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Things To Do This Week: 24 – 30 May

Things for this Bank Holiday Weekend and some extra tidbits through the week

Written by . Published on May 24th 2013.

Things To Do This Week: 24 – 30 May

Sport: BT Great City Games, Deansgate, Saturday 25 May, 9.30am – 2.30pm

World class athletes from around the world go head-to-head on the streets of Manchester this Saturday. Now in its fifth year in the city, the event will take place down the Great City Games track, laid along Manchester’s aorta, Deansgate, whilst there’ll also be a purpose-built long jump pit installed in Albert Square. A crowd of 20,000 people are expected on Saturday to see Olympic and Paralympic athletes including Gold medallist Greg Rutherford, 2012 IAAF World Female Athlete of the Year, USA’s Allyson Felix and a sprinters showdown between Mark Lewis France, Felix Sanchez , Dwain Chambers (the dope).

And yes, this is the reason for all the traffic disruptions on Deansgate, that and Bupa’s Great Run on Sunday – but stop being a bloody spoil sport.

Entry is free. More info on the BT Great CityGames Manchester here.

Sprinters on DeansgateSprinters on Deansgate

Drink: Wine Fest, Halle St Peter’s Church, Ancoats, Friday 24 May – Saturday 25 May

Like wine? Yes. Like festivals? Yes. Like Churches? Yes. Cor’ blimey you better get along to this festival of wine… in a church. For this is the North West Wine Roadshow, a travelling celebration of boutique wines brought to the region through independent merchants. The setting for these boozy afternoons, St Peter’s Church in Ancoats, has recently come under the spotlight as the location for Kenneth Brannagh’s portrayal of MacBeth (don’t say it) in the upcoming and newly-fangled Manchester International Festival. The church will be overtaken by over a dozen wine retailers all hustling the finest of their grape juice. The entrance fee covers the tastings for the whole session, which is handy.

£15. Tickets for Wine Fest are available here.

Wine FestWine Fest

Festival: Dot to Dot Festival, Various Venues (mostly in and around Oxford Rd), Friday 24 May, 3pm – 4am

Now in its ninth year, this round of Dot to Dot is to be the biggest and best to date. With nearly 100 acts including Little Green Cars, Dry The River and Wilmslow’s own The 1975 (with that annoying Chocolate song played on Radio 1 at least 439 times a day over the past few months), playing at venues ranging from the Deaf Institute to Gorilla, The Ritz to the Thirsty Scholar.

What’s particularly handy about Dot to Dot is that all the venues are in marching/prancing/stumbling distance of each other. The longest walking distance between venues is only around the fifteen minute mark (twenty if you’ve had a few shandies), while the shortest is over the road. With an established reputation for picking-up unearthed acts and emerging talent, this thirteen hour alt-music extravaganza looks to be an exhilarating, if not exhausting spectacle. Just don’t wear high heels.

Get your Dot to Dot tickets for £22.40 here (around £2.50 an act, if you can be in nine places at once).

Dot to Dot FestivalDot to Dot Festival

Drink: The Long Bar, Spinningfields Lawns, Opening this weekend

Yes, believe it or not they’re actually going to be opening one of those creations they’ve been hammering out next to Spinningfield’s new tennis courts (the prison looking one). The launch this weekend is to be a bank holiday blow-out, with DJ’s Ya Dig? funking the fun out of the cities hottest new outdoor supping spot. The Long Bar will have exclusive access to designated areas of the newly laid 5aside pitches, serving up cold beers, cocktails (well it is owned by the same group as the Alchemist next door) and even a few nibbles – expect to see plenty of (fake) tanned flesh and tiny denim hot pants this summer. Beats the Locks anyway.

Long BarLong Bar

Museum: Warriors of the Plain: 200 years of Native North American Honour and Ritual, Manchester Museum, Opening Saturday 25 May

Red Cloud, Cochise, Crazy Horse, Sacajewea, Tatonka, Geronimoooooooooo, none of these famous Native Americans will be present at the exhibition, primarily because they’ve all been dead for between 100-200 years. However, what will be present are plenty of bona fide ceremonial shirts, moccasins, tomahawks, shields and the odd scalp or two (yes genuine human scalps – a prized trophy for the brave, and the balding). This exhibition focuses on the material culture of the Native North American Indians of the Plains between 1800 and the present and the legacy of these warrior societies.

The exhibition is free, more information on Warriors of the Plains here.

Kids: Horrible Histories Horrible Half Term: Rotten Rationing, IMW North, Opening Saturday 25 May

IMW North are inviting families to visit this half term and find out just how rotten wartime rationing was. Step into the brand new immersive 360 degree Big Picture Show, learn how to make-do-and-mend, walk into a Northern wartime food market, join in a sing-a-long and see what it would be like to eat sheep’s head broth, or maybe a bowl of squirrel tail soup. Mmmmm delectable.

