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67 things to do in Glasgow this February

Written by
Niki Boyle

After the traditional January slowdown, we've been blown away by how much there is to do in February. Aside from the regular, everyday cultural occurrences that keep the city ticking over, the Glasgow Film Festival kicks off this month, and King Tut's has planned a stellar series of gigs to help celebrate its 25th birthday. There are over 60 events listed below, so you can plan the rest of your month with ease - if that's a bit daunting though, remember to keep a look out for our weekly recommendations as well.

Theatre and Dance

A Play, a Pie and a Pint: Hooray for All Kinds of Things, Oran Mor, Mon Feb 2-Sat Feb 7
Iceland (the country, not the shop) suffered more than most in the 2008 financial crash. In the wake of global economic collapse, a stand-up comedian called Jón Gnarr, fed up with the way the politicians were running things, formed his own Best Party of Rejkyavik. This play, directed by Gary McNair, tells his story.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Theatre Royal, Tue Feb 3-Sat Feb 7
Harper Lee's seminal story of childhood, father figures and racism in the Deep South comes to Glasgow following a sell-out run at London’s Regent’s Park Theatre. We said the play successfully captured ‘the novel's warmth and childish wonder’, which is all you could ask for, really.

Mark Thomas: Cuckooed, Tron Theatre, Tue Feb 10-Thu Feb 12
Imagine a close friend of yours turned out to be spying on you for a major arms dealer. That's what happened to Mark Thomas who, thankfully enough, has enough talent to shape the experience into a comedic theatre show.

The Typist, The Arches, Thu Feb 12-Sat Feb 14
Alexei Sayle narrates this flamenco-infused dance theatre piece about 'Los Ninos de la Guerra' - the roughly 4000 children who were shipped to the UK to escape the Spanish Civil War.

The Slab Boys, Citizens Theatre, Thu Feb 12-Sat Feb 28
John Byrne’s play about two adolescent workers in a carpet factory is a giant of 20th century Scottish theatre; actor and theatremaker David Hayman is no small fry himself. We can't wait to see how the latter treats the former in this new production.

The Sound of Music, King's Theatre, Mon Feb 16-Sat Feb 28
'Broomhill is Alive with the Sound of Music'. 'How do you Solve a Problem Like Maryhill?' 'So Long, Firrhill, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu'. Just three of the hill-related puns we came up with while trying to tell you something useful about this new production of the much-loved musical. And then we ran out of space.

The Effect, Tron Theatre, Tue Feb 24-Sat Feb 28
Playwright Lucy Prebble (who also penned TV's 'Diary of a Call Girl') is behind this unconventional love story (just a smidge too late for Valentine's) about two strangers who meet during the testing stages of a new drug.

Long Live the Little Knife, Citizens Theatre, Tue Feb 24-Sat Feb 28
A couple of con artists are tasked with forging a masterpiece in David Leddy's fast-paced comedy, which did gangbusters at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe. 


Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir: The Poster Archive, The Lighthouse, until Sun Feb 22
The Hot Club at Nice'n'Sleazy may no longer be a going concern (for the time being, at least), but its spirit lives on in the eye-catching poster art created by one of its residents. Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir (who's also known by the much less intimidating handle Rafla) has raided her stash of Hot Club artwork and hung it up in The Lighthouse - go and absorb them with your eyes.

Alasdair Gray: From the Personal to the Universal, Kelvingrove Gallery, until Sun Feb 22
There was a splurge of Alasdair Gray-related activity at the tail-end of last year, in celebration of the great writer and artist's 80th birthday. It's all winding down now, though (as much as a love of Gray can ever die down in Glasgow), so nip along to the Kelvingrove to catch this career-spanning retrospective before it closes this month.

Jack Smith, The Modern Institute, until Fri Mar 6
The founding father of American performance art is celebrated at this new exhibition at the Modern Institute, incorporating photography, theatre props and film footage of some of Smith’s groundbreaking performances.

Nathan Coley: The Lamp of Sacrifice, Gallery of Modern Art, until Fri Mar 6
Nathan Coley’s cardboard city, comprising sculptures made up of all 286 of Edinburgh’s religious and spiritual buildings, is one of the final holdouts of the Generation contemporary art project. Catch it before it all gets flat-packed and put back in storage.


