Things to do in Manchester this week: 23rd - 29th March 2018

I should have you know that I'm writing this while drinking a particularly strong vodka with Ginger Pepsi Max. And I've had a few so it may be more rubbish than usual.

By Ben Brown | Last updated 11 May 2018

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Luckily for you though I’m off on my hols to Mexico for the wedding of my mate Jon Moore next week so you’ll have Kate Tighe writing this next week. This means it will be more coherent, funnier, and definitely much more informative. In the meantime though, you’re going to have to put up with this lot….

Clubnight of the Conchords
Friday 23rd March
Okay so Bret from Flight of the Conchords has smashed his hand in and so the gig is cancelled. Or at least postponed until another day. But screw it – why should his idiocy get in the way of people having a good time down the Deaf Institute, getting off with each other and having sex to some of his sweet, sweet music while enjoying some chicken nuggets from Chester’s on the side?! So, get some tickets for this top night and enjoy the tunes of these two New Zealand idiots, who aren’t really idiots but actually might be because who breaks their bloody hand nowadays!? It’s the 21st Century. I’ve never broke a bone. So yeah, they’re idiots. Well, Bret is.

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Rochdale Food & Drink Festival
Saturday 24th March
A few years back the Rochdale Food & Drink Festival would have consisted of a Beer & a Burger in the Regal Moon, a kebab that was found down the back of a tramp’s collar and a bottle of White Lighting spiked with Buckfast. Times are-a-changing though and now Rochdale has its own ‘proper’ Food and Drink Festival, leaving all us Oldham lot still scrambling around eating scraps from round the back of the Pizza & Potato Factory. You should expect some proper good guests including Jean-Christophe Novelli, Nisha Katona and Andrew Nutter who will be cooking live, as well as plenty of top grub, family entertainment and that legendary Rochdale charm.

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Manchester Bike Show
Saturday 24th – Sunday 25th March
Now in its 7th year in Manchester, the Bike show is everything you could and should ever expect from an exhibition involving motorbikes. Of course, there is going to be leather. Of course, there is going to be fire. Of course, there is going to be litres of L’Oreal Preference Recital 1.07 Florence Black Hair Dye clogging up the drains. You should also expect plenty of sexy bikes though, with big thick, rubbery wheels and highly polished chrome. It’s a biker’s greatest dream – machines to look at and similarly minded people to chat to. If you’re one of them – get involved.

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Starts Monday 26th March
Now I’m not afraid to tell you that I absolutely bloody love Hairspray. I’m a fully heterosexual male and I’m not ashamed to say that I know all of the bloody words to every song that’s in Hairspray. It’s amazing. If you think that enjoying ‘Welcome to the 60’s’ or dancing to ‘Ladies Choice’ is a bit sad then my advice to you is to stick your head in a blender and get outta my face! Don’t even go there! The story of a fat girl getting on telly in 1960’s Baltimore, all while trying to get off with a lad and supress civil rights movements is a classic – and should definitely be watched while it’s at the Opera House this week.

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Overdrawn at Volta
Tuesday 27th March
I was definitely the best drawer in my Primary School. I probably still am looking at the weird little mutants that come walking out of those school gates nowadays. Back in ‘94 though I was unstoppable. I could do watercolours, charcoal, pens, pencils, blood, glitter, macaroni – you name it and I could make a bit of sweet art out of it. Now though – I’m shite. Years of neglect, booze and ignorance have negated my talent into a small little black spot somewhere in my brain which is never going to get any attention anymore. It could do at Overdrawn though. This week sees them head to Volta in West Didsbury where there will be live art, drawing competitions and just a generally lovely atmosphere in which you can be creative and unleash your inner 1994-year-old.

Volta, 167 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LN


One Night Wednesday at Electrik with Mr. Scruff
Wednesday 28th March
Last time I was at a One Deck Wednesday in Electrik they had the lovely Jane Weaver spinning some discs and although I was playing a little game wondering whether she really was as tall as she looked or was just wearing massive heels – she managed to bang out a proper decent set while I chomped down on a kebab and supped some Germanic liquids. This week sees Mr Scruff’s turn on the stylus, and although he’s had much more practice than Ms Weaver, he’s going to have to pull something good out of the bag to impress a typically well-versed Wednesday crowd. I’m sure he will though. He’s not one to let anyone down. Not like that Bret McKenzie fella.

Electrik, 559 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0AE


A Taste of Manhattan & Jazz at Albatross & Arnold
Thursday 30th March
Now I’m not sure how I feel about this night at Albatross & Arnold. On the one hand it involves Jazz, which as many of the 3 people who actually read this know – I hate. But on the other hand, they’re doing a pretty sweet deal on cocktails, which as many of the 3 people who actually read this know – I love. So, I’m conflicted. But contrary to popular belief, this isn’t all about me, and so I’ll leave it up to you to decide. They’re doing 4 ‘New York’ cocktails for £20, as well as allowing jazz geezer Jeremy Sassoon to play his piano and probably about another 40 instruments. He’s a very talented fella I hear.

Albatross & Arnold, The Range, Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AN


Remake Remodel: Wes Anderson Party
Thursday 29th March
If you were to ask me my favourite Wes Anderson movie the first thing I’d say to you is; “What a boring question you hipster nerd”. But then after a little bit more prodding and coaxing I would begrudgingly say ‘The Life Aquatic’. Okay so it’s not the bestest, bestest movie, and it does manage to make Bill Murray a rather horrible man, but it’s still excellent in my eyes. For three reasons. 1) Cate Blanchett is in it. 2) They have some amazing Adidas trainers in it and 3) the soundtrack by that Brazilian geezer doing Bowie songs is mint. Thursday will give you the chance to talk and strut your inner Wes Anderson at this themed party by the gang at Remake Remodel. It’s always a top night and the added bonus of a potential Fantastic Mr Fox outfit should not be missed.

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