glastonbury and all-round upside-down-head personally requested that the London Afrobeat Collective play his festival in 2011. As well as that, BBC 6 Music DJ and Red Dwarf smeghead Craig Charles has been championing the band for some time now. So they can’t be too shabby.
They’re debut album LAC was well received by critics but it’s in the live arena where the gang have attracted the most attention, particularly at festivals such as Glasto, Green Man, Secret Garden Party and Shambala. Jazz FM has called the group “One of London’s best live bands”, so expect a high-octane, latin-inspired, brassy, funky and potentially sweaty show.
£5. Limited tables remaining. Call 0161 839 7187 for tickets. More info here.
Festival: Parklife Weekender, Heaton Park, 8 June – 9 June
Few weekends in Manchester are so apprehensively awaited than the weekend of Parklife (particularly amongst Studentdom). A debauched, boozey, starry-eyed, frolic-filled musical extravanganza of bleating LED laser-lighting, electronica and fakebaked legs in tiny denim hotpants – there may even be a spot of sunshine this time around – Halle-fucking-lujah.
With an increased weekend capacity (having staggered from Platt Fields to the much more expansive Heaton Park) of 60,000 and headliners including Plan B, Example, The Maccabees and Johnny Marr, the weekend looks set to be a stomper – Just don’t mention Monday.
Many tickets are now sold out out, grab the last few weekend tickets for Parklife here.
Theatre: Soul Sister, The Lowry, until Saturday 8 June
A brand new musical inspired by the music, life and times of Ike and Tina Turner, charting their highs and lows, the passion, the heartbreak and the abuse that lead to their eventual divorce in 1978. Emi Wokoma’s turn as the soul diva has received huge critical acclaim with the Guardian stating that “she’s got a voice that can strip paint or sing a lullaby within the same bar”, while the Daily Telegraph said “Wokoma’s sensational turn as Tina should be the making of her.”
More of a gig than a play, this show is for those that love a spot of soul and throwing as many shapes back at the stage as those performing on it. Less for those that stand awkwardly in front of their theatre seats swaying and clapping like Mrs Doyle at a Cliff Richard concert.
Music: Bon Jovi, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 8 June, starts 4pm
“Wooooooooaaaahhh we’re halfway there. Wooooooooaaaahhh living on a prayer.” So goes one of the most vexaciously seminal rock anthems of all time. Jon Bon Jovi and his seemingly never fading blonde locks, teeth and chiselled Action Man jaw will take to the Etihad Stage this Saturday night, accompanied by the archetypal American rock ensemble. Love or dislike them (loathe is too stronger word: nobody loathes Bon Jovi), you can’t deny that as stadium pop-rock entertainers, Bon Jovi are as flawless as Jon’s hair.
Tickets for Bon Jovi are few and far between so be quick (that’s if you have a spare ton or two).
Festival: Grillstock, Albert Square, Saturday 8 June - Sunday 9 June
Celebrate all things meaty at this rip-roaring US-styled BBQ-fest as the city centre’s Albert Square becomes engulfed beneath a hanging cloud of charcoal smoke and the tempting aroma of seared animal bits. Playing the central role will be a two day King of the Grill competition, a low-and-slow BBQ cook-off with twelve teams battling it out over the hot coals.
There’ll be hot wing, rib and chilli eating competitions for those of a more glutinous persuasion, while the Brooklyn Brewery will be manning the pumps to dish out some fine craft beers to wash down all that bloody meat. All this avaricious consumption will take place to a backing track of live rockabilly, cajun, bluegrass and country sounds.
It’s the closest you can get to the Deep South other then, ya’ know, actually going to the Deep South. But you wouldn't want to do that anyway, have you seen Deliverence?
£10 for the day or £15 for the weekend. Tickets for Grillstock available here.
Music: Rod Stewart, Manchester Arena, Saturday 8 June – Sunday 9 June, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
With a career now in its fifth decade, Rod has sold over 100 million records worldwide, been handed a CBE (that makes him not a mere Member, nor an Officer, but a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire… OooEr) and induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not only this, but he’s gone through at least 10% of the world's female population in the process. Not bad for an apprenticeship footballer at Brentford F.C.
Read: Prestwich Book Festival 2013: An Evening of Crime with Cath Staincliffe, Irish World Heritage Centre, Monday 10 June, 7.30pm
Cath Staincliffe is an established novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV's hit series, Blue Murder. Cath has been short-listed three times for Crime Writers Association awards, jointly winning the short story dagger in 2012 for Laptop. Cath’s own story, of tracing and being re-united with her Irish birth family and her seven brothers and sisters, has been featured in the television documentary Finding Cath for RTE. Her new standalone book, Blink of An Eye, looks at a story of ordinary people caught up in the criminal justice system. She also writes the Scott and Bailey novels based on the popular ITV cop-show; Bleed Like Me is out now.
Cath will be reading from her latest books and talking about her writing life.
Film: Rocky Road to Dublin, Cornerhouse, Tuesday 11 June, 6.30pm
After screening in a Dublin Cinema in 1968, this film was banned for more than three decades, which is good because things just become better once banned. Take Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), this comedy was banned in townships where no cinema screens even existed – brilliantly absurd.
Irish-born journalist Peter Lennon and legendary French cinematographer Raoul Coutard, managed in this film to get a society to completely condemn itself on camera, without really knowing about it. Priests, sportsmen, brain-washed children, all unwittingly convey the truth about a suppressed and censored Republic of Ireland and expose the hypocrisies of the church and state.
Music: Rihanna, Manchester Arena, Wednesday 12 June – Thursday 13 June, 7.30pm
Apart from taking snaps of her arse and having undercover trysts with fist-happy on-off lover and Jacko-wannabe Chris Brown, Rihanna does a bit of the music thing now and then. The Diamonds and We Found Love singer had to add an extra date to her Manchester stop-off due to unprecedented demand. Having bashed out seven albums in as many years while completing five world tours, the Barbadian beaut has become a perennial figure on the pop-landscape in recent years and her tour is certainly likely to reflect this sheer amount of output.
Expect flesh, 47 costume changes, mammoth production values and an indecent amount of crotch gesturing … oh and her to be at least 45 minutes late.
Get any remaining tickets for Rihanna in Manchester here.
Comedy: Reginald D Hunter, The Lowry, Wednesday 12 June – Thursday 13 June, 8pm
There was a media feeding-frenzy and PC-Percy-meltdown this year after the annual PFA (Professional Footballer’s Association) bash in late April. During a season in which the issue of racism in football had been bubbling at the surface, some smart Alec had decided to book a black American comedian who’s previous shows had been titled A Mystery Wrapped in a Nigga and Pride and Prejudice and Niggas. Good idea.
Needless to say, the N word made a few appearances, as did the Jews, women and even the issue of Ireland made it into his bum-fidgeting performance. The busy-bodies went barmy and demanded their five-figure fee back; I’ve actually read that it was all pretty funny. And to be honest anything that pisses off footballers and FA-types has to be worth a watch. Plus he’s always on TV so he must be good, everything on TV is good, just look at Russell Howard...
£23 tickets for Reginald D Hunter at The Lowry here.
10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.
Depends on the arse.Read more
As usual mancon make no reference at all to the Irish Festival again .Read more
Double whammy of good markets too - Levenshulme have a food and drink only market on Saturday and…Read more
There are no excuses for arse-kissing.Read more