Things to do in Manchester this week: 7th – 13th December

I'm going to LA on Tuesday so there is a considerable lack of effort from my part this week.

Next week I will be writing this in LA so I suspect there will be even less effort. Sorry.

Lightwaves @ Salford Quays
From Friday 7th December
Starting this Friday, Salford Quays will be home to Lightwaves – a showcase of digital light art that you can stand and watch and get a little bit hypnotised by while you’re walking through on your way to the Lowry Outlet Mall. Okay, so the chances of anyone actually going to the Lowry Outlet Mall are pretty slim but if you’re in the area, perhaps having a meal at Pier 8 or watching Sarah Milligan at The Lowry then you should check out this light art and take some snaps for your puny Instagram. I don’t really know what else to say about it all to be fair. I’m not a big art guy – but in this case – if you’re like a moth and are attracted to pretty lights and shiny things like me – this will be well worth checking out.

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Manchester Reggae Festival @ Manchester Academy
Friday 7th December
A big celebration of everything reggae, dub, roots and culture, the Manchester Reggae Festival will be heading to Manchester Academy this Friday and you should probably get yourself some tickets as soon as possible because it looks like it’s going to sell out at some point today. Is that enough information? Yeah? Good. Right – let’s talk about something else. Let’s talk about how good Robocop is. The bit where he’s smashing up the cocaine factory trying to arrest Clarence Boddicker? Brilliant innit!

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Bombard Groove presents Aroop Roy @ The Bagel Shop
Friday 7th December
They’ve always got some form of banging night on at The Bagel Shop on Oldham Street and you’ll be pleased to know that this Friday is no different. The gang from Bombard Groove will be showing off with an intimate set with Aroop Roy, pretty much one of the biggest names is world jazz, afro, Latin and funk. He’ll be scratching away for a marathon 3-hour set, all while you shimmy from side-to-side while you wear an oversized Helly Hansen jacket and try to look cool in front of your mates. Here’s some tunes from the lad so you have an idea of what to expect…

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The Playhouse Project Family Rave @ Hatch
Saturday 8th December
Back in the early 90’s if you didn’t spend a Friday night fucked off your face in a field just off the A10 near Stoke then you weren’t doing it properly. Congregating in the middle of nowhere next to a massive speaker and listening to acid house was pretty much the pinnacle of any young person’s life back then – especially considering they didn’t have access to YouTube where they could watch videos of dogs falling over instead. Nowadays though – none of this shit happens. The fuddy-duddy government swooped in and ruined it for everyone and all that’s left is for ravers to focus all of their energy and efforts into their children. This Saturday therefore sees Hatch host a Family Rave from The Playhouse Project where you can take your little sprog and relive the ‘Glory Years’ with a FREE family rave.

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Spinal Tap Disco @ The Ruby Lounge
Saturday 8th December
Around 2006 my mate Joe Davies borrowed my Spinal Tap DVD and I never saw it again. How rude. Actually, come to think about it there were a few other DVDs that I lent out to mates that I never got back. Now is the time to own up people. Who stole The Rock off me and who has my 3-disc special edition of Conan The Barbarian? Bunch of thieving bastards. Anyway, back to Joe Davies and Spinal Tap. It must be said that the film ‘This is Spinal Tap’ is pretty iconic and endlessly quotable – and the songs are pretty decent too – which is impressive considering it’s a massive piss take. If you’re a fan you’ll enjoy this Spinal Tap Disco this Saturday at The Ruby Lounge as there will be loads of tunes, special cocktails and the movie will probably be getting projected onto the wall for the evening.

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All Saints @ Manchester Academy
Saturday 8th December
I don’t usually include gigs in this THINGS TO DO but this particular concert is an exception to the rule. The reason for this is because it’s bloody All Saints. All Saints. Only the second greatest girl band ever in the history of music. Sure, they never reached the pinnacle of genius that is Girls Aloud, but they still did brilliant stuff including that Pure Shores song, that Never Ever one and of course – wearing combat pants without looking like complete idiots. They’re at Manchester Academy this Saturday and if Mel Blatt if you’re reading this – I think you’re fit.

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Finding Your Ikigai @ 33 Oldham Street
Tuesday 11th December
Reading this title reminds me of that bit in Friends where Ross seems to think he has the power or ‘Unagi’ when in reality he’s just a little nerd who was punching well above his weight the moment he got off with Rachel back in season 2. Well, Finding Your Ikigai at 33 Oldham Street has shit-all to do with coffee and New York and is more about exploring the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. It translates to “life’s worth” apparently and so bestselling author Francesc Miralles will be talking about how you can find your own happiness in this crazy, fucked up world. I was always under the impression that most Japanese people lived miserable lives in tiny apartments and shagged sex robots but that is clearly not the case. Clearly.

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12 Doors of Christmas
Wednesday 12th December
This is a THING TO DO that we’ve created so me talking about it in here might be considered a little bit indulgent if I’m being honest. But it’s pretty bloody interesting so I’ve added it to this list and will proceed to explain what it is right now. We’ve managed to get pretty much every single decent place in the city to provide us with some sort of prize, which we will be offering to people from Wednesday 12th December. So, what’s the gimmick? Well each day we will be placing two prizes on random doors around the Northern Quarter, all you need to do is find out which door they’re at, head down and collect it. Simples. We’ve got some absolutely brilliant prizes too – including overnight stays at hotels, meals from a number of restaurants including The Ivy, Tattu and Cottonopolis and even a few Parklife tickets!

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7 by 7’s at 7 One Deck Social @ Electrikbox
Wednesday 12th December
Someone down at Electrikbox at Hatch has got a little bit carried away with the whole concept of ‘7’ and has gone and created an event where DJ’s play 7 songs from their 7″ vinyl collection while wearing 7 items of clothing and balancing 7 things on their heads. Oh and it starts at 7pm too. Quite why they are so obsessed with the number 7 is beyond me, but it doesn’t really matter in the end, all that matters is that there’ll be loads of top tunes from some top DJ’s alongside side top beers from the likes of Track Brew, Beavertown and Northern Monk. It’s free too.

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