What we’re looking forward to in arts and entertainment this week, including music, film, theatre, clubs, art and comedy.
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Music: Transatlantic Sessions
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Friday and Sunday, 7.30pm, £26 - £29
If you only catch one show at Celtic Connections, Transatlantic Sessions is the gig that best sums up the spirit of the festival. A house band featuring Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Donald Shaw and more represent the home team at the two shows (on Friday and 3 February), and guests from across the pond include Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Film: Jane Birkin
The Arches, Glasgow
Tuesday, 7.30pm, £28.50 - £30
The music of Serge Gainsbourg has had a few high-profile champions in recent years - Jarvis Cocker, Beck, Nick Cave - but none as dedicated as the actress and singer Jane Birkin, once his partner and muse, who continues to perform his songs on stage and visits the Glasgow Music and Film Festival on Tuesday to introduce her documentary Souvenirs Of Serge. The screening will be followed by a live set from Birkin.
Theatre: Manipulate Festival
From Friday until 16 Feb
Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre is known for championing new playwriting, but for nine years it has also hosted Manipulate, an annual festival of visual theatre - a loose term that takes in puppetry (for grown-ups rather than children), animation and some dance and physical theatre. This year, there are also shows at nearby Summerhall, and highlights include puppet interpretations of The Odyssey and the last days of Hitler. It runs from Saturday until 16 February.
Music: Dinosaur Jr
The Arches, Glasgow
Wednesday, 7pm, £18.50
Apart from an eight-year hiatus, Dinosaur Jr have been a driving force behind grunge rock for three decades. They formed in Massachusetts back in 1984 and create ripe hardcore melodies with thrusting riffs. Frontman J Mascis have been hailed as influences by countless rockers through the years, including Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. Their loud-quiet style should go down well in The Arches.
Music: Wee Dub Festival
Various venues, Edinburgh
Friday - Sunday
The Wee Dub Festival is Scotland’s original and only festival of dub and reggae music, taking place across Edinburgh’s old town over a single weekend. A weekend of dub, reggae, dancehall and jungle featuring top DJs, live acts and MCs. Also look out for workshops, kids activities and film screenings.
Film: Zero Dark Thirty
For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker, returns to tell the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man. The Scotsman’s Alistair Harkness called it “a deftly made, intelligently handled and serious piece of film-making”.
Books: Winter Words
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Now in its ninth year, Pitlochry’s Winter Words has grown from a small, weekend-long event to festival spread over ten days, which began this weekend and continues until 3 February. Still to come: Alistair Moffat and James Naughtie discussing the Highland Line, an evening with Blackadder and Time Team’s Tony Robinson, Esther Woolfson on how Aberdeen inspires her writing, and lots more.
Comedy: Best of Irish Comedy
The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow
Wednesday, 8.30pm, £7
Michael Redmond - who you’ll know from his memorable role in Father Ted - presents the cream of Celtic comedy at The Stand. Line-up includes Kevin Gildea, a stand-up, writer, actor and musician who started out in sketch group Mr Trellis, alongside Ardal O’ Hanlon, and Simon O’Keeffe, a jovial comedian who loves the craic.
Theatre: In An Alien Landscape
The Beacon Theatre, Greenock, then on tour
Friday, 7.30pm, £10 / £8
Albie was an ordinary man until a scuffle with death unleashed his inner creative genie. Since he emerged from his coma he hasn’t been able to stop painting. This new play by Danny Start for Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is on tour throughout Scotland from Friday.
Art: Zoe Beloff: A History of Dreams Remains to Be Written
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh
Until 16 February
This is the first solo exhibition of native-born Zoe Beloff’s work in Scotland, including never before seen drawings and film connecting Occupy Wall Street and the Paris Commune (1871). The exhibition also includes a recreation of The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and its Circle. Beloff’s work, in its many guises, summons spirits from the past to meet with the contemporary world.