Sean Hughes, The Stand, Mon Feb 9
You may remember Hughes from his team captaincy on 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'; if you're even longer in the tooth, you may remember him winning the Perrier Award back in 1990. Now you can catch him in his new show, 'Mumbo Jumbo', about the struggle to maintain sanity through middle age.

Things to Do

Valentine’s Day, various venues around the city, Sat Feb 14
Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers any more - for every restaurant advertising a candle-lit dinner for two, there's also an anti-Valentine's party (often with the word 'massacre' in the title) for the more cynical among us. We've got both camps covered in our handy-dandy Valentine's guide.

The Electric Gardens, Botanic Gardens, until 15 Feb
The folks behind the West End Festival have done a splendid job of turning the Botanics into an illuminated wonderland - click through to our picture gallery if you don't believe us, then set about getting yourself a ticket.

George the Poet, The Berkeley Suite, Thu Feb 19
We're happy to see that spoken word is very much on the rise in the UK, meaning poets from around the country can afford to head out on tour, safe in the knowledge that there'll be an audience for them wherever they land. One such poet is Londoner George, who'll be spreading his socio-politically conscious rhymes at The Berkeley Suite this month.

Rally & Broad: Oh Bondage, Up Yours, Stereo, Sun Feb 22
It's a bit after the fact, but this monthly afternoon performance cabaret is so reliably excellent we'll forgive them their belated anti-Valentine's sentiments. Special guests this time round include Harry Giles, Jellyman’s Daughter, Rose Ruane, Jim Monaghan and Genesee. 

Southside Street Food Showdown, Glad Café, Fri Feb 27-Sat Feb 28
The fourth Street Food Showdown features a four-course face-off between reigning champs Babu Bombay Street Kitchen and challengers Beep Beep Tuk Tuk Street Eats – all you have to do is scoff the lot and vote for a winner.

Music and Nightlife 

Beardyman, The Arches, Wed Feb 4
He's just released his second album ('Distractions'), but there's no guarantee the London beatboxer, musician, live looping maestro and comedian will actually play any cuts from it on this tour, given his love of improvisation (usually on devices of his own making). A phenomenal live show, regardless.

Mariachi El Bronx, King Tuts, Wed Feb 4
If you're only familiar with these guys under their punk-rock guise as The Bronx, prepare to be stunned. Heck, even if you're not familiar with either name, you should prep for stunnage anyway - you never knew lovelorn Mexican brass ballads could be so danceable.

Gorgon City, O2 ABC, Thu Feb 5
The guys behind ubiquitous single of last year, 'Ready For Your Love', come to town touting their debut album ‘Sirens’. It's gig hours but a damn clubby vibe, we reckon.

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut 25th Birthday, throughout Feb
The legendary gig house has put together a string of great performances for its quarter century celebrations, with highlights including Scottish indie types We Were Promised Jetpacks (Feb 5), The Twilight Sad (Feb 6) and Fatherson (Feb 19), plus gigs from one-of-a-kind cultural polymath Julian Cope (Feb 7), a solo set from erstwhile Radiohead drummer Philip Selway (Feb 13), and two gigs from survivors of Libertines-era Britpop: The Cribs (Feb 20) and The Courteeners (Feb 24).

Tiga at Show, Sub Club, Thu Feb 5
It's somewhat unseemly that the Turbo Records boss (and creator of last year's best song/video combo, 'Bugatti') has never played the Sub Club before. Local promoters Show are set to rectify with a Thursday nighter to get the weekend started early.

Kolsch, The Arches, Fri Feb 6
The highly respected Dutch producer visits Scottish shores following the success of 2013 album '1977'.

Opal Tapes x Night School, The Art School, Fri Feb 6
Teesside DIY electronica label Opal Tapes goes up against Glasgow’s own Night School for a night of boundary-pushing techno, featuring sets from Prostitutes, Basic House, Wanda Group, Whilst and Aspotille.

Tuff Love, Nice'n'Sleazy, Fri Feb 6
It's the launch party for fast-rising Glasgow indie-pop duo Tuff Love’s second EP ‘Dross’, which will be released on 10” pink vinyl on Lost Map Records. It'll look nice on your wall, unless you're one of the seven people who still owns a turntable. In which case, well done you.

Milky Chance, O2 ABC, Sat Feb 7
They might have the worst name on the circuit, but this German duo pairing acoustic guitars and sampled beats are onto something special, as evidenced by YouTube smash 'Stolen Dance'.

