If overbooked, overcharging restaurants and heart-emblazoned decorations aren’t quite your thing, check out our picks for a slightly more original Valentine’s Day this 14 February…

Pumping Iron at Common
No need to change your usual Friday night plans: Common’s disco residents Pumping Iron will be making their usual ‘red hot non-stop dance party’ extra red with a Valentine’s special. And what better way to mark the occasion than some good old fashioned serenading? Led by the riotous Ruby Waters – host of one of the most popular nights on the London karaoke scene – grab the mic, belt out your favourite power ballad and let Tran-e-oke do the talking.
Fri 14 Feb, Common, Common, Edge Street, M4 1HW, 9pm – 2am, FREE before 10pm (£2 after), aplacecalledcommon.co.uk

Prelude to a Number at The Lowry
Add a twist to the cliché cinema date and take in an evening of spoken word and performance at The Lowry instead, with winner of the annual Routes North commission, Prelude to a Number. Here, local performing company Geddes Loom presents an artistic exploration of the qualities of the number Phi, using live-looped music, words and visual projections as a ‘hymn to the mathematics of beauty’. Who says a bit of maths can’t add up to a good Valentine’s alternative?
Thu 13 Feb – Fri 14 Feb, The Lowry, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0843 208 6000, 8pm, £12, thelowry.com

Valentine’s Boys Night Only at Whisky Shop
Forget Gal-entine’s Day (a la Parks and Recreation): come Valentine’s evening, The Whisky Shop on St Ann’s Square will be a women-free zone. Yep, the shop – which opened last August – will be shunning the typical heart-shaped menu and dishing out proper ‘man’s food’ instead. Washed down with six of their finest whiskies, we can’t decide whether this a macho romance-free night or a gay Valentine’s date night for ‘like-minded guys’. Either way – and possibly both ways – it should make for a top evening for whisky-loving guys/gays.
Fri 14 Feb, The Whisky Shop, St Ann’s Square, M2 7LF, 7.30pm, £25, www.qhop.co.uk

Thu 13 Feb - Fri 14 Feb
Hannah Phillips
Published on:
Wed 12 Feb 2014