With dry January now a painful memory, mainly due to this weekend’s stinking hangover, it’s time to move forward into the even colder month of February as we pray that the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, got his prediction of an early spring right last week.
Despite the cold, there’s plenty to celebrate with Chinese New Year on Tuesday and the Year of the Pig (not you Peppa), top exhibitions as well as some great new albums, film releases and plenty more besides. Here’s The Weekly EDIT.
Chinese New Year (5th)
The biggest celebrations will take place on Sunday, where there will be dragon dancers, acrobats and a 50-float parade riding between Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square.
The festivities in Birmingham will be focused around the city’s Chinese quarter where there will be lion and dragon dancers, circus acts and authentic Chinese street food and music.
For 3 days from Friday Liverpool will be hosting all kinds of New Year bashes and parades in locations like Chinatown (obviously) & Bold Street with iconic buildings like the Bombed Out Church and Everyman Theatre turning red to commemorate the event.
Last year, the Scottish capital hosted its first official celebration of Chinese New Year and there’s plenty going on for the Year of the Pig with the blue riband event being a concert at Usher Hall on 9 Saturday, where the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra and artists from China and the UK will perform.
Sherlock Escape Room (till May 31st)
Fans of the deerstalker sporting detective will be in their element with this 100-minute immersive escape game based in Shepherds Bush.
In The Game Is Now, teams of 4-6 people enter into the world of Sherlock with immersive sets and environments from the show, to work together in solving mysteries and puzzles before time runs out. Elementary stuff.
Mandela: The Official Exhibition (Feb 8th till June 2nd)
This travelling exhibition showcases the life of one of the most iconic freedom fighters and political leaders, Nelson Mandela.
Featuring previously unseen film, photos and historical artefacts, this immersive and interactive experience takes you on a journey into the celebrated figures life.
Legends of Darts 5 (9th)
Any fans of their arrows should head to Infernos night club in Clapham on Saturday for a night of fun with some iconic names from the world of darts.
The likes of Wayne Mardle, Keith Deller and the bejewelled figure of Bobby George will be stepping up to the oche for a night filled with fun and plenty of bullseyes.
Jeff Koons Exhibition (Feb 7th till June 9th)
Kitch contemporary artist Jeff Koons has a new show in the unlikely surroundings of the world’s oldest museum, Oxford’s Ashmolean.
For five months these hallowed walls will host 17 pieces by the American artist, with fourteen of the sculptures having never been shown in the UK before.
With some eye-popping works set inside such a unique venue, this promises to be an interesting show.
The Scottish electro-poppers are a live act not to be missed. They’re touring around Blighty till Feb 22nd playing new material from their recent LP Love is Dead.
Catch them at one of two dates in Birmingham this week on the 8th & 9th ahead of their big show at Coachella later in the year.
Steve Mason (10th, Manchester Academy)
We were only banging on about Mason’s great fourth solo album that was released last month.
Now the former Beta Band boy is doing some selective dates with Saturday seeing him pitching up in Manchester. Should be a top night.
Eats & Drinks
Chinese Street Food Market (7th-10th)
Seeing it’s the Year of the Pig why not eat like one? You can chow down on some of the finest Chinese street food fare in Manchester’s St Ann’s Square this week.
With some of the city’s best exponents of one of the nation’s favourite grub coming together for a February food fest. Dim Sum SU, Jade Rabbit, Wallace & Sons and Kowloon Café will be among those delighting with their dishes.
Fans of the green fairy, better known as the rather potent spirit absinthe can get a full lesson in the fascinating history surrounding the drink this week from The Last Tuesday Society.
As well as some fascinating facts guests will be invited to channel the spirit of the Belle Époque as a new selection of rare & exclusive of Absinthes will be introduced for a tasting session.
App of the Week
GBOX – Toolkit for Instagram (on ios, Andriod, Free)
This is an essential app for all Instagrammers out there. It’s a one-stop shop for all the features needed to faff around in creating that perfect image that will deliver hundreds of likes.
This easy to use this piece of kit allows you to chop one pic into 3 for that swipe effect, No Crop Post means you can post full-size pics, and Video Splitter will chop your long videos into 15-second chunks to fit into your IG stories.
All your Insta problems solved in a, well, instant!
Song of the Week
Nilüfer Yanya – In Your Head
If this single is anything to go by, Nilüfer Yanya is set for a big 2019. The West Londoner has utilised her Turkish, Irish and Bajan heritage, transferring the most interesting elements into her melting pot of music.
In Your Head is an out and out pop banger, that stands out all the more with her unique vocals. Watch out for her debut album Miss Universe which is out in March.
Mercury Rev is back with an album-length tribute to reclusive country star Bobbie Gentry.
Here the band lovingly covers his 1968 album The Delta Sweete in full, with a little help from some musical stars and there’s even one track featuring Dutch actress Carice van Houten.
Listen to the new single below, ‘Okolona River Bottom Band’ which benefits from the sultry vocals of Norah Jones.
Nearly a decade after the Lemonheads released their 2009 covers record Varshons, the band return with Varshons 2.
This time around Evan Dando and the boys will be taking on the likes of ‘Straight to You’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, ‘Abandoned’ by Lucinda Williams and maybe the most exciting of all ‘Take it Easy’ by The Eagles.
Nightflyers (NETFLIX, Now)
This new NETFLIX horror sci-fi series is based on the novella by Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin. Set in deep space on the eve of Earth’s destruction.
A crew of explorers journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, The Nightflyer, and work to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to the planet’s survival.
As the crew nears their destination however, they discover that mysterious forces and even their own minds are working against them.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Amazon Prime, 8th)
This biopic from Gus Van Sant follows the true story of John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) a boozer left stuck in a wheelchair after a friend (Jack Black) dozes off at the wheel on their way back from a wild party.
John discovers a hidden talent for drawing, channeling his playful personality into crude, politically incorrect cartoons, which in turn help his healing process.
With the rest of the cast rounded out by Jonah Hill and rock royalty in Beth Ditto and Kim Gordon…
High Flying Bird (Netflix, 8th)
This new movie from director Steven Soderbergh shot entirely on smartphones follows Moonlight break-out star André Holland playing a high-powered sports agent caught in the midst of a pro basketball lockout between the league and the players.
With only 72 hours to pull off a daring plan, he outmanoeuvres all the power-players as he uncovers a loophole that could change the game forever.
The film features appearances from NBA athletes Reggie Jackson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Donovan Mitchell.
Win an orange, gold and lilac tweed jacket courtesy of Joseph Turner.
We’re giving one lucky MALESTROM reader the chance to win a check tweed jacket worth £312, courtesy of British menswear brand Joseph Turner.
To be in with a chance of winning this prize, all you have to do is head to The MALESTROM HQ on Facebook ‘LIKE’ the page and ‘SHARE’ the competition post.
The stunning Dales jacket is crafted from a flawlessly stylish orange, gold and lilac checked tweed, woven by Marton Mills, Yorkshire.
Best of luck!
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