Balkanarama, The Art School, Sat Feb 7
A 'Hot Balkan Instrumental Orgy' of a club night featuring live music, visuals, Balkan beats, DJs, klezmer/gypsy tunes and more. To be honest, they had us at 'Hot Balkan Instrumental Orgy'.

Dillon Francis, The Arches, Sat Feb 7
The Diplo protege, Moombahton proponent, Twitter mastermind and burgeoning comedy star brings his 'Friends Rule' tour to Glasgow.

Hiss Golden Messenger, Stereo, Mon Feb 9
North Carolina alt-folk duo comprising MC Taylor and Scott Hirsch, ex-members of the bands Ex-Ignota and The Court & Spark. Their latest album ‘Lateness of Dancers’ rode high in several 2014 end of year lists.

The Used, The Garage, Tue Feb 10
Bert McCracken's emo-punk posse tour their sixth album, 'Imaginary Enemy' to the faithful. 

Black Label Society, O2 ABC, Wed Feb 11
Zakk Wylde's heavy metal warriors tear apart Glasgow in support of latest album 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican'.

The Decemberists, O2 Academy, Fri Feb 13
Portland, Oregon indie-folkie sensations The Decemberists are back, with a new album that can’t seem to make its mind up in ‘What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World’, the follow-up to 2011’s critically-acclaimed and highly successful breakout release ‘The King Is Dead’.

Night of the Jaguar, The Art School, Fri Feb 13
NotJ celebrates its first birthday with a stellar guest line-up featuring Christian S (Cómeme) and Jonnie Wilkes (Optimo).

Disciples, Saint Judes, Fri Feb 13
This London DJ/production/vocal outfit have been hotly tipped by Pete Tong, which probably means you should catch them in the relatively intimate confines of Saint Jude's before they inevitably move onto large-scale laser shows in Ibiza.

The Glasgow Pop!South Weekender, Glad Café, Fri Feb 13-Sun Feb 15
The Glad Cafe celebrates Scotland's pop music heritage with a weekend featuring some of the city's finest, including Withered Hand, Kid Canaveral, The Felt Tips and loads more.

Gary Beck at Return to Mono, Sub Club, Fri Feb 13 
The Slam boys have a rich history of stage-sharing with techno champ Gary Beck, which probably explains his return to Return to Mono. Also, he's great.

Zombie Nation at ShangriLa, The Arches, Fri Feb 13
There are startlingly few events will to tackle the whole 'Friday 13th' theme this month, but thankfully ShangriLa are on the case - they've booked Florian Senfter, aka German electro/techno project Zombie Nation, for some suitably horror-infused beats. 

Monster Magnet, The Garage, Sat Feb 14
Give the leather-clad stoner in your life the perfect Valentine's gift: a ticket to see Dave Wyndorf's New Jersey space rock voyagers in the flesh.

Interpol, Barrowland, Sat Feb 14
Gloomy indie-rock New Yorkers Interpol return to Scotland in support of their well-received new album ‘El Pintor’, a title which, besides being an anagram of Interpol, is also Spanish for 'the painter'. Every day's a school day.

Gruff Rhys, The Art School, Thu Feb 19
The Super Furry man comes to Glasgow off the back of his 'American Interior' project – a sprawling concept album, book, film, app and Power Point-based live performance experience.

Hoya:Hoya x Highlife, The Art School, Sat Feb 21
Manchester UK bass label Hoya:Hoya goes head to head with Glasgow's own Afro-dance crew Highlife. Guests from both labels include Auntie Flo, Esa, Andrew (Huntleys and Palmers), Jon K, Illum Sphere, Jonny Dub and MC Fox.

TYCI, Stereo, Sat Feb 21
The feminist blog, zine and club night welcomes singer-songwriter Hannah Lou Clarke, artist and musician Sarah J Stanley and the Push It DJs to their latest shindig.

George Ezra, O2 Academy, Sun Feb 22
Folksy acousto-pop from the chart-topping, Brit Award-nominated singer-songwriter.

NME Awards Tour, O2 ABC, Sun Feb 22
Music magazine NME’s annual Awards Tour junket promises to be a serious hell-raiser this year, with Palma Violets, Fat White Family, The Amazing Snakeheads and Slaves all in the mix – bands each not exactly know for their love of early nights tucked up in bed with a good book, shall we say.

