Best Things to do in Manchester this week: 18th - 24th May 2019

Including Eurovision, a TV Festival, a Full Moon Party and the "future of new jazz".

By Ben Brown | May 17th '19

This Saturday sees me head on over to Ibiza for the wedding of Finest director James Barker to his lovely wife Natalie. I’ll therefore be missing ALL of this…

Eurovision Song Contest
Saturday 18th May
When I realised that I’ll be on holiday while Eurovision is on this Saturday I got pretty mad. I seriously think it’s one of the best things on the yearly calendar, a chance to see a bunch of European idiots try to sing, dance and look sexy while dressed up like a prostitute from 1970’s Stockport. It’s kitsch, it’s camp and it doesn’t take itself too seriously – that’s why it’s SO bloody good. Well if you fancy getting involved in some organised fun revolving around Eurovision this Saturday you can’t go wrong with a visit to Canal Street, as most places will be running some form of event around it. Head on over to Via for a massive Eurovision party complete with Euro pop hits and a lovely bit of cabaret on top.

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Great Manchester Run
Sunday 19th May
Just a little bit of friendly advice from Ben Brown here – don’t try and go anywhere near the city centre on Sunday – it’s going to be a nightmare. Thousands of people will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run, a 10k course that seems to attract more and more people with every year and something that will bring any cars or public transport to a standstill for pretty much the whole day. If you’re running in the race – good luck. Make sure you have yourself enough fluids and you do stretches beforehand so you don’t pull a hammy. Once you’re done nothing beats reducing that calorie deficit like some dirty food and a fair few scoops, after all – you’ve earned it.

 

Pilot Light TV Festival
Until Sunday 19th May
Even though it started last week, the brilliant Pilot Light TV Festival runs until Sunday and the weekend sees most of the best stuff going on. Saturday sees Sean Lock and Benedict Wong turn up for a Q&A and screening of the criminally underrated 15 Storeys High – a sitcom that I think only myself and Sean Lock’s mum watched at the time but has now achieved a bit of a cult status. There’ll also be a talk on The Ethics of True Crime featuring Donal MacIntyre, a Smack the Pony 20th anniversary screening, a Sopranos Q&A and even a Game of Thrones screening with Dolorous Edd himself Ben Crompton to field questions and chew the fat. Click below for much more detailed information on the whole thing.

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Back to Mein with Chimpo & Nanny Banton @ Alberts Schloss
Monday 20th May
It’s Nanny Banton’s birthday on Monday and to celebrate him and Chimpo are heading over to Alberts Schloss to take over their Back to Mein night. I don’t know how old Nanny is but by looking at him I’d say he was somewhere in the his early 40’s – although he might just have had a difficult paper round when he was a kid. If you want to go over and say Happy Birthday to him at Schloss you should probably also have some form of booze for him too. Expect the lads to be spinning some of the best hip-hop, garage and 90’s bangers right through to the early hour.

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Game of Thrones Final Episode Ever
Monday 20th May
There’s been a lot of talk recently, both on the Internet and in the real world, about the lack of quality in this final season of Game of Thrones. Many are saying that it’s too rushed – smashing through storylines and characters faster than a late night version of Hollyoaks (but without as much sex of course). Well I tend to agree there, and even though the last episode was VERY impressive, I feel it’s been lacking somewhat in some of the Thrones magic of yesteryear. Regardless, every man, woman and child will be watching the final episode this Monday evening and if you want to catch it on the biggest screen imaginable, head on down to The Range and enjoy some serious dragon killing action on their 160-inch screens.

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Upcycle Stitch Workshop @ Common
Tuesday 21st May
As one of the greatest seamstresses in the city, this upcycling workshop at Common is right up my street. When me mam started teaching me how to sew it wasn’t for the sake of a job or to impress the ladies, no – it was all so that I could be a tight bastard and save money on clothes – repairing and altering anything I found down the charity shops and jumble sales. This Upcycle Stitch Workshop will appeal to people of a similar vein as they show you how to create your own t-shirt using a bit of fabric, a needle and your very own hands. It promises to be a nice, relaxing evening and not only do you go away with some new found skills, you’ll also walk off with your very own t-shirt.

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Jon Ronson and Tales from The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect
Wednesday 22nd May
Kate Tighe and I went to watch Jon Ronson last year at The Lowry and he was excellent. Even though there was a potentially difficult situation outside with an ex-girlfriend, all was forgotten when one of his guests came up on stage to talk about her psychopath husband who lied to her for 7 years about every aspect of his life and even had 3 or 4 other families on the go at the same time. Sort of puts seeing your ex in a queue for a bag of Maltesers into context really. This time he’ll be bringing his new show to town – Tales from The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect – where he’ll regale us all with some new stories, anecdotes and adventures – mostly about the porn industry by the sounds of it.

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Full Moon Party @ The Liars Club
Wednesday 22nd May
I must be one of the only people in my age bracket who has never been to Thailand. There was a time around 2006-2008 where if you didn’t go to Thailand to buy some big balloon pants and ‘discover yourself’ you were shunned by friends and family as a bit of a failure. Any and all social media at the time would revolve around pictures of you eating a kebab of scorpions as well as the obligatory drugged up tiger crouch shot. There would, of course also be an album on your Facebook page dedicated to a Full Moon Party where you’d drink borderline illegal vodka out of a bucket, get covered head to toe in UV paint and spend all night talking to a bloke called Kevin from Wigan. Well you can all re-live this wonderful time in your life this week as The Liars Club plays host to a Full Moon Party on Wednesday complete with Latin, R&B, Dancehall and Dembow until 4am. Jagerbombs are only £3! Drink responsibly though please.

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Electrik One Deck Wednesday with Pat Nevin
Wednesday 22nd May
You’d be forgiven for not knowing who Pat Nevin is and for questioning why you should even be bothered to attend this week’s Electrik One Deck special with him at the helm. In short he’s an ex-footballer, someone who played for Everton, Chelsea and Scotland back in the day but more recently he’s made a name for himself for his music, DJing in clubs up and down the country and showing off his rather impressive collection of vinyl. Even when playing football, he was a massive music fan and now he doesn’t have to worry about getting two-footed off Vinny Jones he can concentrate on what he’s truly passionate about. As usual One Deck will be starting at 8pm and of course is FREE.

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Kamasi Washington @ Manchester Academy
Friday 24th May
This geezer has been called “the future of new jazz” and so I’m sure most people who know me would expect me to just switch off and start talking about something else instead right about now. Well I’m not going to do that – I’m going to actually make an effort here because I’m trying to be a better person. Honest. Kamasi is an LA based saxophonist, composer, and bandleader whose music draws inspiration from a range of disciplines including soul-jazz, funk, hip-hop and electronic music. So it’s not just the sort of stuffy, boring jazz that you think of when someone mentions that word – it’s much cooler. Like me. Which is why I’m including it in my Things to Do. Obviously.

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Berliner Weisse Party @ Beatnikz Bar
Friday 24th May
A must for anyone who is a fan of sour beers, Beatnikz Bar in the Northern Quarter are hosting this Berliner Weisse Party on Friday featuring a range of new beers from Omnipollo, Vault City Brewing, Lost and Grounded Brewers and Yonder Brewing & Blending. There’ll be guest DJ’s and live music, as well as a very special appearance by a slushie machine – which will likely be churning out some brilliant fruity sour creations. Hear this; Omnipollo will be offering up a Crème Brûlée Sour which sounds like the greatest drink known to man – I’ll certainly be there tucking into that! It sounds brilliant.

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