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COMIC CON MANCHESTER: Indulge your inner geek as Manchester Comic Con returns with another blockbuster line-up of sci-fi, games, comics, movie and anime goodness. LIPIKA PELHAM – AUTHOR EVENT: Hear Bengali-born BBC journalist Lipika Pelham discuss her new book The Unlikely Settler, a powerful memoir of her experiences of The Middle East conflict. New this year is the Chocolate, Baking and Preserves Village where visitors with a sweet tooth can buy new products from a range of chocolatiers, confectioners and cake makers. Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire (uk/01625 374400). The line-up includes Jackie Hagan, Joy France, Lenni Sanders and Sarah Clare-Conlon. The parade, featuring decorated floats and dance troupes, will begin at the Carnival’s spiritual home of Alexandra Park, and make its way through Moss Side and Hulme, accompanied by music from pumping sound systems. Big name guests include actor Warwick Davis (of Harry Potter, Life’s Too Short fame) and Red Dwarf stars Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn and Hattie Hayridge.
A great day out for the family, it’s the chance to meet well-known chefs (this year including Glynn Purnell, Mary Ellen Mc Tague and Chatchai Jamjang) and learn to cook their signature dishes. SPECIAL FX: BAD LANGUAGE: An hour of free spoken word performance from some of the shining stars of Manchester’s literature scene, compered by Bad Language’s entertainingly deadpan new host Fat Roland. Transforming Platt Fields Park into a mini Caribbean paradise, the two-day celebration will feature three music stages playing a mix of calypso, reggae and of course steel bands, while food stalls will be offering a wide range of Jamaican cuisine. A perfect blend of laidback daytime vibes followed by night-time hedonism, this year’s line-up boasts an impressive mix of established and emerging talent across the rock, indie and dance genres, with over 80 live acts including Happy Mondays, 2manydjs, James Lavelle, Jagwar Ma, Bipolar Sunshine, Dub Pistols, The Sunshine Underground, Badly Drawn Boy and Wolf Alice. FOODIES FESTIVAL: Tatton Park goes culinary crazy for this annual festival of demonstrations, tastings and master classes, as well as restaurant tents and a speciality producers market. JOHN DALTON: HIS LIFE AND WORK - TALK: Inspired by Waterside Art Centre’s current Object Recognition art exhibition, local historian John Doughty presents a special talk on the life and work of John Dalton, father of modern chemistry and pioneer of research into colour blindness, who lived and worked in Manchester from 1792. Waterside Arts Centre, Waterside Plaza, Sale (uk/01). CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL OF MANCHESTER: With the Caribbean weather already in place (and hopefully staying), it’s time to bring on the music, food and dancing courtesy of the Manchester Caribbean Carnival. https:// Carnival Of Manchester ADAM FAIRHALL’S THE IMAGINARY DELTA WITH JACKIE KAY: A fascinating joint commission from the Manchester Jazz and Manchester Literature festivals, this event sees award-winning poet Jackie Kay and composer Adam Fairhall present a re-imagining of early jazz forms via idioms, acoustic instruments, samples and new technologies. Royal Northern College Of Music, Oxford Road (uk/01). BEAT-HERDER FESTIVAL: A beacon of independence in the increasingly corporatised world of music festivals, the annual Beat-Herder returns to Lancashire’s Ribble Valley for another epic weekend of musical indulgence. He’s coming to Bury this week, performing songs from across his extensive back catalogue, alongside material from his new seventh LP, Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth. See uk OTIS GIBBS: A big favourite of Billy Bragg’s – who wrote gushingly about him in the Wall Street Journal – plucky Nashville underdog Otis Gibbs writes hard-bitten protest songs delivered in an appealing Tom Waits-ish vocal rasp. He’s back on UK shores to drop tracks from his latest LP, Awake. Gorilla, Whitworth Street West (thisisgorilla.com/01). They’re putting on a free show