Things to do in Manchester this week: 15th – 21st December 2017

The city centre is a bit of a nightmare at the moment. Not only do you have loads of shoppers scrambling to buy Lynx Voodoo box sets for their nephews, you've also got to put up with Christmas Party season.

A chance for every worker to get their one night out away from the wife and sing Christmas Carols at the top of their voice on Lever Street at 3pm on a Tuesday. Here’s some stuff that will take your mind off it all…

Chorlton Green Christmas Market
Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December
What a lovely part of the world Chorlton Green is. So lovely in fact that I tend to stay well away for fear of being mobbed and driven out of town for being the working-class scum that I am. I’ll leave it to you good people then to enjoy their Christmas Markets this weekend which will most likely aim to provide a viable, closer and more local alternative to the big ones in the city centre. I’ve been told that you should expect to find “cool vintage clothing stalls and of course, mulled wine and mince pies”. Oh, and the Horse & Jockey will be taking donations in the form of unwanted coats to give to homeless charities – very nice of them indeed.

 

Purple Rain @ Albert Hall
Saturday 16th December
I went watching this Prince geezer a few years ago at The Ruby Lounge and he was brilliant. It was a time when nobody had really heard from the real Prince for a fair few years – he was probably sat in a room somewhere having sex with 4 guitars at once – and the prospect of him playing live ever again were slim to none. I suppose it’s the same now, what with Prince having snuffed it – there’s only one option available to people – tributes. Well luckily for us, this Purple Rain one is fantastic (he’s called Jimi Love if you’re interested) – effortlessly recreating all the hits. He even looks like him – if it’s really, really dark and you manage to forget your glasses and squint the whole night.

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Howling Rhythm Xmas Howl @ Ruby Lounge
Saturday 16th December
It’s the Howling Rhythm Christmas Special everybody! Yay! Much like the Christmas Specials you’d find on telly in the 70’s, this one features many more bells and whistles, which are much more exciting that Angela Rippon in a leotard. They’ve pulled out the big guns and roped in some actual musicians to play on the night – the brass band type, which is perfect for Christmas if you ask me. Alongside this you can also expect the usual selection of 60s and 70s soul and funk, with a few Motown beauties and the occasional Christmas tune thrown in. It’s only a bloody fiver too.

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Slade
Sunday 17th December
Pretty much the only reason I’ve included Slade in this round up is because I wanted to include this picture for everyone to see. It’s brilliant. Especially Dave Hill’s jacket and trouser combo. Another reason why they’re in here is because they’re actually bloody brilliant – legends of the pop-rock 70’s era when everyone wore space-age plastic fabrics and shagged Legs & Co after Top of the Pops aired on a Friday night. It was to my surprise to learn that Noddy Holder hasn’t even been in the band since the early 90’s – but if Dave Hill is there, with the suit, I will be too.

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Soulwax @ Manchester Academy
Sunday 17th December
Even though it’s on a Sunday night, I still implore you to get down to Manchester Academy and give Soulwax a try. Even when it’s Monday morning and you’ve got a stonking headache and your mouth feels like Gandhi’s crusty sandal – you won’t regret it. Known for their remixing skills, there’s much more to Soulwax than just a couple of geezers pissing about with their iTunes mix, and they never fail to impress when they’re live.

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Dick Whittington at the Opera House
On all week
It’s Panto season which means everyone from Les Dennis to Des Barnes can earn a few bob while dressed up like a fat old woman with big tits, shouting innuendo to a room full of oblivious kids and giggling teachers. This production of Dick Whittington has been called ‘too raunchy’ by many newspapers, and has even had complaints from parents about its ‘lewd’ content. Sounds bloody brilliant to me – that’s the perfect marketing in my books. Michelle did a review which you can read here, but once you’ve done that, you might as well get tickets and go bloody enjoy yourself.

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4 Course Paired Wine Dinner at Albatross & Arnold
Thursday 21st December
Bit of a shameless plug here but I don’t care. Trying to find things to fill this round up has been a nightmare and this event is proper good so it’s here. It’s a 4-course paired meal at new Spinningfields Bar and Restaurant – Albatross & Arnold. Each course has been paired with a lovely bit of vino, and for only £30 you get 4 courses and 4 glasses of wine. I was pleased to hear they were serving up their Lamb Cutlets – which are fantastic, coated in a honey glaze and sprinkled with the best nut ever – the pistachio. For the full menu and to get tickets – check this out…

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Bongo’s Bingo: Winter Wonderland
Thursday 21st December
Good old Bongo’s Bingo. Providing a shining light not only for the people of Manchester in the run up to Christmas, but also for myself in trying to fill this weeks’ bloody list of things to do. I really think that most people in the city have just switched off now and are in Christmas mode – there’s just nothing going on. Johnny Bingo won’t have switched off though – he’s heading to Albert Hall from Thursday to shout out some numbers, call people dick heads and give out some mint prizes – including a lovely Henry Hoover and cold hard cash. It’s a brilliant night – get involved.

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