Now that I’ve tackled the boiler and worked out how to set the thermostat I’m all set for ringing around 15 different call centres so I can allow them to bill me extortionate amounts each month for gas and electric. Perhaps these will be a welcome distraction from it all…
You Dig? Prince vs Chic at The Deaf Institute
Friday 27th April
In a proper fight between Prince and Chic outside a Brewer’s Fayre pub on a Tuesday night, my money would always be on Nile Rodgers. Although Prince could play every instrument under the sun, ensuring his dexterity was good enough to quickly slip a few fingers in your eyes, his tiny dimensions would lack the kind of reach that would give him the edge. Nile Rodgers could just hold Prince’s head while Prince just flailed around trying to score a hit. Easy. In the musical sense though – it’s a different matter. You Dig? are putting on a Prince v Chic night on Friday and although the poster for it looks proper freaky, it should be a top night with some mint 70s, 80s, Funk, Soul & Boogie tunes.
Avengers: Infinity War
From Friday 27th April
Now I don’t claim to be Barry Norman (anyone under the age of 21 – just fucking Google him on your futuristic smartphone), but I know a good film when I see one. I also thoroughly enjoy the kind of movie blockbuster that includes more explosions than a firework factory and more cheese than a night out with Chester Cheetah. Perfect then because this week sees the worldwide release of Avengers: Infinity War and I was so excited that I watched it at 7am on Thursday morning in The Printworks with 4 massive nerds. It’s bloody brilliant, so if you get chance this week – check it out. If only for the Deep-Fried Donner gag outside the Kebab Shop in Edinburgh.
Ultimate Power at The Ritz
Friday 27th April
Here we have the obligatory Ultimate Power inclusion for my Things to Do column and although a couple of people I took last time didn’t enjoy themselves, I still stand by my statement that this is the most enjoyable night out in Manchester you can have (with your clothes on). Quite who is going on a night out without clothes on is beyond me, but there will be someone in The Printworks every Friday who might as well have not bothered with them. Ultimate Power then. Power Ballads all night. I’ll be there, come on over and we can have a dance.
Vintage 78 DJs at The Refuge
Sunday 29th April
This one took a fair bit of Googling, because when I first saw this at The Refuge, I was expecting some DJs to be playing songs from 1978. It was the year that Grease stormed the charts, with the likes of ‘You’re the One That I Want’ and ‘Summer Nights’ becoming permanent additions to every wedding DJ’s playlist. But that’s not what this is about. Oh no. After extensive research I’ve discovered that the 78 refers to original 78rpm shellac phonograph records; the kind of thick, brittle ones you see getting smashed up in old cartoons and films. Their heyday was between the 20s and 40s, so The Refuge DJs will be pulling out the old gramophone and playing big dance band hits and plenty of rhythm and blues. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon with a huge Roast Dinner Platter.
XS Malarkey at The Bread Shed
Tuesday 1st May
Even though it’s got a proper silly name, The Bread Shed is now home to XS Malarkey – the legendary comedy night that started the careers of such massive stars as Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen, Bernard Manning and of course, that guy with the Bin Laden puppet that was a worldwide smash for around 2 minutes. This week sees Matt Green hit the stage with Will Duggan, Ash Preston and the host for the night – Toby Hadoke. Unless you gave birth to one of these people, none of the names will mean anything to you right now. But XS Malarkey is notorious for putting on top acts that will make you laugh so hard that either your sides will split open or your knickers will become sodden with pee. It’s only a fiver too.
The Jungle Book at The Lowry
Wednesday 2nd May to Sunday 6th May
If I was you I wouldn’t head on down to The Lowry this week expecting a troupe of elephants playing the trumpet, or a filthy little tart beckoning Mowgli to follow her into the man-village by wiggling her arse seductively. This play isn’t the Disney version of The Jungle Book but instead a brilliant adaptation of Kipling’s book by Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate. This means that it has its own original songs, dancing and a generally different take on the story. I’ve not watched it yet but we should have a review up this week at some point, so keep an eye out for that.
Spanish Tap & Tapas at Sandinista
Wednesday 2nd May
I’ve been well into my tapas recently with visits to Tapeo & Wine, La Bandera and Lunya all in the space of around 9 days. I should probably add Sandinista to this list too because this week they’ve got a brilliant Tap & Tapas event where they are pairing up a selection of top Spanish beers with some new tapas offerings. The pairings have been done ‘expertly’ and there will be an expert geezer on hand on the night to talk you through the tastes, flavours and feelings you should be having. You can get more detailed information (and tickets) below:
The Big Disney Karaoke Night at Bierkeller
Thursday 3rd May
Okay so many of you wouldn’t usually venture into Bierkeller in The Printworks, but you should give it a chance next week when they host the second of their Big Disney Karaoke Nights. Everyone loves karaoke, and if they say they don’t they’re either lying or are the most boring person in the world. Getting pissed up, singing and making an absolute tit out of yourself is every Brit’s God-given right, and if the songs being sung are Disney tunes – even better! There’s also FREE shots, a fancy-dress competition, giveaways and loads of themed food and drinks. What? What’s my favourite Disney song? Good question. I’d have to go with that one sung by Scar in The Lion King – Be Prepared.
DollyWould at HOME
From Thursday 3rd May
“If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton, what an absolute beaut. As well as providing the world with brilliant quotes, top tunes and the poor children of the US books, Dolly seems like the nicest woman in the world and definitely someone you’d want to take down the park with a chippy tea and a few tins of Strongbow. If you’re a fan then you’re in luck this week with DollyWould, a new play about Dolly herself – as well as cloning, branding, immortality and death. The play is by Edinburgh Fringe Award winners Sh!t Theatre so you should expect plenty of laughs and for it to be a bit bloody silly.