Best Things to do in Manchester this week: 9th – 15th November 2019

Including Homobloc, Pokemon, a Japanese festival and those Christmas lights...

Homobloc + Fringe Events
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th November
I’m sure that you’re aware – it’s Homobloc this Saturday and it looks set to be the biggest bloody party of the year. 10,000 people are set to descend upon Mayfield from 2pm this weekend and I’ll be one of them, dressed like an absolute goon and buzzing off the bottle of Bucky I’ll have just consumed for my breakfast. If you see me, please give me a kiss and a cuddle. Oh yeah, I should also mention the after parties too. There’s loads of them. I’ll be heading to The Refuge on Sunday for a Drag Roast Dinner and to catch Luke Unabomber and Rosin Murphy doing some DJing.

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One Night MCR presents: Setaoc Mass/Yant/Renwick/Carlos Sousa @ Joshua Brooks
Saturday 9th November
Big night down at Joshua Brooks this Saturday as One Night celebrate their 1st anniversary with a stellar line-up that will be banging out the tunes until 4am. 4am! That’s well past my bed time. Anyway, the night also coincides with the release of a new EP by Yant which you can listen to below…

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PokéBar Pop-up
From Saturday 9th November
Pokémon. Apparently, you’ve got to catch ’em all. So I’ve heard. I’ve also heard that you’d better prepare for trouble. And make it double. Oh, and if you’re going to protect the world from devastation, unite all peoples within our nation, denounce the evils of truth and love and extend your reach to the stars above, then you’d better get yourself to this pop-up Pokémon bar this week. There’ll be special burgers and drinks on the go, as well as games and the chance to kick Pikachu up the arse when nobody is looking. Go Team Rocket.

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Habitat @ Off The Square
Launches Saturday 9th November
AK of Manchester streetwear brand Gramm, Yung Omz of Mason Collective and Bad Osiris have got together to create a new kind of night with vibes that they feel have been missing from the city for a while now. Sick of the same middle of the road stuff and bottle clubs that charge a small fortune, their intention is to provide a spot for those who actually care about music, are open to hearing something new, in an environment that’s comfortable without feeling like you have to look, dress, or act a certain way.

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Doki Doki – The Manchester Japanese Festival
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th November
This weekend sees the annual Japanese festival head to the Sugdens Sports Centre once again for 2 days of all things Japanese. That means you’re going to be able to buy some knickers out of a vending machine, sing some karaoke, spear some whales, watch some manga and get dressed up all weird and do the peace sign all the time. I’m only jesting. In fact, this festival is actually really rather brilliant – with talks, demonstrations, parades and showcases of all things Japanese. There’s also plenty of Japanese food knocking about too – which is reason enough to get involved if you ask me.

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SAC32 Exhibition @ Stretford Public Hall
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th November
I was alerted to this event because of it’s proximity to my house and so therefore Mark Zuckerberg has been shoving down my throat for a few weeks now. What is it? Well, as Zuckerberg quite clearly explains, it’s a showcase of over 60 local artists at the rather im-pressive Stretford Public Hall. So art and that. It’s only on this weekend so don’t go thinking you can just waltz in there in a few weeks and get some art. Do it now you lazy get.

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Revealed – An Exhibition by Richard & Michelle Barnard @ Electrik
From Saturday 9th November
What even is art? Basically, if Tracy Emin can sell a manky bed for a couple of million – everything can be art. I reckon if I put a sample of the glunge that comes out of my mouth while sleeping in a little petri dish and sold it to the V&A in London, I’d be called the “next Banksy”. So art is pretty much whatever you make of it and so that brings me to ‘Revealed’ a collaboration between street photographer Richard Barnard and textile artist Michelle Barnard at Electrik. They’ve taken the idea of torn posters and made it into art – using both photography and textiles. It’s on in the bar for the whole of November, perfect for enjoying alongside a pizza or while smashing a roast dinner on a Sunday.

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Make Emo Great Again @ The Deaf Institute
Saturday 9th November
Errrrr….sorry. When was emo NOT great? Never. The people who named this night don’t know what they’re talking about. They do know how to make a good night though so I’ll let them off. The last one was a sell out so you should probably be quick and get a ticket. In the meantime, listen to this to get in the mood…

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Manchester Animation Festival
From Sunday 10th November
Taking place mostly in and around HOME, the Manchester Animation Festival includes not just screenings but also workshops and talks – perfect for anyone looking to get into anima-tion as some sort of job. If that’s what you’re into then you’ve got serious hard graft ahead of you – mostly in trying to live up to the best animated film of all time – The Iron Giant. Strange-ly they’re not showing it at the festival, which is a tragedy, but there’s plenty more to get your teeth into don’t worry.

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Shakespeare’s Sister @ The Bridgewater Hall
Monday 11th November
When I was a young lad, pissing around playing British Bulldogs all of the time, I remember Shakespeare’s Sister being on Top of the Pops for what seemed like fucking ages. The video would play right at the end and it would terrify me, some sweet and innocent girl in space get-ting terrorised by another woman who seemed intent on battering the other one. It was a great tune though and if you’re still a fan you can catch them this week at the Bridgewater Hall for more of the same.

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Lizzo: Cuz I Love You Too Tour
Monday 11th November
Hi Lizzo. As a 34 year old man who is frightened of anything new I unfortunately failed to get tickets for your gig at Victoria Warehouse this week. So I’ve been reduced to begging. Like a little beggar boy in a Charles Dickens novel. A little beggar boy who just needs a break – someone to show him some generosity so he can go and watch you perform while he drinks cider and dances like an idiot. So please, Lizzo, hit me up and sort me out with tickets. I’ll re-pay you with kisses, cuddles and fantastic anecdotes about my interesting life. Lots of love, Ben Brown.

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Christmas Lights Switch On
Thursday 14th November
With the Town Hall out of action, the Christmas Lights Switch On will take place on Deans-gate this year and because I’m old and totally not ‘with it’ – I don’t have a clue who any of the people are who are performing on the night. There’s Becky Hill, HRVY and Four of Dia-monds – all of who I wouldn’t even be able to pick out of a queue in Debenhams – but I’m sure the kids will know ’em. The Grinch will also be there, alongside the cast of ‘SIX’ a new show about Henry VIII’s wives at The Lowry. I expect it’ll be heaving so if you don’t like crowds – stay away.

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Princess Mononoke
Friday 15th November
The beginning of this film is a serious detachment from the usual Studio Ghibli fare. It features blood, heads popping off bodies and even the odd pig getting battered, but rest assured, once this initial violence has calmed down the film quickly turns to what you’d expect. There’re messages about the environment, female empowerment and of course – huge fucking wolves. It’s a great film that’s even better on the big screen – so head on down to the Odeon this week and get involved.

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Off The Record
Friday 15th November
Returning once again to the city, Off The Record is a musical showcase extravaganza, fea-turing a long list of artists and performers who will be taking over the city’s bars and venues for the day. There’ll be a day of live music in 8 Northern Quarter venues, with the likes of HMD, Voodoo Black, Nile Marr, HAiG and loads more all getting involved. Tickets are only 20 quid and you get to see as much as you like. Good value that.

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