in Chorlton tonight, with support from wonderfully named garage-rock trio The Balotellis. TYCHO: Californian producer and artist Scott Hansen crafts lush sonic landscapes under the name Tycho, joining electronic elements with more organic instrumentation to create atmospheric, autumnal-hued music. THE CREATURE COMFORT: Now reformed after a decade-long hiatus, long lost Manc treasures The Creature Comfort have been making up for lost ground, banging out new material and tearing up the local scene with their rabble-rousing psych-punk-indie. Still a vociferous groover, he’ll be playing tracks from recent solo albums, along with MGs hits and Stax classics at this Manchester Jazz Festival highlight. BOOKER T JONES: Booker T is the Hammond B3 organ master, leader of the MGs and one of the architects of the Memphis soul sound of the ’60s – the man behind classics such as Green Onions and Time is Tight. They’ve now regrouped (along with vocalist Geoff Rickly) to form a No Devotion, an angsty, synthy new wave rock affair – though whether they can truly transcend the nasty circumstances behind their conception only time will tell. For tickets to Booker T Jones, click here NO DEVOTION: To say that this ‘new’ rock act have a shadow hanging over them is a massive understatement: No Devotion are the remaining members of Welsh rock band Lostprophets, whose singer Ian Watkins was, of course, sentenced to 29 years in prison for horrific sex crimes. Definite ones to watch, they’re playing an intimate hometown date this weekend in support of new single Holding Knives – catch them now before they blow up.
KASSOMA: No shortage of epic bluster from these Manc upstarts, whose songwriting channels the stadium-sized indie-rock anthemics of Editors and The Killers.
XS MALARKEY: The man we can never get enough of, Manchester’s Justin Moorhouse, gives us a sneaky taster of his Edinburgh show; plus support from Nish Kumar and Aatif Nawaz.
Also featuring Dave Williams, Ian Stone and MC Mick Ferry. He’s back on UK shores with a rollicking new show, Mr Adventure – if you’re seeing only one stand-up show this week, make sure it’s this one. The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays (thelowry.com/08). FUNNY WOMEN AWARDS 2014: Guest female acts take to the stage for an evening of laughter and a chance to win the much-coveted award.
For tickets, to Justin Moorhouse's Edinburgh Preview, click here THE BEST IN STAND UP: Dry, dark wit and offbeat musical parodies from guitar-playing stand-up Andy Askins. He’s doing two shows this weekend at Salford’s Kings Arms, so you’ve got no excuse for missing out. The King’s Arms, Bloom Street, Salford (kingsarmssalford.com/01). COMEDYSPORTZ UK: Improvisational humour as two teams battle to create the funniest sketches, scenes and characters. Waterside Arts Centre, Waterside Plaza, Sale (uk/01). RHYS DARBY: Perhaps best known as Murray the manager in Flight Of The Conchords or from his appearances in films such as Yes Man or The Boat that Rocked, New Zealander Rhys Darby, above, is also a hugely popular stand-up, trading in delightful offbeat observations and eccentric stories.
For tickets to The Best In Stand Up, click here KELLY KINGHAM: INSIDE OUT: Something of a comedy late-bloomer, 50-year-old Kelly Kingham has been charming critics and punters alike with his brilliantly unhinged, often risque stand-up sets. THE BRENDON BURNS SHOW: Manic, coarse and confrontational observations and jokes from the award-winning Australian stand-up. The Frog & Bucket, Oldham Street (frogandbucket.com/01). MATT FORDE AND MIKE NEWALL: A superb double whammy of Edinburgh previews from these circuit faves: TV panel show regular Matt Forde and Manchester-based stand-up Mike Newall.
HIT&RUN: It’s a Manchester Carnival after-party with appearances from Brooklyn’s The Underachievers plus Ape Cult, Metrodome, T-Man and special guests. Antwerp Mansion, Rusholme Grove, Wilmslow Road (antwerpmansion.com/07809 444 950). UPTOWN: Celebrate the good times with plenty of cocktails, disco light and sweet jams from Michael Jackson, Chic, Hall & Oates, Sister Sledge, Stevie Wonder and loads more.