Royal Blood, Barrowlands, Sun Feb 22-Mon Feb 23
Britain’s biggest new rock band in many a year gear up for summer stadium shows supporting Foo Fighters with the small matter of a two-night stint headlining the Barrowland. How long before they’re filling stadiums in their own right?

Kate Tempest, Stereo, Mon Feb 23
The Mercury-nominated poet, musician and playwright shares her talents with the Glasgow massive.

Death From Above 1979, O2 ABC, Mon Feb 23
Canadian duo Death From Above 1979 reunited in 2011 after splitting in 2006. They’re back to tear dance punk another new one, with only their second album in all ‘The Physical World’.

Ryan Adams, O2 Academy, Mon Feb 23
The American songsmith's Glasgow date was a surprise announcement in late January, but provided a happy outlet for those who couldn't bag tickets to his Usher Hall gig. Though it's probably sold out as well, by the time you read this.

Deerhoof, Stereo, Tue Feb 24
Prolific American punk rock band known for their DIY ethos and unmissable live shows. Which means you should give 'em a try, even if it's not usually your bag. You never know, you might love it.

Gazelle Twin, The Art School, Fri 27 Feb
'Industrial pop' is a genre tag that seems to fit right in with The Art School's left-of-field club programming aesthetic. Brightonian producer/composer Elizabeth Bernholz, aka Gazelle Twin, does it better than most.

Danny Howard, The Arches, Sat Feb 28
BBC Radio 1 dance don Howard brings his 'Nothing Else Matters' project, showcasing the best in electronica in cities around the UK, to Glasgow. Illyus & Barrientos are the hometown heroes at this instalment, alongside Nottingham's Philip George, London's Eli & Fur and Howard himself.


Jupiter Ascending, general release from Fri Feb 6
The Wachowski's much-delayed epic space opera finally lands in our screens this month, finally letting audiences see if it was worth all the fuss. We're cautiously optimistic about the flick, which features Mila Kunis as the unwitting heir to Earth and Channing Tatum as the alien warrior who must protect her against her scheming distant relations.

Selmageneral release from Fri Feb 6
Our reviewer awarded five stars to this historic drama that charts the civil rights struggle in 1960s America, declaring it 'pitch-perfect in its details yet totally lived-in: a universe of rolled-up shirt sleeves, sweaty brows and screams that sound horribly real'. Given the events in Ferguson last year, its release also looks as sadly timely as ever.

Shaun the Sheepgeneral release from Fri Feb 6
The scene-stealing Wallace & Gromit side-character gets his own big screen adventure, and it looks to be as much a hoot as we'd hoped. Take the family along if you must, but we reckon they'd only get in the way of your own childlike glee.

Coherence, selected release from Fri Feb 13
With a trailer campaign that is admirably short on spoilers, we're in a state of extreme anticipation of this cerebral sci-fi thriller that looks set to turn the home invasion genre on its head.

Glasgow Film Festival, various venues from Wed Feb 18-Sun Mar 1
With somewhere in the region of 170 screenings and events, it's impossible to boil the whole thing down to a single recommended event. But we're going to try anyway. A Night at the Regal celebrates the O2 ABC's current occupation as a music venue alongside its past life as a cinema (the Regal ABC), inviting the likes of eagleowl, Monoganon, Joe McAlinden and British Sea Power to perform live scores to films from by Penny Woolcock, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard.

Matchbox Cineclub, Old Hairdressers, Thu Feb 19
Ok, we couldn't just stick to one Film Fest event - the cult film-loving Matchbox Cineclub is also operating under the GFF banner this month, screening a bizarro music-and-stunts flick that probably falls into the fest's Australia strand. 'Stunt Rock' stars 'Mad Max' stuntman Grant Page, who navigates the paper-thin plot in a series of ever-more-outrageous action set-pieces while prog wizards 'Sorcery' provide the soundtrack. Sounds like a silly, glorious mess to us.

The Duke of Burgundy, selected release from Fri Feb 20
Neatly falling into the same month as 'Fifty Shades of Grey', Peter Strickland's follow-up to 'Berberian Sound Studio' handles the subject of eroticism and sadomasochism in a much more substantial fashion.

Catch Me Daddy, selected release from Fri Feb 27
A 'pitiless story that feels fresh and immediate', this gripping British thriller focuses on British-Asian Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed) and white Scottish Aaron (Conor McCarron), two young people hiding from threatening figures who pursue them relentlessly.

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