Could you get by on powdered egg? Would you be fooled by a parsnip masquerading as a banana? Interestingly, during the 2WW many people hadn’t ever seen a banana, soldiers would occasionally bring them home from abroad and people would flock from blocks away just to catch a glimpse of this exotic fruit – Then again, hardly anybody owned a TV back then so going to see a bunch of bananas was akin to watching TOWIE or Made in Chelsea – only bananas contain infinitely more substance and appeal.

Find out more about Horrible Histories at the IMW North here.

Sport: The Rugby League Magic Weekend, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 May, 12pm – 9pm

Showcasing the best of the Super League, the Magic Weekend will feature a complete round of fixtures with all fourteen Super League teams competing in one venue over one weekend. It’s a veritable eggstravaganza. This weekend provides Rugby fans the opportunity to see all the stars of the Super League including England players Sam Tomkins, Kevin Sinfield and Adrian Morley in one fell swoop.

First played in 2007, the Magic Weekend has become a pivotal point in the Rugby League calendar with 63,000 fans attending the event over the course of the weekend in 2012. Unfortunately, so did Paul Daniels. Think he got the wrong end of the stick.

Tickets for the Magic Weekend available here.

Market: Chorlton Bazaar, Chorlton Irish Club, Sunday 26 May, 1pm – 7pm

Heading to the leafy suburb of Chorlton this Bank Holiday Sunday is the Chorlton Bazaar, a flea-market on steroids. With a collection of stalls hustling vintage threads, vinyl records, crafty goods and even revamped rubbish (I believe the technical term is ‘upcycled goods’ – stuff no one wants turned into stuff you just might want). Providing the soundtrack for the day will be Chorlton’s own Eighty Six DJs, who rather disappointingly, are neither 86 in number or 86 in age. Oh well, there’ll also be a host of grubbery with Fire & Salt BBQ serving up barbeque pork rolls and mac’n’cheese, while Chaat Cart will be dishing up South Indian vegetarian street food – fooder you won’t find down the Curry Mile.

Entry is £1. More info on Chorlton Bazaar here.

Sport: Bupa Great Manchester Run, City Centre, Sunday 26 May, 10am-2pm

Forget the 40K London Marathon, or indeed Newcastle’s 20K Great North Run, because,  let’s be honest, they’re too long, and a bit dull. It’s all about the 10K these days, and that’s where Bupa’s Great Manchester Run comes in with 40,000 people expected to hit the streets over the course of this Sunday. Starting in the city centre at Portland Street, the route will weave its way over to Old Trafford, through Salford Quays, then back for the grandstand finish on Deansgate. With bands playing at six locations along the route as well as Key103 hosting the Wall of Sound at the finish, you’ll even have something to watch when all the sweaty knackered people becomes, you know, a bit same’y.

More information on the Bupa Great Manchester Run here.

Bupa Great Manchester RunBupa Great Manchester Run

Sport: Salford Wake Battles, Salford Quays Wake Park, Sunday 26 May, from 11am

The British Wakeboard team takes on a host of Pro wakeboarders as they go head to head in a Wake Battle down at the newly launched Salford Quays Wake Park on the Ontario Basin (read about it here). Capital FM’s Street Stars and RedBull’s DJ truck will be keeping the party alive as demo riders Alex Newman and Steph Caller take to the water. All the Wake Park staff will be around and on hand if you want to have a quick chin-wag about getting involved in the fastest growing watersport in the world. Believe us, it’s a bloody blast. If you do get in the water, just don’t expect to see your testicles for the next two weeks (providing you have any – better if not).

Free entry. Information on Salford Wake Park here.

Tours: Ghosts Tours, Sunday 25 May

The editor, Jonathan Schofield, is turning into Gollum. He spends a good proportion of his leisure time in the city's dark spaces. This Saturday at 1.30pm from the War Memorial in St Ann's Square he's taking people under the Barton Arcade with spooky stories and a new gadget he wants to try out in the dark on guests. Maybe we should call the police? It's all great fun though.

£8. Book here on Confidential Tours 2013.

Into the darkInto the dark

Festival: Spinfest 2013: Latin, Spinningfields, Oast House, Monday 27 May, 2pm - late

There’ll be musicians from Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Costa Rica, Spain and even the UK, heading up the second instalment of SpinFest’s three part summer Bank-Holiday spectacular. The Manchester School of Samba will orchestrate Spinningfield’s first (and probably last) carnival parade while over at the Mojito bar you can learn to do a spot of Salsa dancing à la Ricky Martin – lubricated with rum naturally. If you have to bring the kids down (which, let’s be honest, no one really wants) then there’ll be plenty of things to keep the little rascals entertained with a sandpit, dressing-up, story corner and everyone’s favourite since 1949, Lego.

Information on Spinfest 2013 available here.

Spinfest last Bank HolidaySpinfest last Bank Holiday

Film: Tsar to Lenin, Cornerhouse, Monday 27 May, 6.30pm

“The most vital and important film in the history of movies” is a far old tag, but this was what the New York Post claimed in 1937. It’s certainly a ground-breaking piece of twentieth century documentarism. A compelling cinematic account of the Russian Revolution, the film tracks the populist mass uprisings of 1917, the overthrowing of the Tsarist regime, the establishment of the first socialist state and the eventual victory of the Soviets in 1921.

