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News / Arts & Entertainment

35 amazing things to do in Glasgow this week

dylan moran press 2014
Dylan Moran

The Christmas theatre season kicks off at the end of this week, with the Tron and the Citz both staging very worthwhile adaptations of Crimbo classics. There are also a handful of festivals dedicated to enthusiasts of coffee and boardgames respectively, and gigs from icons, up-and-comers and all points in between. So what are you waiting for? Get stuck in.

Things to Do

Glasgow Games Festival, Glasgow Caledonian University, Sat Nov 29
Celebrating ‘unplugged board games, card games and dice games’, the inaugural Glasgow Games Festival is a symptom of the rise in games like Cards Against Humanity and Risk Legacy. Head along to try out new titles and discover the best new advances in game design.

Scottish Coffee Festival, Drygate, Sat Nov 29
Because every kind of fanaticism needs its own festival, and who’s more fanatical than an over-caffeinated bean-hound downing their fifth espresso this hour? Exhibitors include Artisan Roast, Roast Central and the Roast Den, as well as non-roasted types like Tempo Tea, Mancini’s Ice Cream and Poporopo popcorn.

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. There’s also the ever popular Santa Dash on Sun Dec 7 (register now).

21 Revolutions, Platform, until Sun Dec 7
Exhibition of words and art celebrating over two decades of the Glasgow Women’s Library, with input from Ciara Philips, Corin Sworn, Janice Galloway, AL Kennedy, Karla Black, Lucy Skaer and more.


A Christmas Carol, Citizens Theatre, Sat Nov 29-Sat Jan 3
Charles Dickens’ famous festive tale is the inspiration for the Citz’ 2014 Christmas show, directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Dominic Hill.

Miracle on 34 Parnie Street, Tron Theatre, Fri Nov 28-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.

The War Of The Worlds, SECC, Sat Nov 29
Jeff Wayne’s big budget adaptation of HG Wells’ sci-fi story takes to the road for its final arena tour, complete with special effects, pyrotechnics and a 3D holographic Liam Neeson.


Sven Werner: Station Stories, Queen Street Station, Wed Nov 26-Sat Nov 29
Enjoy a free Victoriana-style installation before or after your journey, as Theatre Cryptic’s Sven Werner – together with his team of costumed, in-character assistants – guide you through a world of magical miniatures to celebrate the Year of Homecoming 2014.

David Shrigley: An Evening of Words and Images, GFT, Thu Nov 27
One of Glasgow’s best-loved artistic sons offers a few words from his new book, ‘Weak Messages Create Bad Situations’, and screens some highlights from his back catalogue of incredibly funny animations.

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 this week, leading up to his 80th birthday in December. 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 host ‘Spheres of Influence I’ and ‘II’ respectively, providing context by looking at Gray’s influences and those who have been influenced by him.

Jill Todd Photographic Award 2014, Street Level Photoworks, until Sun 7 Dec
Check out works from the latest crop of promising graduate photographers from across Scotland and Ireland, lent support and exposure by the Jill Todd trust.

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.

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.

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.

YAKA Collective: So It Is, The Briggait, Mon Nov 17-Fri Nov 28
Last chance to see this exhibition staged by a collective of seven Glasgow School of Art graduates, who invited 30 of their contemporaries to exhibit works at several venues in the Laurieston area. Start your journey off at the Briggait to find out more.

Music & Nightlife

Sharon Van Etten, The Art School, Tue Nov 25
Spectrally-voiced alt.indie-pop from Ms Van Etten, whose fourth album ‘Are We There?’ was released back in May.

The Ting Tings, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Wed Nov 26
Following a lengthy break during which they’ve written and recorded their fourth album, ‘Super Critical’, the Fling Flings are back and ready to rol...wait, that’s not their name.

Mastodon, O2 Academy, Wed Nov 26
Punishing prog metal from the heavily tattooed Atlanta, Georgia quartet.

Fuck Art, Let’s Dance, The Garage, Wed Nov 26
Occupying that sweet, indie-disco sweet spot between Foals and Friendly Fires, FALD are undeniably one of the best bands-with-swear-words-in-their-name on the dancefloor right now.

Echo & the Bunnymen, O2 ABC, Thu Nov 27
Ian McCulloch and co bring their iconic indie sounds to Glasgow, showcasing material from fan-funded 12th studio album ‘Meteorites’.

The Vaselines, The Art School, Fri Nov 28
Despite having a career that spans some 18 years (admittedly with numerous breaks in the middle), Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee’s alt.indie posse only released their third album this past summer. Songs from which they’ll no doubt play at this gig.

Kele, SWG3, Fri Nov 28
Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke is once again hitting the road solo to share some danceable electropop goodness with the masses.

Pressure 16th Birthday Party, Arches, Fri Nov 28
Berghain resident Ben Klock, Subb-an and Laura Jones join Slam for Pressure’s sweet 16th. It’s able to get married now.

Brian Not Brian and House of Traps at So Weit So Gut, Nice’n’Sleazy, Fri Nov 28
It’s a label boss double bill as the respective heads of Brixton’s Going Good Records and Edinburgh’s Firecracker Recordings strut their stuff at Sleazy’s.

Lee Scratch Perry, SWG3, Sat Nov 29
Glasgow’s foremost warehouse space welcomes a set from the Jamaican dub pioneer and Upsetter-in-chief.

The Who, SSE Hydro, Sun Nov 30
Supposedly the last big tour the rock legends will ever embark on, this Glasgow date catches Daltrey and Townshend while they’re still reasonably fresh, only three dates in. Expect all the hits plus a handful of obscurities for the uber-fans.

Afrika Bambaataa, O2 ABC, Sun Nov 30
Grab your chance to see one of the founding fathers of hip hop in action, as the “Amen Ra of Hip Hop Kulture” comes to town.

Basement Jaxx, Barrowland, Sun Nov 30
Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe do their thing (sorry) at one of Glasgow’s best loved venues, with a seventh album (‘Junto’) that takes the bands back to their ‘Remedy’-era roots.


Dylan Moran, The Stand, Wed Nov 26
A work-in-progress show from the misanthropic Irishman, who’s really not actually that unfriendly.

John Bishop, SSE Hydro, Wed Nov 26 & Thu Nov 27
The Liverpudlian everyman continues to sell out arenas up and down the country with his likeable, accessible observations.

Daniel Sloss, The Garage, Fri Nov 28
Perennially youthful Fifer with cutting observations and healthy links within the Scottish comedy scene (he wrote jokes for Frankie Boyle when he was just 16, you know).

Katherine Ryan, Oran Mor, Sat Nov 29
The Canadian comedian explores female role models in the media, particularly the UK-specific peculiarity that is the glamour model. All while being hilariously funny, of course.


Street Trash, Glasgow Film Theatre, Tue Nov 25
Jim Muro's bad taste horror comedy classic is enjoying a 35mm stint in the UK at the moment - for all you non-cinephiles, that basically just means there's a warmth and character to the print you don't typically get in modern digital formats. Crack open a bottle of Tenafly Viper, melt into your cinema seat and enjoy.

Paddington, from Fri Nov 28
This big screen adventure for the small Peruvian bear with the big hat and the marmalade addiction is 'a cuddly, thoughtful triumph' according to our reviewer, with great performances from Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Ben Wishaw, the latter voicing the titular hero.