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22 must-see events in Glasgow this week

© Scanning 8 Madness

This is pretty much 2014's last week of normal service, before people start filtering away from work to occupy that limbo period between Christmas and Hogmanay (or, as nearly nobody else is calling it, Christmanay). Thankfully, there are still a bunch of must-see cultural events going on, including a visit from an actual spaceman, beatboxing comedy from Seattle's Reggie Watts and an all-dayer from local feminist powerhouse TYCI. 

Things to Do

Chris Hadfield, Cineworld IMAX, Mon Dec 15
Do you remember that astronaut who sang ‘Space Oddity’ while actually in space? He’ll be at the IMAX this month, discussing some of the incredible in-orbit photos he took while he was Commander of the International Space Station.  

Glasgow Loves Christmas, city centre, until Wed Dec 31
A festival of seasonal frolics in the city centre, with illuminations and ice skating on George Square and a food-centric market on Argyle Street among the highlights.


Reggie Watts, Arches, Mon Dec 15
Here’s a fun fact you may not know about Afro-sporting American beat-boxing comedian and musician Reggie Watts: he was born in Germany. Ok, so it wasn’t actually that fun a fact. Go see him anyway. 


Christmas shows at the Arches, until Sun Jan 4
Glasgow’s finest multi-purpose venue is hosting two Christmas shows this year: ‘The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot’ (until Sun Jan 4) is a kid-friendly tale of  Christmas spirit gone AWOL, while Gary McNair’s ‘War on Christmas’ (until Sun Dec 28) is a more cynical, adults-only satire following a novice Santa working in one of Glasgow’s most deprived areas.

A Christmas Carol, Citizens Theatre, until Sat Jan 3
Charles Dickens’ famous festive tale is the inspiration for the Citz’ 2014 Christmas show, helmed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Dominic Hill.

Miracle on 34 Parnie Street, Tron Theatre, until Sun Jan 4
Local theatremaker and panto rejuvenator Johnny McKnight writes, directs and stars in his latest production for the Tron, a gender-bending Glasgow-set Christmas fairytale. 


Alasdair Gray, various Glasgow galleries, until Tue May 25
The artist, writer and official National Treasure is the subject of no less than three exhibitions at the moment, in honour of his 80th birthday this month. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum hosts lifespan retrospective ‘From the Personal to the Universal’ until February, while the Gallery of Modern Art and Glasgow School of Art are hosting ‘Spheres of Influence I’ and ‘II’ respectively, providing context by looking at Gray’s influences and those who have been influenced by him.

Lucy Skaer, Hunterian Art Gallery, until Sun 25 Jan
The Turner Prize nominee and Glasgow School of Art graduate explores the relationship between representation and reality, with special inspiration from surrealist artist Leonora Carrington.

Manuel Chavajay & Rebecca Wilcox: This Might Be a Place for Hummingbirds, CCA, until Sun Jan 18
Two seemingly unrelated artists’ works are brought into direct comparison at this CCA: Guatemalan painter and sculptor Chavajay and Glasgow-based video artist Wilcox.

Art From Elsewhere, Gallery of Modern Art, until Sun Feb 1
Glasgow is the starting point for this UK-wide touring exhibition, which brings together international artworks from all disciplines in an effort to enhance the country’s contemporary collections.

Nathan Coley: The Lamp of Sacrifice, Gallery of Modern Art, until Sun Mar 1
Coley’s 2004 installation – which involved the creation of 286 churchs and places of worship in Edinburgh – is revived in Glasgow’s GoMA as part of the Generation project, celebrating the last 25 years of contemporary Scottish art.

Music & Nightlife

Return to the Voice, Tramway, Mon Dec 15
A sell-out success at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this performance from Poland's Song of the Goat theatre company draws on Gaelic folk traditions and archival Scottish music to present an international view of our country's heritage.

The Game, O2 ABC, Tue Dec 16
West Coast rapper and Dr Dre protégé, following in the footsteps of the latter’s similarly Compton-based NWA.

Mike Heron and Trembling Bells, The Glad Cafe, Thu Dec 18
In what is now a traditional winter appearance, former Incredible String Band member Heron joins forces with Alex Neilson’s psych-folk-rock posse.

Madness, SECC, Thu Dec 18
Ska-pop delirium from Suggs and the Nutty Boys.

The Twilight Sad, O2 ABC, Fri Dec 19
The Sad are another of this month's band roster who’ve built a tradition out of Christmastime gigging, in beautiful contrast to their mournful indie palette. This performance also serves as a warm-up for their slot at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Bye Parrot, Stereo, Fri Dec 19
DIY promoter Cry Parrot (aka Fielding Hope) has been seduced by the bright lights of London’s Café Oto; this farewell shindig in his honour will feature sets from Powell (live), Golden Teacher, Sacred Paws and David Barbarossa (DJ set).

Huntleys and Palmers Audio Club, The Art School, Fri Dec 19
H&P return to their old Glasgow stomping ground for a magnificent seventh birthday, featuring Talaboman (aka John Talabot and Axel Boman) upstairs and Highlife (aka Auntie Flo and Esa) downstairs with special guest Wolf Müller.

Pressure's Xmas Party, Arches, Fri Dec 19
The Slam boys welcome Sven Vath for a three hour pre-Crimbo set.

TYCI’s Christmas All Dayer, Stereo/The Old Hairdressers, Sat Dec 20
The feminist blog / zine / club night throws an all-day woman-powered Christmas party, with performances at the Old Hairdressers during the day and bands and DJs at Stereo in the evening. Head along to check out live sets from Marnie (Ladytron), Frances McKee (The Vaselines), Wolf (aka Kim Moore, formerly of Zoey van Goey) and Chrissy Barnacle, plus a DJ set from Chvrches.

The RSNO Christmas Concert: The Snowman, GRCH, Sat Dec 20
Actor Blythe Duff joins the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for a performance of Raymond Briggs' famous wintry story, with a few extra Christmas treats thrown in.

Bigfoot’s 6th Birthday with Radio Slave, Sub Club, Sun Dec 21
Scotland’s finest techno tea party takes advantage of the fact that loads of people will be finishing up for the holidays with this three-hour Sunday night slot from Rekids’ Radio Slave, aka Matt Edwards.