Christmas is the tackiest of all holidays; A glitzy, glorious spectacle of booze and tat and sheds masquerading as Alpine huts. ‘A holiday that’s coming’ is announced in repeated chant of a soft drinks manufacturer. At this time of year, it’s easy to get swallowed by the shallow capitalist pageant, but rest assured there’s plenty out there to stimulate the senses without having to  hand over a single penny. Bah humbug indeed.

Gein’s Family Giftshop at Sandbar (pictured)
Purveyors of fine free comedy, Dead Cat have a particularly special line up this week. Headlining is the darkly brilliant sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop, who very nearly walked away with the Best Newcomer gong at this years Edinburgh Fringe. Supporting them is Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, a seasoned stand-up with plenty of morbid material of her own and the night is held together by resident MC Red Redmond. Donations are recommended for this show, but by no means required.
Mon 8 Dec, Dead Cat Comedy Club, Sandbar, 120 Grosvenor Street, M1 7HL, 8pm,

himHallows Exhibition at Kosmonaut
himHallows is the moniker of Mancunian artist Paul Hallows. His exhibition, entitled ‘Grand Tour’, draws from the artist’s fascination with space travel and focuses on the celestial journey of the Voyager 1 and 2 crafts and is aptly hosted by Kosmonaut. This is a free exhibition, although savvier collectors may be able to track down one of the limited-run books he’s produced to accompany the show.
Mon 1 Dec 2014 – Fri 2 Jan 2015, Kosmonaut, 10 Tariff Street, M1 2FF,

Everyday Illusions at Paper Gallery
This exhibition at the Paper Gallery enters its final week, so it really is your last chance to catch it. Featuring the work of eight different artists working across a range of media, it aims to take a fresh look at the spaces we occupy and deconstruct these familiar surroundings. The exhibition features the work of Hermione Allsopp, Conor Rogers and Eleanor Watson among others.
Sat 8 Nov – Sat 13 Dec, Paper Gallery, Mirabel Studios, 14-20 Mirabel Street, M3 1PJ, 11am – 5pm, 

30 Years of the Future at Castlefield Gallery
From a show at the end of its run to one just beginning. The Castlefield gallery is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and it’s asked its impressive roster of alumni to compile a list of 14 of the freshest young artists, to be handed the keys to the gallery. What you get is a showcase of the newest talent that will be shaping art in the region for the decades to come. This is vital work that needs to be seen sooner rather than later.
Fri 5 Dec 2014 – Sun 1 Feb 2015, Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, M15 4GB, Gallery open Wed – Sun 1pm – 6pm,

Mon 8 Dec - Thu 11 Dec
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Sat 8 Nov 2014