If you’re lust for Christmas has been pushed to the edge with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and any other festive frenzied days, then let the Arches offer you a refreshing slant on it all.
Gary McNair is declaring War on Christmas every day at at the Arches at 7:30pm until Sunday 28 December (£6/£4 – concession).
But don’t fear – it’s not a bah humbug response to the season…well, unless you’re talking about the John Lewis advert. This rebellious poke at Christmas takes a look at what it manages to distract us from and what it brings us. McNair also gives some pretty great advice about finding happiness in the everyday not just a few days a year.
This one is for the big kids (18+). So go on, take a journey with an enthusiastic young Santa working at one of Glasgow’s poorest grottos who discovers the true meaning of the season. And enjoy the glitter, chaos, laughs and drama. So perhaps not so very different from my regular Christmas after all.
Well done to the sensational Santas that took part in the Santa Dash
We’re thankfully never at a loss of fab things to do in Glasgow because it’s truly the stage of the world. So here’s a little tip, on Tuesday 9 December make sure you catch Cambodian dance theatre company Epic Arts at the CCA.
Cambodia’s vibrant arts scene was destroyed in the mid-70s when the rule of Khmer Rouge literally killed it off. But now it’s starting to re-emerge and shows like Come Back Brighter explore the effects before, during and after the brutal regime.
These talented performers are truly epic – in fact they are the only fully inclusive dance company in South East Asia to include hearing impaired, physically disabled and able-bodied performers.
Amazing to watch, they mix traditional Khmer dance with impressive contemporary physical theatre techniques.
So go on, inject some epic arts into your festive season. Mesmerising wonder guaranteed.
Glasgay 2014 kicked off this week and is also celebrating its 21st birthday. There’s still time to check out their exciting programme on till 15 November. And that’s what I’ll be doing.
Eat, art and a dash of sport
I’m going to start by combining two of my favourite hobbies – eating and art. I’ll add a little sport for good measure.
First up a visit to Rose and Grants Café for their delish Goat’s Cheese salad with a calorie-free dessert in the form of the Sporting Heads exhibition. The enticing showcase looks at the rise in sportsman come outing in recent times like Tom Daley and Gareth Thomas.
If I can manage a ticket, I’ll be getting down and dirty with the “Pope of Trash” and legendary filmmaker John Waters when he talks about his new book This Filthy World Vol 2.
His impressive back catalogue includes Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby and Polyester – and for one night only he’ll be wowing at the O2 Academy on Friday 14 November. If I don’t get tickets, I’ll catch the 11:15pm showing of Cry-Baby at the GFT.
I’ll be finishing up my Glasgay celebrations at the CCA when Cryptic presents These Delicate Things by Josh Armstrong.
The perfect combination of art and classical music in the most unexpected and invigorating way.
There’s a huge selection of LGBT events and performances – truly something for everyone. So, go on – check it out.
Unleash your inner poet at Blue Chair cafe – last Friday of the month
Not long now until the city is transformed into the Glasgow 2014 sports extravaganza. Along with floods of athletes, unique arts events are popping up in the most unusual places.
Look up, look down – and go with the flow
Discover Perch Carnival on 19 and 20 July. Involving aerial performers, an 86 strong orchestra and a cast of 200, this elevated performance promises to be spectacular. Get your tickets (£6 + £8 at the Arches.
There’s also lots of fab free fun like the Glasgow Film Theatre’s Cargo, Camera, ACTION. On 26 July join musicians, circus performers, artists and filmmakers on the banks of the Clyde for a cinematic take-over. Check out one of five performances happening – each featuring a different band. Tickets are free but you need to book.
The River. Picture credit: Frank McElhinney
Catch Barrowland Ballet’s The River on 20 and 21 July in the Briggait and down by the banks of the Clyde.
150 performers will take you on a beautiful journey through dance, live music and song. Tickets are also free but you need to book.
And these are only some of the many fun-filled arts escapades happening throughout the city alongside the Games. Check out Glasgow 2014 for a full look at all you could be getting up to over the next few weeks.
The Glasgow School of Art degree show launches this weekend – the event that almost never was. In light of the tragic fire, it’s a much more scaled down version. Each Fine Art student will exhibit a single image that they only had one weekend to prepare.
Some students lost all their art work; others have work that may be salvaged. But when they submitted their showcase image, they didn’t know what state their work was in. The potency of each image submitted is still to be revealed.
Images might range from elements of planned degree show work to hurriedly created emergency art. And while this showcase can never replace the commitment and artistic vision every student poured into their projects over the past four years, it certainly stands as a marker combining art and history that must be seen.
So just don’t feel sad about the loss. Go, appreciate and show your support.
See the showcase from 14-21 June at The McLellan Galleries (Renfrew Street entrance). 10am – 5pm.
Glasgow is a city with a constant hub of visual art. But Glasgow International (GI) has a wonderful way of putting art in your way – so you literally can’t miss it.
The Briggait has been overrun with the build up to GI. Inflatable ladders leading up to my office on the balcony offer an alternative route down. The exhibition, Reclaimed – The Second Life of Sculpture – explores the historical and contemporary work, including some of that’s not seen the light of day for two decades.
Some of the exhibits are a flashback to the 80s. So stroll around this eclectic mix and absorb it all.
It’s ok to touch
The GoMA is home to my favourite exhibition – Things to Come by Aleksandra Domanvoic. A must see. Art you can touch is always an exciting novelty – and you can walk through this art.
And if you fancy learning more, check out the small DVD library of films you can borrow for 48 hours. Brilliant.
There’s a huge programme of events happening across Glasgow for GI until the 21April, including talks, walks and workshops. So go on – stumble across some art across the city, try out a workshop and discover something new and wonderful.
It’s time to shake off those January blues. And what better way to do it than by celebrating Rabbie Burn’s birthday.
How you do it is completely up to you but with the selection of Burn’s night fayre on offer, your choices are endless.
A global connection
Go large and eclectic at Celtic Connections. Enjoy a global experience at the International Burns Concert at the SSE Hydro. South African vocal trio the Mahotella Queens, Greek-Cypriot balladeer Alkinoos Ioannidis with Karine Polwart and Scotland’s Salsa Celtica will all be commemorating the Bard with their diverse sounds.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Burn’s night then Rab Ha’s is the answer. Tartan wallpaper and Rabbie’s picture await you. Locally sourced ingredients, Scottish spirit – liquid and otherwise – make it the perfect place to honour the poet.
Dancing feet don’t need to look any further than Cottier’s Burns night on Saturday 25 January. Enjoy the delicious three-course meal, complete with toasts, bagpipes and poetry before the Ceilidh kicks off at 9pm.
For an indulgent combination of dancing, food, music and poetry try Ubiquitous Chip on Sunday 26 January. Enjoy a delectable four-course meal, with obligatory drams of whisky. And when the orator, piper and musicians walk into the bar get ready to ceilidh.
Alternatively you can bring Burns to your house. Just add whisky, haggis, neeps, tatties with friends. Check out the Robert Burn’s Organisation for the poetry and you’re away.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne
If you have never stood in a crowded cavern with some of Glasgow’s biggest and best music fans and joyfully sang your heart out, then you are missing out.
If you have had such an experience, I can only hope that it was at least once in the Barrowland.
You’d be in good company – this boisterous ballroom has hosted an eclectic group of entertainers.
These walls talk, sing and hold such wonderful memories.
Whatever your musical taste, the Barrowlands caters so there is absolutely no excuse not to go. It’s hosted everyone from the Pixies, to Metallica to Massive Attack and more recently Reflektors (aka Arcade Fire).
And many musos name it as a favourite venue – and why not. With its exceptional acoustics and sprung dance floor rocking us into bliss, what’s not to love?
The Barrowland’s sign burns through the night sky – a warm welcome promising an exceptional night. It doesn’t lie.
There is something magical from the moment you walk through the doors, up the stairs – this is a gig venue unlike any other.
If you haven’t yet experienced the merriment of the Barrowland, put it at the very top of you 2014 wish list. You will not be disappointed. You will be thrilled.