Things to do in Manchester this week: 12th – 18th October 2018

Did you know that sea otters hold hands while they sleep so that they don't drift apart from each other?

See, that kind of insight and knowledge is what this article is all about. But instead of talking about slippery little wet things in the sea – I’ll be telling you all about what’s happening in the city over the next 7 days. It’s a bit of a slow week but here goes…

Heverlee Belgian Micro Festival
Friday 12th & Saturday 13th October
Keen readers may have noticed that Heverlee’s event was on last week’s Things to Do but seeing as only Jonny, my mum and a fat bloke in Wigan who is bed bound read this bloody thing – it’s in again. It’s also in again because I got it slightly wrong and claimed that the event started on Thursday, when it actually starts proper on Friday this week. Get yourself down to Mayfield Depot and you’ll find a rather stunning space filled with Belgian beers, street art, DJ’s and some lovely food. It really is a lot of fun, and it’s FREE to get into as well. If you don’t want to spend any money you can just potter around enjoying the conversations and music, deftly drinking people’s dregs and leftovers. Easy.

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Manchester Art Fair
Friday 12th – Sunday 14th October
There’s a bunch of bankers who have sponsored the Manchester Art Fair this year and I’m deciding not to use their name in any mention of the event. Not only does it sound stupid but it also makes me want to throttle someone. Anyone. Is nothing sacred anymore? What’s next – the Barclay’s Bank Bedtime Story™, or the HSBC Morning Work Shit™? Well, regardless of a bunch of suit-wearing nerds getting involved, the Manchester Art Fair will be the perfect place this weekend to buy something to go on that empty wall in your house/shed/hovel/sex dungeon. Someone is promising a bit of Banksy but I’m sceptical as shit.

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Bee in the City Farewell Weekend
Friday 12th – Sunday 14th October
If you’re not sick and tired of bees by now then you’re a better person than I. I know it’s a bit controversial to say but I’m so bored of the bloody things being plastered all over the place that when the big Bee in the City statues turned up over the Summer my loud sigh of contempt could be heard in all corners of the city. If you’re not as miserable as I and want to see them for the last time (before they’re bought up Barclay’s and placed in the foyer of their massive new city centre HQ) then you can check them out at the Velodrome this weekend. They’re all in one place too so there won’t be much walking about.

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Basement Record Fair at The Refuge
Saturday 13th October
I wonder if other old music formats will get the same kind of resurgence in popularity that records have seen recently? Perhaps your kids will all be talking about heading down to Andy’s Records to buy a double tape of Now! 168, featuring a singing robot called G^YT$4 and Katy Perry’s son Barry. Or they’ll be nipping to a Minidisc Fair where like-minded folks can gather around a Minidisc player and burn their own songs onto a little plastic disc that just never took off. Until then though you can revel in the record revolution down at The Refuge on Saturday – it’s curated by Chicago-based record label Numero Group and you should expect a bit of obscure soul, disco, garage, Latin and country. Probably a couple of copies of ‘The Greatest Hits of Bread’ too.

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Oxjam at Hatch
Saturday 13th October
The combination of music and charity was pretty much sewn up by scruffy millionaire Bob Geldof all the way back in 1985 with Band Aid and even though he tried to rekindle past glories later on with Live8 – he’s never reached those heady heights of the mid-eighties again. Oxjam is a similar idea – just without Status Quo. This Saturday sees Oxjam officially kick off in the city down at Hatch and you can expect live music (obviously), poetry, workshops and a special feature showcase from the Manchester Women Songwriters’ Collective. The official festival doesn’t kick off until the 3rd November so this can just be a little taster as to what to expect.

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Dirty Dancing Sing a Long Cinema at Gorilla
Saturday 13th October
What’s better than watching Dirty Dancing? Well, pretty much anything. In fact, I’d rather have my genitals danced on by Rik Waller wearing high heels than sit through Dirty Dancing again. I can imagine that the added Sing-a-long factor to this showing will only make it a much more unpleasant experience too. If you actually like the film though, perhaps you like peg-legged swooner Swayze, or identify with a flop-haired tom boy loser who can’t dance, then this will be right up your street. So, grab all of your girl-mates, get a few bottles of Cherry Lambrini down you and go and have some fun this Saturday night – you deserve it.

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Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead at The Lowry
Saturday 13th October
Combining two of the greatest things ever, Rob Kemp has managed to create an act that is so finely tuned towards what I love that all he needs to do is put on a Robocop helmet and I’ll marry the bugger. His schtick is to take the brilliant horror movie Evil Dead 2 (which, in a rather controversial way, is much better than the original) and reinterpret it through the songs of Elvis Presley. How genius is that? His next act, once this one is exhausted, will be to take the hit movie Snakes on a Plane and reinterpret it through the songs of U2. After that he tells me he’s going to take that classic movie Con Air and reinterpret it through the song of Lou Bega. Mambo No. 5 and Nic Cage? Sign me up!

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Snap, Share & Succeed – how to improve your Instagram @ Selfridges Trafford
Sunday 14th October
Everyone is obsessed with Instagram at the moment and not a day goes by when I don’t hear mention of grids and stories here in the Finest office. Personally, I’m not that bothered about the whole thing, but there are a ruck of ‘influencers’ out there who seem to be making bare till out of flogging things or taking decent photos with their iPhone X. As part of the calendar of events at their brand-spanking new Beauty Hall, Selfridges Trafford are putting on a FREE workshop with Instagram expert Katya Williams on how to improve your Insta and get more followers.

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The Bay Horse Tavern Pub Quiz
Tuesday 16th October
The pub quiz at The Bay Horse is back after a short end-of-Summer hiatus and they’ve dropped the ‘comedy’ bit and are just going down the quiz angle – mainly because it wasn’t very funny. It’s also not very funny when you’re languishing at the bottom of the leader board with only 3 questions correct, fuming because you haven’t read a newspaper in 2 years and all the questions about Robocop that you were expecting never came up. Well the new quiz is ready and rearing to go with a new quizmaster and a lovely prize of some sweet, sweet cash monies.

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Distillery Masterclass with Sipsmith at Brasserie Abode
Wednesday 17th October
Another month, another Distillery Masterclass at Brasserie Abode. I went to the last one which was a Whitley Neill Gin one and had a bloody good time with it, so thought it best to encourage people to go to this new one too. The evening will revolve around Sipsmith this time, which is of course another gin. Although the taste of gin is comparable to pouring a full tub of Fairy liquid into your mouth, the Brasserie Abode lot will alleviate this by providing you with a top 5 course meal in which to wash it all down with. I think they’ll also have an ‘expert’ who will talk you through how to drink it. As if we need that!

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Peterloo UK Premiere & Q&A @ HOME
From Wednesday 17th October
Mike Leigh’s new film is all about the Peterloo Massacre which took place near the GMEX all the way back in 1819. Not really the most light-hearted and fun topic to make a film about, as a bunch of tosser aristocrats attacked a crowd of peaceful pro-democracy protesters. It’s a well-documented bit of Manchester history and something that should always be remembered really – especially now – considering Teresa May has probably pondered doing the same thing to a load of Brexit protesters at some point in her sad little life. This week sees the UK premiere of Peterloo at HOME and includes Mike Leigh himself, alongside cast members, at a Q&A afterwards.

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