Things to do in Manchester this week: 28th July – 3rd August 2017

This week's events are mostly centred on the weekend - sorry - but there's a few terrible jokes and borderline offensive comments in there to keep you interested. Enjoy.

By Ben Brown | Last updated 2 August 2017

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Another week has gone by and another week has disappeared from my life. It’s been alright though, I got to go to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas at Gorilla and shuffle around on the spot while sweating profusely, as well as watch more Game of Thrones – which I’m loving.

This week’s events are mostly centred on the weekend – sorry – but there’s a few terrible jokes and borderline offensive comments in there to keep you interested. Enjoy.

Bongo’s Bingo @ Albert Hall
Friday 28th July, 7pm
Continuing their collection of summer dates, those Northern Irish sounding, tutu-wearing, Henry Hoover worshipping legends at Bongo’s Bingo will once again be taking to the stage of the grand Albert Hall for a night of batshit crazy bingo. If you’ve never been, the night is truly something you need to experience, and if you don’t come home leathered, with a sore throat and hair full of Coco Pops then you’ve not fully embraced everything that the night is about. If anyone wins a cardboard cut-out of Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen I’ll buy it off you. Tenner.

Albert Hall, 27 Peter St, City Centre, Manchester M2 5QR
0844 858 8521


Purple Stardust @ The Pen & Pencil
Friday 28th July, 8pm – 2am
Even though ‘Purple Stardust’ sounds like a new synthetic drug that is devastating future society in a 1980’s action movie starring Burt Reynolds, it is in fact a night at the Pen and Pencil which is dedicated to two of Ben Brown’s favourite performers – Prince and David Bowie. DJ Simon Price, who will be taking this show to a couple of festivals this summer, will be on hand to provide back-to-back tunes from 2 of music’s greatest and most influential blokes. If I had to choose my favourite from the two, I think Prince would win by a tiny margin; which is pretty much how you could have described him when he was alive. (Sorry).

The Pen And Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
0161 660 3303


One Big Summer Weekend
Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th July
This weekend sees three rather large events all converging into One Big Summer event involving Manchester Jazz Festival, The Manchester Picnic and everyone’s least scary event – Clownfest. The Manchester Picnic will provide St Ann’s Square with space and food in which to soak up the drizzle, while Manchester Jazz Festival provides the music. Over at Exchange Square there will be a load of men and women dressed up as clowns, probably juggling and running about, inadvertently scaring any adults and young children who accidently wander near them. Check out this proper write up I did a few weeks back.

St Ann’s Square & Exchange Square


Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th July
I’ll be going to this on the Sunday so if you see a tall, some would say conventionally ugly, long haired idiot with a can of cider in his hand, boring the pants off anyone within a 3 metre radius – cruise on over. Festwich is basically a big free festival featuring probably the best line up ever to grace this Earth – the only snag is that they’re all cover bands. Not to worry though because experience has taught me that in many instances – cover bands can and are better than the real thing. Saturday is dedicated to metal so you’ve got Slipknot, Metallica, Iron Maiden – all that crew, while on Sunday it’s more rock and pop with Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie, The Killers and Elvis. Check out the full line up online and get involved –


Manchester Comic Con
Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th July
Manchester’s biggest celebration of everything that revolves around comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, movies, anime, superheroes, role-playing games, dressing up and obscure TV shows that are on SyFy channel on Sky at about 2am is back – and it’s this weekend! I’ve never been to a Comic Con but it looks like a lot of fun – especially the getting dressed up part. People take this shit proper seriously too so I’m going to refrain from being cynical or sarcastic or rude just for now. I’ve also just been on the website and there are still tickets left so if you want to go – fill your Stormtrooper boots. Oh and Lou fucking Ferringo is going to be there – who as TV’s Incredible Hulk is probably the biggest star to ever come to Manchester. Ever. Oh and I can guarantee around 6,000 Joker outfits knocking about.

Manchester Central, Windmill St, Manchester M2 3GX


Pop Bubble Rock @ Joshua Brooks
Saturday 29th July, 11pm – 4am
It’s another month and it’s another Pop Bubble Rock down at Joshua Brooks. It’s always a top night full of FREE pizza, Nintendo games, competitions and some absolute classics including Fall Out Boy, Blink 182 and Oldham’s own – Five. There’s also the usual great drinks deals (including Tequila!) and this month has been designated as a ‘Nerd Night’ to coincide with Manchester Comic Con which is also happening this weekend (see above please!) so expect plenty more fancy dress than usual.

Buy Tickets

Joshua Brooks, 106 Princess Str. M1 6NG


Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club @ Band on the Wall
Saturday 29th July, 9pm – 3am
Everyone’s favourite taxi rank manager Craig Charles will be returning to Band on The Wall this Saturday with The Filthy Six in tow. The Filthy Six have been described as “among the most exciting, authentic Soul Jazz outfits in the UK today and have established themselves as one of the most electric live acts on the scene.” But not by me because I’ve never heard of them. Craig always puts on a belting show though so it should be great. It would also be interesting to see if Chris Barry, Craig’s co-star in Red Dwarf would make an appearance. He’s at Comic Con so it would be nice for the two Dwarf-ers to have a little reunion in the DJ box.

Buy Tickets

Band on the Wall, 25 Swan St, The Northern Quarter, M4 5JZ
0161 834 1786


Prince Fatty @ Cottonopolis
Saturday 29th July, 10pm – 2am
With quite possibly one of the most unfortunate names I’ve ever heard, Prince Fatty is hitting up Cottonopolis this Saturday with a FREE Summer Reggae party. I’ve been listening to a weird Reggae album from the mid-90’s recently and I’ve been loving the tunes – especially that one from Chaka Demus & Pliers. I’m sure this will be a much more authentic affair though, and Prince Fatty will be joined by live vocalist Shniece Mcmenamin as well as getting support from Red Eye Hi-Fi.

Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
0161 236 5144


Jurassic Park at Oast House
Tuesday 1st August, 6pm
As part of their continuing screenings of old movies and boring sports events, Oast House will be showing Jurassic Park this week – which I’m sure you’ll all agree – is a classic. The story of a gang of dinosaurs whose island is invaded by vicious, bloodthirsty humans is an absolute must-see and will be even better on the big screen if you didn’t manage to catch it in 1993. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the stand out of the whole film is that dinosaur who spits black acid type stuff into that horrible fat lad’s face. One of the performances of the year if you ask me.

The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
0161 829 3830


Russell Brand Re:Birth @ The Lowry
Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd August
Rusty Rocket’s in town with his gags in tow,
Likely draped in black for a scare or a crow.
This week he’s gracing Salford with his charm,
With a list of anecdotes as long as your arm.
Tuesday and Wednesday he’ll take his place,
On stage at The Lowry while The Mail writes “he’s a disgrace”.
He’s known as a bounder, a caner, a cad,
Give him half the chance and he’ll get off with your dad.
Well versed with a command of the English Language,
Hopefully he’ll never have to read this garbage.

Buy Tickets

The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ
0843 208 6000