Things to do in Manchester this week: 16th – 22nd February 2018

Here we are, the most mundane week of the year. Valentine's Day is over. Pancake Day is finished and there's nothing to look forward to now except these endless days of drizzle and darkness with the Summer acting as a tiny light at the end of a very long tunnel. Hopefully these can brighten up your week though...

Chinese New Year
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th February
This week sees Chinese New Year kick off in and around the city centre and as you’d expect, both the council and the city’s establishments have pulled out all the stops to make it a big’un. There’s loads of Chinese specials galore, including beauties at Crazy Pedro’s, Cane & Grain, Black Dog and probably everywhere else that have got their hands on some prawn crackers and a handful of beansprouts. I’ve already written a thing about what’s going on in the city – which you can read here – so I’m not going to do it again. I may even find myself chomping down on a few spring rolls over the weekend too – although that’s about as far as I’m willing to go.

 

Thriller Live @ Palace Theatre
Starts Monday 19th February
I think everyone loved Michael Jackson as they were growing up. He had everything; great catchy songs, a top voice, brilliant dance moves that were easy to copy, loads of sequins and his own bloody monkey. Oh, and when he was particularly annoyed he could turn himself into a car and once turned himself into a giant flying robot because Joe Pesci pissed him off. This production at the Palace doesn’t feature any robots or monkeys but it does feature a bunch of people dancing to all his tunes throughout his 40 decades in the limelight. If you like Jacko it’s a must now that he’s bitten the dust, if you don’t – stay at home and listen to Purple Rain instead.

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Brutus Gold’s Love Train @ Albert Hall
Saturday 17th February
If you only do one thing this week – make sure you eat. Oh, and drink water. And floss. And try to do a little bit of exercise – even a sit-up or a bit of rigorous love making will suffice. But all of these things are rather dull and pale into insignificance compared to heading down to the Albert Hall and catching hairy-chested 70’s fuck legend Brutus Gold and his Love Train. And yes, I did just say that it was better than sex and eating. The night is fantastic, and as anyone who used to go when it was on every Wednesday at The Ritz will remember, is full of proper 70’s disco hits, proper disco dancing and everyone’s favourite wedding ritual – THE CONGA. Just get a bloody ticket. I’ll see you in there.

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Big Trouble in Little China
Saturday 17th February
This film is unique insofar that the main character, played by Kurt Russell in boots and a mullet, has absolutely no impact on the plot whatsoever. He’s basically just tagging along the whole way, cracking jokes and trying to get his end away with a green-eyed Kim Cattrall while everyone else fights and pulls the story along. The story is as ridiculous as you’d expect, but it’s brilliant and includes the best baddie death ever when some smarmy Chinese bloke literally balloons up and explodes. They’re showing it this week at the Odeon on the big screen – the exploding head and mullet are definitely worth the price alone.

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Holy Crab @ TROVE
Wednesday 21st February
Another obligatory Levenshulme push from myself here, although when I move to Reddish in a couple of months, they will probably stop. To be honest though I don’t know what I will be able to go on about instead – Reddish isn’t exactly known for its burgeoning food and drink scene. It’s usually just 3 pieces of fried chicken for 99p and a tin of Tizer on the way home from necking someone in the park. Before I move though I’ll be enjoying the Levenshulme vibes and this week sees Holy Crab team up with TROVE once again to bring a night of seafood, booze and banter. As you’d expect, the food will be brilliant, and if TROVE throw in a bit of their bread – you’re onto a winner. Get tickets and check the menu below.

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Synth-Pop Party @ The Pen & Pencil
Friday 16th February
If you are one of the unlucky few who actually know me you will know that I’m a big fan of all of that synth 80’s music that typically involves getting a Casio keyboard, hooking it up to R2-D2 and systematically recording the sound of you kicking the shit out of them both. Tunes from the likes of Depeche Mode, Human League, Ultravox and Yazoo are what we’re talking about here and if you like the same kinda stuff, you should check out my Sunday Synths playlist on the MCR Finest Spotify page. Alternatively, you can head down to The Pen & Pencil on Friday night for an evening of Synth-Pop where you can dance the night away to some of the best tunes ever. If they don’t do ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ tear the place apart.

 

Eubank Jr vs. Groves
Saturday 17th February
If you are a fan of a couple of half-naked, sweaty blokes with big muscles tussling in a ring then you’re in for a treat this Saturday as Chris Eubank Jr. and George Groves go toe-to-toe and compete for the title of the World’s Best Boxer™. Previous holders of the title are Muhammed Ali, Rocky Balboa, Mike Tyson and Martin Halsall from Oldham (circa 1994). Whoever wins will enjoy the luxuries associated with being the best including a crown, unlimited Petit Filous yoghurts and ultimately, the respect of everyone within the boxing community. There’s going to be loads of places to watch the scrap, including Dive NQ who have more screens than NASA and will plough you with loads of drink too.

 

George’s Marvellous Medicine @ The Lowry
Starts 20th February
The Lowry have a couple of things starting next week; something for the oldies (Brief Encounter) and something for the little nippers (George’s Marvellous Medicine). There is a method to this of course. It’s Half Term which not only means the roads will be brilliantly empty, but there will also be millions of parents everywhere looking for something to entertain their children other than an iPad or Disney DVD. Step up George’s Marvellous Medicine which was one of my favourit-est books as a kid but on reflection was basically just a shopping list written by Roald Dahl on a plank of wood in his shed with leaves on the floor. George hates his grandma and so decides to actually poison her with whatever he finds lying around his house. Don’t try it at home kids – your nana will definitely die if you feed her a couple of Persil tablets floating in mouthwash.

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