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


Northern flicks, sci-fi masterpieces and some brand new film festivals feature in this month’s cinema preview.


Spring weather might be dragging its feet a little, but the world of exhibitions isn’t slowing down with new shows popping up everywhere to greet the new season.


With two weeks off school and the sun finally rearing it’s head, April is the month to have fun with family and friends and make some amazing memories in readiness for summer term!

Jen Calleja


Books are most definitely back, with a whole host of live events by writers local as well as international, from pop-up performances to regular reading series, plus some hybrid festival specials and online launches allowing access wherever you happen to be.


From Father John Misty to The Flaming Lips, The Waeve to Big Thief, here are the gigs on our radar for early spring.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


You’ll find everything from work-in-progress scratch nights to multi-award winning musicals in this month’s theatre guide.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Get ready for spring and summer with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

From indie markets to bit-sized meditation, spoon carving workshops to gallery tours, here are the headlines in the world of tours and activities.