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17th September 2012

Recharge ahead of October’s cultural marathon

Film, books and music to keep you entertained this week.

Though these pages will hopefully persuade you to visit at least some of Manchester’s performance and exhibition spaces during your time here, you don’t have to stand for hours in a gallery or dedicate an evening to the theatre to recharge your cultural batteries. Post freshers week, if your student loan took a battering and you’re looking for something cheap, or if you’ve just moved here and are wondering where to explore next, or if you need to give your liver some time away from Gaffs 2-bottles-for-a-fiver, here are some suggestions for you:

The Apartment (Matinee Classics @ The Cornerhouse, Sun 30 Sep at 12.00)

If you’re missing the Mad Men aesthetic (or want to see Martha Levinson of Downton in her slightly younger days) and need a quick fix, check out Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, screening on Sunday at Cornerhouse, Manchester’s best cinematic experience. While it opened billed as a romantic comedy, Cornerhouse claim the movie as a ‘satirical and sorrowful Wilder classic’ – and though the years might have altered our perception of the film, its’ sparking dialogue, beautiful cinematography and stellar cast remain constant, making this a classic, and a must-see.

Chorlton Book Shop  (506 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9AW)

First spotted whilst driving past on the way to the rather less culturally-fulfilling UK Parcelforce depo, the Chorlton Book Shop is a charming independent bookshop stocking novels, art, travel and children’s books – and moleskines if you’re in need of a new diary. Staff always friendly, knowledgeable and happy to help – they also run a book club if you like it that much.

Kyla Brox (Tuesday 25th September @ Matt and Phreds Jazz Club )

The daughter of blues singer Victor Brox is an artist in her own right and, having first performed at the tender age of 12, now has several albums to her name and works both as the front woman of the Kyla Brox Band and performs in a duo with partner Danny Blomeley. These two roles provide the settings for two distinct performances – one as the leading lady of a set chock-full of show stopping blues numbers and the other, a more nuanced performance for a more intimate set of soulful tunes. If you’re already bored of the X-Factor, this is the night for you.

Mr Scruff’s Teacup (53-55 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter Manchester M4 1NA)

There is a cheeky sense of humour to this lively Northern Quarter institution, owned by Andrew Carthy aka Mr Scruff, which serves up some of the best tea, coffee, cakes and poached eggs in the city. This is the place for the post welcome week hangover to be soothed – sit, let your tea brew according to your personal tea timer, and watch the world go by – whilst perhaps also indulging in a cake or two. Or four – they are that good.

So take it easy with a movie, wind down to the sounds of some soul, sit with a coffee or finally get around to that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, and recharge your batteries for October – because festival season hits Manchester in the form of the Literature Festival, the Food & Drink Festival, the Comedy Festival, the Science Festival and (winning the ‘best named’ prize) Grimm Up North Film Festival.

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