All listed event times are subject to change – please double check on the dedicated websites.
Music: J Dilla Changed My Life, Ruby Lounge: 1 February
The now annual event celebrating the musical impact of the late James Yancey, or J Dilla, takes place this Friday at the Ruby Lounge. The Detroit born producer was one of the most influential artists in the hip-hop world before he passed away at the age of just 32 as a result of a rare blood disease.
Yancey created a new sound which inspired music lovers around the world and left a lasting legacy in the form of the J Dilla Foundation to help cure Lupus. Hosted by Yancey’s close friend Phat Kat the night will see the likes of Mr Scruff, Illum Sphere, Spin Doctor and Kidkanevil on DJ duties paying tribute to the producer that influenced them all.
Doors open at 9pm with a minimum donation of £6 with all proceeds going to the J Dilla Foundation and Lupus UK. Booking in advance is recommended with more information available on Facebook here.
Music: Thumpers, The Castle: 1 February
Thumpers are a multi-instrumental duo who have been around before albeit under a different guise. Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr were members of the now defunct Pull Tiger Tail in the NME pedalled ‘New Rave’ days.
The pair now deal in misty sentimental euphoric sounds with family and friends roped in to live performances. "Lyrically, the record we've made deals with firsts, youth, growing up, hometowns – and all that goes with that like your family and leaving that place" explains Hamson. With only two released songs its early days but The Castle for £5 seems like a good deal for a Friday night, more information and tickets available here.
Theatre: I’m Frank Morgan, Lass O’Gowrie: 1-2 February
Joe O’Byrne’s revamped and critically acclaimed one man play returns to Manchester this weekend as part of Lassfest 13 at the Lass O’Gowrie. The Ian Curley directed play tells the story of Frank – a hard man club owner in a dirty old town. Surveying his domain Frank shines a light on his own demons and past misdeeds as he descends into dark waters. O’Bryne will perform two shows daily at 6.30pm and 9pm, Tickets are £6 in advance here or £8 on the door with additional information available here.
Food: Damson, Salford Quays: 1 February
Damson, the Heaton Moor established modern British posh nosh eatery is opening a new restaurant in Salford Quays this Friday. Damson was originally established in 2009 by Steve Pilling and Simon Stanley with the pair receiving more awards from the Manchester Food and Drink Festival than anyone else in its history. The first independent restaurant in the broadcasting hub overlooks the MediaCityUK garden and piazza, a welcome change from the bland chains which currently operate in the area. The menu will include signature dishes such as Whitby crab and parsley risotto with salt and vinegar cockles; grilled scallops with slow cooked middle white pork belly and Bury black pudding croquettes, and for desserts, spiced apple puree, golden raisins and caramelised pain perdu with roasted pear, honey and yoghurt ice cream, Earl Grey tea jelly and honeycomb.
Music: BBC Philharmonic with Hakan Hardenberger, Bridgewater Hall: 1 February
Prepare to be amazed as Håkan Hardenberger, probably the world’s greatest trumpeter, joins conductor John Storgårds in a showpiece written specially for him, then swaps places to conduct while Storgårds plays a concerto written to display his own incredible violin playing. This could just be showing off but if you’re known as ‘the world’s greatest anything’ then you’re probably allowed to. Tickets and further information available here.
Drink: Manchester Homebrew Meeting, Port Street Beer House: 3 February
Beer, we’d be nowhere without it. Our passions for malt and hops has endured through the generations and shaped where we’re at in the world today. Mostly that means paying prices approaching £5 for a pint of that sweet nectar. A homebrew revolution of sorts is currently on the rise leading to many diverse microbrewers making the leap from amateur to professional – it’s exactly how Brew Dog started. Manchester Homebrewers are a group of like-minded folk offering up their experience and ideas to local home brewing enthusiasts. This month’s meeting will take place from 3pm in Port Street Beer House’s upstairs room and specifically focus on single hop concoctions. Of course attendees are encouraged to bring along their own creations for discussion. The group meets regularly on the first Sunday of each month and is free to all, more info at @mancshomebrew.
Shopping: Castlefield Market, Castle Street: 3 February
Manchester’s biggest artisan food, craft and vintage market will pop up in Castlefield once again this Sunday. Old favourites and new stalls will mark the events first appearance this year with something for casual browsers and shoppers alike. Some new faces for this Sunday are Pextenement Cheese with their award winning organic cheeses; The Happy Belly with free range sausage rolls and sausages and Chilli Heaven with their chilli marinades, soups and sauces. Aside from food there will of course be clothes, jewellery, antiques, crafts and vintage stalls as well. Live music will also come courtesy of the Cotton Town Hot Club from midday. The market runs from 10am-4pm with free parking down Castle Street near Dukes92. More information available here.
Exhibition: Bench Self Made Gallery – The world According to MAS: 1-17 February
Opening Friday 1st February, the Bench Self Made Gallery hosts The World According to MAS, a collection of individual photographic works by the MA photography students of Manchester School of Art. Featuring the work of post-graduate MMU students, The World According to MAS invites the artists explore their personal perspectives of the world around them. The exhibition is a series of individual studies on a diverse range of topics, including the socio-economics of built environments, the communities that exist within them and relationship between nature and the modern world. The exhibition combines both traditional and conceptual approaches to the medium of photography and eight individual ways of seeing. The exhibition will be on show at the Bench Self Made Gallery beneath the Bench store at 59 Church Street. Opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 11am-5pm and entry is free. More information can be found on Facebook here.
Film: Rosa Barba – Subject To Constant Change, Cornerhouse: 1 February-24 March
'Subject to Constant Change' is a major solo exhibition from celebrated Italian-German artist Rosa Barba. This exhibition is a unique collaboration between Cornerhouse and Turner Contemporary, Margate. Each venue will present a distinct part of newly commissioned film work Subconscious Society, which will be shown in different formats in the two venues. The film was shot on location in Manchester and Kent, here the grandiose surroundings of the former Albert Hall venue on Peter Street were used. For the film Barba assembled a group of local residents with specific memories of the building and filmed them inside to reflect on the nature of relics of a previous analogue age increasingly mysterious in the digital present. Further information can be found here.
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