Christmas 2014: A guide to Scottish concerts and gigs

Christmas 2014: A guide to Scottish concerts and gigs

Ibibio Sound Machine

Including Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles, Slowfest, RSNO's Hollywood Christmas and Handel’s Messiah

Christmas isn’t just a time for sitting about in the comfort of your own sofa. David Pollock spies some gigs and musical events to entice you out of that front door

Of this year’s stellar repertoire of festive music events happening across the central belt, none has us more excited than Dune: The Musical (Pilrig St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh, Fri 12 Dec) from the Irregular Owl Movements. The clubbing wing of Edinburgh slowcore titans eagleowl will provide a feast of seasonal sandworm serenades featuring Prehistoric Friends and other special guests in support. There’s also the fifth anniversary of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles (Portobello Town Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 13 Dec), which this year sees KC joined by Afrobeat and highlife outfit Ibibio Sound Machine, Lost Map labelmates Randolph’s Leap and more.

Slowfest (Bloc+, Glasgow, Mon 29 Dec) returns to Glasgow with its celebration of stripped-back acoustic music sets which last year featured the likes of Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad. Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook (Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 19 & Sat 20 Dec) is a by-now traditional set of seasonal songs from the folk icon and guests will include Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker and Kris Drever.

In a more cinematic vein, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra this year welcomes conductor Richard Kaufman for Hollywood Christmas (Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 12 Dec; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sat 13 Dec), a selection of seasonal film scores including It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. The RSNO will also be live-scoring the film version of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman (Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sat 20 Dec; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 21 Dec).

The Aled Jones-starring touring version of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Fri 19 Dec) will appear briefly, while the Dunedin Consort play children and adult versions of Handel’s Messiah (Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 21 Dec, 4pm & 7pm).

There will also be a whole bunch of seasonal tours hitting Scotland in the period running up to Christmas Day, although for our purposes the really special ones tend to be gigs which feature local groups returning from a hard autumn on the road. A bunch of the best should include The Twilight Sad (ABC, Glasgow, Fri 19 Dec) and We Were Promised Jetpacks (QMU, Glasgow, Sat 13 Dec), both of whom have released great albums on FatCat in recent months. Other festive treats include The Phantom Band (Arches, Glasgow, Fri 12 Dec), Glasvegas (Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Sun 21 Dec) and Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd (Garage, Glasgow, Sat 13 Dec), whose politically-conscious rap made an impact during this year’s big events in Scotland.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

The Twilight Sad

Melancholic soaring sounds from indie rock band Twilight Sad.

Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow

Sat 2 Apr

Sold out / 0141 552 4601

The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

Fri 21 Jan

£27.50* / 0141 353 8000

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Scottish indie rock band from Edinburgh, formed in 2003.

Stanley Odd

Scottish hip hop outfit.

The Phantom Band

Glasgow's compelling Krautfolk ensemble.

Dunedin Consort: Handel's Messiah

The Dunedin Consort's rendering of Handel's landmark oratorio has received rave reviews over the years, and the consort's 2006 recording of it won a Gramophone award. Here the ensemble gives its annual performance of the work, led by director John Butt.

Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles

An all day indie Christmas party curated by Kid Canaveral.

The RSNO Christmas Concert: The Snowman

A family-friendly concert of carols and seasonal tunes, including the now annual screening of the 1982 film The Snowman, with live musical accompaniment.


Stripped back, intimate gigs by some of the best contemporary Scottish acts on the scene. This year's line-up includes PAWS, Carnivores, Algernon Doll, So Many Animal Calls and Bear Arms.

RSNO: Hollywood Christmas

Veteran Hollywood conductor Richard Kaufman presents a selection of classic Christmas movie themes, from films such as It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol and others.

White Christmas

  • Directed by: John Rigby (cond)
  • Written by: Paul Blake (book)

An evening of songs and carols for Christmas.

Dune: The Musical

Irregular Owl Movements' Christmas panto brings David Lynch's vision of Dune to life with sand worms, space ships and sing-a-longs.