It's a rather busy week this week with plenty of large events kicking off the Summer in style. There's the Beer Week, and Italian Festival and Manchester International Festival all vying for your attention. Although the weather has taken a bit of a turn for the worst, and it's still another week until payday, at least try and get out of the house and live your life.
Brutus Gold & Love Train @ The Ritz
Friday 23rd June, 10pm
"People all over the world, join hands, start a Love Train". I'm all about lyrics this week it seems, but when The O'Jays were singing about a Love Train I definitely know the kind of train they were thinking of. They try to disguise it by referring to peace and politics, but we all know what they're going on about. Someone else who is a big fan of a Love Train is Brutus Gold, a geezer with an afro and a handlebar moustache who likes to play 70's disco music while dancing around in tight clothes. This classic night returns to The Ritz this Friday and it looks set to be a belter! I'll be there representing the Manchester's Finest crew so if you see me - buy me a Pina Colada.
Get tickets here!
The Ritz, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5NQ
0161 714 4140
B.Eat Street with Big Grillie Style
Friday 23rd til Sunday 25th June, All Day
Continuing their brilliant Summer Weekenders, those good folks at B.Eat Street are on hand to offer street food, drinks, music and hopefully a bit of sunshine from Friday to Sunday. Of special note this weekend is the arrival of Big Grille Style, whose absolutely phenomenal grilled cheese sandwiches inspired by 90’s hip hop and the Fresh Prince have been delighting the masses at the Piccadilly Markets for ages now. They're even running a kitchen takeover at Joshua Brooks in the guise of G Burger which is well worth a gander too. They are a firm favourite over at Manchester’s Finest Towers, especially the Carlton which is a Mexican-chicken-cheese-tortilla concoction that is out of this world good.
B.Eat Street, Great Northern Warehouse, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
The Pooch ‘n’ Hooch Dog Walking Trail
Sunday 25th June, 3pm
It seems everyone nowadays either has a Pug or a Sausage Dog or one of them little Italian Greyhounds that blow away in the wind. Even since the dawn of time, man and dog have worked together to hunt for food, defend against intruders and get dressed up and re-enact literary works like in Wishbone. Now you can go drinking with your dog with the aid of The Liquorists and their Pooch ‘n’ Hooch Dog Walking Trail this Sunday. Starting at 3pm, you will visit 4 dog-friendly establishments while having a tipple in each, as well as a few doggie treats thrown in there for your filthy mutt. The trail sounds like the perfect opportunity to find places where taking your dog is acceptable, but also meeting like-minded dog owners so you can chat about the consistency of Pedigree Chum or how to remove grass-vomit stains off a suede sofa. Tickets are £25 and can be bought right here.
Festa Italiana Manchester 2017
Friday 23rd til Sunday 25th June
Manchester is going Italy crazy this weekend with not one but two Italian related events in this round-up. I don't particularly know why both events were chosen to coincide with these dates - perhaps there is some sort of Italian holiday happening. I wouldn't know due to being a ridiculously ignorant man. First up is the Festa Italiana - a proper full blown Italian Festival held over at Cathedral Gardens from the 23rd ‘til the 25th. I've already gone to the effort of doing a full blown write up with all the information you'd ever need on it right here - but you can expect plenty of pizza (50 whole metres of the stuff), meats, cheeses, pasta, Aperol, wine, beers, music, cakes and of course - lashings and lashings of gelato. Entrance is FREE so you'd be a silly salami to miss it.
Manchester Beer Week
Starts Friday 23rd June
Kicking off on the 23rd, Manchester Beer Week is a massive celebration of the golden stuff, taking place in loads of different venues all around the city, at different times throughout the week. If I was tasked to list everything I would be here for days, so I'm just going to direct you to the website and then proceed to list a few of my favourite ones - although I'm not a massive fan of craft beers, so it may not be the best selection if you are. I think I'm going for my tea at Bundobust tonight so I will mention them; they're launching 2 new craft beers on Friday and are offering free street food with it, while Bock Biere are running an 'Intro to Belgian Beer' night on Monday 26th - probably my favourite beers ever. To be fair, I'm going to stop it there - you should just head to their website and see what's going on - there's LOADS - enough to satisfy pretty much anyone really.
The Aperitivo Bar @ The Oast House
Friday 23rd til Sunday 25th June, All Day
Another Italian offering here, and this one is right on the other side of town at the Oast House in Spinningfields. Nastro Azzuro, the beer people, are launching a brand-new Italian beer and so have taken over the whole establishment and will be putting on loads of live music, while flogging their new product as vigorously as you'd expect. The beer is called Peroni Ambra, and is a combination of Peroni's well-known Nastro Azzurro beer and Italian Chinotto - a sort of Italian lemon I think. It's a citrus fruit anyway, so if you've got scurvy then you will be loving it. I've not tried the beer myself, but if Peroni want to send me a crate of it I will happily drink it in the sun while eating pizza and olives.
The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
0161 829 3830
The Reflex @ Cottonopolis
Saturday 24th June, from 5pm
Duran Duran once wrote: "The reflex is a lonely child, Who's waiting by the park". What the hell were they doing on about!? It doesn't even make sense - why would a child be waiting by the park? For the swings to open? They're always open you idiot! Well, The Reflex aka Nicolas Laugier is a London-based French DJ who is heading to Cottonopolis this Saturday for a full night takeover. The Reflex’s sound and style has won him a very impressive set of fans including Jazzy Jeff, Nile Rogers and Kid Creole (the only people on the list I'd heard of) - mostly due to his ability to take original sounds from soul, pop and disco classics and giving them a whole new lease of life. He's done proper well for himself and so if you want to listen to his skills, head on down to Cottonopolis from 5pm on Saturday.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
0161 236 5144
One Deck Wednesday @ Electrik
Wednesday 28th June, 8.30pm
If you live in Chorlton, or know how the concept of taxis work, then cruise on round to Electrik on Wednesday for a chance to catch the legendary ‘DJ Thundermuscle’ aka Steve Davis on the decks for their FREE One Deck Wednesdays. The snooker and music maestro is joined by Kavus Torabi, they will be dropping the kind of tunes only robots could dream of including prog, techno and electronica as well as a few soundtracks, soul, psychedelia and more. It's usually a proper banging night, so it might be a good idea to ring work now and tell them you're going to be late in on Thursday. Or better still, begin an elaborate lie right now involving your sister and her husband which culminates in you having to take the day off and you're sorted.
Electrik Bar, 559 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 0AE
0161 881 3315
Manchester International Festival 2017
Thursday 29th June
Next Thursday sees Manchester's International Festival kick off with ‘What is the City but the People?’ a large-scale public celebration of Manchester featuring a unique selection of individuals from across Manchester walking along a runway through Piccadilly Gardens for an audience of thousands. This will be shortly followed by what promises to be an electrifying performance by New Order and Liam Gillick over at the Old Granada Studios. From then on the city will be awash with theatre, comedy, art, installations, music and performance, as well as food, drink and the occasional bit of poetry. It's MIF 2017 and once again, the events are too big to list here so I've done one elsewhere especially. Check it out here and see if there's any tickets left for anything!