Set in chronological order, the narrated archive footage gives us a glimpse of the tyrannical Tsar at home (and weirdly, skinny dipping), workers protesting, the liberation of the peasants, bodies lining the streets and rare footage of Lenin and Trotsky. Particularly haunting is the footage showing the firing squads, we see a revolutionary laughing down the barrel of ten rifles as he faces his ultimate demise. It’s an image that stays with you.

Tickets for Tsar to Lenin are available here. But be quick, there is only one showing at 6.30pm and it will sell out.

Music: Ghostpoet, Gorilla, Tuesday 28 May, 8pm – 11pm (last entry 10pm)

No none of that beatnik, spoken word mumbo-jumbo. Obaro Ejimiwe, aka Ghostpoet produces a distinctive blend of looped electronic ditties overlain with a chorus of his refreshingly clever ramblings. Back in 2010 Radio 1 trend-setter Gilles Peterson “took a risk on a random maverick” (Gilles wasn’t in Top Gun by the way) and signed him to his label, Rad. Within a year Ghostpoet’s debut album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam (catchy) was rewarded with a surprise Mercury Prize nomination in 2011. Not bad for a lad from Cov’.

£11 advance. Tickets for Ghostpoet avaliable here.

Comedy: Julian Clary: Position Vacant Apply Within, Middleton Arena, Wednesday 29 May, 8pm

A regular on shows such as QI, Have I Got News For You and Live at the Apollo and winner of Celebrity Big Brother 10 (the least repugnant of the bottom-feeders in the house that year, which is saying something). Clary has built an entire 25 year career out of the double-entrendre, which is quite impressive, because after a quarter of a century you’d have thought he’d run out of nob jokes. Apparently not. The whole premise of the show is that Mr Clary is scouring the country, attempting to pick out a new partner by delving into his audiences and reenacting some kind of 90s Saturday night dating show in which they invariably have to whip off their trousers. Think Cilla Black (but a gay man in a pink suit) crossed with a crap Full Monty and you’re about there.

£20. Tickets for Julian Clary available here.

Julian's looking for a fella'Julian's looking for a fella'

Music: Parov Stelar Band, Manchester Academy, Thursday 30 May, 9pm

"One of the most promosing producers in Europe today" claims the BBC. Austrian musician and DJ Parov Stelar has gained a significant worldwide reputation and achieved an almost cult-ish following after releasing no less than nine albums in as many years, twenty EPs and appearing on more than 700 compilations (so you’d expect him to have a fair few fans, because if hadn’t by now, he’d be really, really crap). With his own-blend of Electro-Swing, a mixture of electro with a touch of jazz, a hint of big band, and a smidgen of blues, Parov and his motley crew of musicians are relatively incomparable and may just be the most interesting band you see this year. Plus Parov’s track Catgroove has notched up an impressive 14m views on Youtube, but then again so has the monkey raping a frog so that’s not saying much.

£24. Tickets for the Parov Stelar Band available here.

Music: Alicia Keys, Manchester Arena, Friday 24 May, 7.30pm

Singer, songwriter, producer and all round R&B Empress Alicia Keys returns to the Manchester Arena this Friday to belt out songs from her back catalogue and 2012 album Girl on Fire, including fan-faves Fallin’,Empire State of Mind and No One. At only 32, wonder-warbler Keys has sold over 30m albums and 30m singles worldwide, won over 100 awards, including fourteen Grammys and sang the most flawless and drawn-out version of Yanky-tissue-botherer Star Spangled Banner at this year’s SuperBowl (a whopping great 156.4 secs, crushing Billy Joel’s feeble 2007 effort by over a minute).

Widely regarded as the finest R&B/Soul songstress since Whitney Houston (before all the crack), this show promises to be an almighty love-in – just try to look past all the pious gratitude and requests to celebrate life by holding your “cellphones in the air” (she actually did this a few days ago in Newcastle). Well, she has recently been appointed the new Creative Director of Blackberry (huge fee: no work). Reports of snipers in the rafters picking off non-Blackberry phones are yet to be confirmed.

Starting at £40, get Alicia Keys tickets here.

Food: 3 Twenty One, Sunday Roast, and through the week The Mancunian Way tray

This new restaurant is over The Deansgate pub and is a real prospect. It's a dandy and handsome space with a talented chef in Jason Latham. Try the cracking roast on a Sunday, lovely Yorkshire pudding, beautiful beef, but dodgy spuds, £12.95. During the week get the sharing box called the Mancunian Way complete with Manchester egg, Lancashire cheese, Eccles Cake, Manchester caviar, Vimto, steak pie, plum and onion chutney, artisan bread and proper butter for £15. 

Read 3 Twenty One review here.

Roast heavenRoast heaven

You can follow David Blake on Twitter @David8Blake.

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