Ahh the delights of Manchester in November. Fairy lights are twinkling over the city, cosy couples are sipping mulled wine under the Town Hall, and I'm miserable because it's too cold and I want to be on a beach somewhere getting some much needed Vitamin D.
Thankfully though, there’s plenty of things to do inside this week, just get your Uber driver to get as close to the door as possible so you don’t feel the chill. Here you go…
Micron’s 11th Birthday @ Stage & Radio
Friday 17th November, 10pm
Like all 11 year olds, Micron want as much attention as possible but unlike most 11 year olds they actually deserve it. For their big 11th Birthday bash they will be joined by Laura Jones who is well known for her “melodic and menacing house and techno productions” and electric performances in the likes of DC10 in that Ibiza place and Fabric in London where I once paid £25 to get in and left after 20 minutes. Micron is good fun though and I’m sure this party at Stage & Radio will continue their run of top nights with some proper face-melting tunes.
Stage & Radio, 43 Port St, Manchester M1 2EQ
Depeche Mode @ Manchester Arena
Friday 17th November
Nothing beats a bloody good concert, especially when it’s someone who are responsible for the greatest song in existence. Not only do I challenge anyone to listen to ‘Enjoy the Silence’ and not love it and want to marry it, but I’ll also challenge anyone to go to a Depeche Mode concert and not enjoy themselves. Sure some of their newer stuff is a bit rubbish, but with a back catalogue of absolute classics flying around – very little of the night will be taken up with them. Like all concerts nowadays, the tickets are a bit pricey, but there’s still some left if you want to get involved.
Print Fair @ LEAF Cafe
Saturday 18th November
If you are looking for something to adorn your walls, or perhaps you want to buy a Christmas present for that girl behind the counter in Greggs who you really fancy, then you should head on down to LEAF Cafe on Portland Street this Saturday and get your bloody wallet out. They promise to have a “treasure trove of printed and craft goods from local designers, printmakers and illustrators” so there will surely be plenty to choose from, and they will even have a traditional letterpress printing machine there so you can print some pamphlets about The Reformation while you’re at it. It’s FREE and opens at 10am.
LEAF on Portland Street, 113–115 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DW
Starts Saturday 18th November
There’s a pretty extensive Short Film Festival this week in various venues around the city, kicking off with a lavish Grand Opening at the Odeon in the Great Northern on Saturday. The KINOFilm Festival will feature more short films that I care to list here, but if you want to watch a movie, and have the attention span of a goldfish after too many E numbers – this might be your jam. There’s short films from all around the world and many different genres including Polish, Noir, Iranian, Animated, Spanish, Celtic, Experimental, Comedy, Romance, Manchester and even a visit from big Keith out of The Office (who should probably go to the quiz at Kosmonaut too). For a full listing, check out their website right here.
Altrincham Fizz Festival
Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th November
Prosecco is now treated by the national press and supermarkets like some kind of special elixir, where every offer, new bottle or cocktail is treated to the same amount of column inches as if the Queen got a tattoo of a bulldog on her ankle while on holiday. It’s probably because everyone bloody loves the stuff, and it’s the only thing that people spend any money on anymore. Well the lovely town of Altrincham have got in on the act too and will be putting on a Fizz Festival this weekend. With more than 100 fizzy drinks to try and buy, as well as live music, food and master classes – if you like bubbles you’ll be fizzing with excitement. Sorry about that.
The Secret Life of Police Informants
Wednesday 22nd November
Nobody likes a grass. Snitches. Tattle Tails. Snicker-Snatches. They are definitely the worst kind of people – telling all and sundry what you got up to on a night out, or telling Miss Prince in Maths class that you copied your homework off Peter Kessell during break. There is one place that snitches are pretty vital though and that’s in proper crime. Like horrible crime. Most coppers would be up shit creek if it wasn’t for someone on the inside, letting them know what’s happening and stitching up some proper nasty shit-house criminals. This talk will feature Jonathan Tait-Harris, a former Police Detective and UN War Crimes Investigator, as he bangs on about who Informants are and why they do what they do, using extensive case histories and real-life examples.
The Office Quiz @ Kosmonaut
Wednesday 22nd November, 6.30pm
Once again I find myself looking for Office quotes in which to place in this write up for a quiz. Mostly to try to be funny. But also to try and impress my mate Harry Lord who only ever speaks if there is the opportunity to get a quick quote in there or two. The obvious place to look would be to the actual episode which features an pub quiz – which ends up with Tim getting his shoe thrown over the building by Finchy, as well as losing his giant inflatable cock in the car park. Good luck in the quiz if you go, and don’t forget to call your team “Steven Hawkins’ Football Boots”.
Kosmonaut, 10 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
Thanksgiving NFL @ Black Dog Ballroom NWS
Thursday 23rd November
My only experiences of American Football are playing Madden ’95 on my Mega Drive when I was a lad, and watching Ace Ventura on DVD. Laces out and all that. I was a big rugby guy as a kid – and American Football just looks too complicated for me to understand and get my head around. Even playing Madden 95 was a chore, with the game usually getting switched off in favour of Toe Jam and Earl within about 5 minutes. Loads of people love it though, and I think the NFL is proper trying to get us Brits to enjoy it and as such all the games are available to watch on Sky Sports 13. Black Dog Ballroom NWS will also be showing a massive Thanksgiving day of games too this Thursday, where you can also eat loads of American Food while dressed up like Uncle Sam and shooting some guns. PS – don’t shoot guns please.
Black Dog Ballroom NWS, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
Native Youth Winter Sample Sale @ Cottonopolis
Thursday 23rd November (& Friday 24th), 11am – 6pm
It’s Black Friday next week which means the news will be jam-packed full of videos of people going absolutely fucking mental over the chance to buy a Polaroid TV from ASDA, most likely ending up in a riot or at the very least – a granny with a broken hip and a day old French baguette over her head. Before then though, Native Youth are heading to Cottonopolis for a Pre-Black Friday Winter Sample Sale, meaning you can get your hands on some decent clobber at a fraction of the price it would have cost you a few months back. With coats starting at £20 and shirts for £7 you can’t go wrong. Pretty decent for Christmas presents too innit.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE