12 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Phot0 of the 3 Puppini Sisters agains a teal background

Introducing our Advent Calendar – the twelfth post in a cultural countdown to Christmas. Today: Music, times two.

Islington Mill is celebrating the fruits of its first music residency this evening: it’s the launch of the first release from Samarbeta, a new record label founded by Emma Thompson (Fat Out till you Pass Out) and Rivca Burns (Sounds From the Other City). Anonymous Bash, the album by musician Charles Hawyard, will be played in its entirety, along with performances from other musicians. We suggest you seek out the Under New Management bar before the launch, for superb cocktails in a stripped-back environment. Then mosey along Chapel Street and lend Samarbeta and co your ears. Islington Mill, 7.30pm, free.

Do more. Back in town, there’s The Glitter Ball at Kraak Gallery, hosted by infamous club night Drunk at Vogue. Expect glitzy frosted glamour and disco dancing into the small hours, alongside a performance from Grace Oni Smith. Kraak Gallery, 10.30pm until late. Tickets £6. Alternatively, do something spontaneous. The Puppini Sisters are playing at Dukes, Lancaster this evening – only an hour away from Manchester by train. The vocal harmony trio will be lending their dulcet tones to classic Christmas songs of the swing era. Hear Eartha Kitt and the Andrews Sisters in a whole new way. Go on… you know you want to. Dukes, Lancaster, 7pm. Tickets £20/£18 conc.

Culture Guides


The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Backyard Cinema


It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.


Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean


There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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