Benedict Cucumberbatch

Words by Ian Pennington

Celebrity Hamlet actor and middle England poster boy Benedict Cumberbatch’s appeal to the “minds and brains” of his supposedly naïve and artless audience to avert their little red LEDs of doom and refrain from filming his Shakespearian rendition mirrors an issue found in venues across the land in this advanced technological age. With mobile phone videos carried aloft like the lighters of old, the streams of YouTube will no doubt be flooded with memories whose firsthand experience was forfeited in favour of the abstract view through a screen. Artless or otherwise, the red eyes in the dark are now widespread, but nothing beats seeing a gig through your own eyes, which is why we’ve compiled another weekly preview blog for your information on Manchester’s live happenings.

There’s diddly squat to show for Monday 10th, so we’ll swiftly drift through to Tuesday 11th, when we’re charging towards a chuckle. Bolton’s Diane Morgan, aka Philomena Cunk on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, is flexing her stand-up muscles and aiming to give an audience at Zoo a workout in the most enjoyable muscle of all – the grin.

Wednesday 12th sees two shows poised at the punk end of the alt-rock spectrum. Sound Control welcomes the Californian post-punks Ceremony as part of their L-Shaped Man album tour, while Withington’s Fuel Café hosts a local bands showcase featuring music by Werk and Groves, plus Zach Roddis’s razor sharp social commentaries in verse.

From late afternoon to early evening on Thursday 13th there’s another reason to visit Whitworth Art Gallery. The Whitworth Young Contemporaries present their summer party in the park and promise cycling workshops, circus skills, spoken word and performances by Kid Katharsis, DJ Ruddy and KYSO.

Friday night is club night this week, with more Dancers Wanted to populate the Soup Kitchen basement in the wake of cosmic soul and funk vibrations lining the airwaves. Osaka’s Mori Ra is the main attraction on the ones and twos.

Another South Manchester show takes place on Saturday 15th at Fallow Café in Fallowfield, where Leeds alt-rockers Esper Scout plug in their amps.

New arts monolith Home promises to cross pollinate the various creative subdivisions, whether it be cinema, theatre, visual art or music. On Sunday 16th they’re adding literature to that list by hosting the launch of local journalist Dave Haslam’s new book on the UK’s club nights, Life After Dark.

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