Something for the Weekend: Virtual concerts, viewing parties and family-friendly science
- Deborah Chu
- 16 April 2020
Wolf by Barrowland Ballet / credit: Mondo Love
Stave off the quarantine gloom at living room gigs with Robyn and Biffy, laughs with Mark Thomas and the unlikely reunion of a fictional band
Welcome to lockdown week – whatever. Who knows. Who cares? As the days outside get longer and brighter, the quarantine ennui grows stronger and stronger, as we wistfully recall those salad days and halcyon nights of eating out, seeing pals, wearing real clothes and not knowing what 'furlough' means. But these are unhelpful thoughts. The world can still be a beautiful place, and there's plenty for us to see and do and think and feel within the walls of our homes. So if you, like us, are feeling simultaneously overwhelmed and understimulated, let us look forward to the best in virtual events, music and home cinema this weekend.
Let us give thanks to the artists and the mighty Zoom gods, as our online events listings continue to proliferate by the day. So many incredible performers, comedians and practitioners of every stripe are helping us keep the spark lit during these frankly insane times, including Barrowland Ballet, who are streaming pre-recorded dance shows on Facebook for our viewing delight. This week's performance is Wolf (until Tue 21 Apr), which stars members of Barrowlands' intergenerational company Wolf Pack, and features dancers from across three generations.
Keep the little grey cells firing with the Scottish Book Trust, who are hosting an online literary pub quiz (Fri 17 Apr) on all things literary. The Cosmic Shambles crew also returns with another edition of their Stay at Home Show (Fri 17 Apr), so cosy on down with the good company of pals Robin Ince, Josie Long and Tanita Tikaram, as they bring some much-needed levity into our lives. And the gags keep rolling in at Saturday Night Live at the Stand (Sat 18 Apr), which will see Mark Nelson once more compère the hell out of the likes of Mark Thomas, Zoe Lyons, Carl Hutchinson and more. Or watch the improv maestros over at ComedySportz go head-to-head with a virtual show on Fri 17 Apr, and an international match-off with their kin in Chicago, Illinois on Sat 18 Apr.
The comedy doyennes over at Gilded Balloon are also launching another instalment of their weekly virtual variety show, titled Sofa Set List (Fri 17 Apr), over on their YouTube channel. Edinburgh viewers can be in with a chance to win a case of Innis & Gunn beer. Many of these shows are free, but will come with a donation option. If you are able, please give as generously as you can. They're keeping us going through many a dark moment, and we should do the same.
For those seeking out a spot of zen, there's a two-hour morning mindfulness class (Sun 19 Apr) geared towards adults new to meditation and looking to inhabit the present moment, whatever fresh horrors it might bring. There's also one in the evening (Fri 17 Apr) for those who are finding it a bit difficult to get to sleep at the moment. Or if you're looking to zhuzh up your home cooking game, join Yhangry on their Instagram and learn how to make delicious pav bhaji at this live cooking demonstration (Fri 17 Apr), with a few Bollywood dance moves thrown in to boot. Speaking of food: if you can, please also consider supporting your local food and drink scene and order a moveable feast from the restaurants and takeaways still offering home delivery in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Sonic escapism is the name of the game, and there's plenty of it to be had. This past week we were blessed with a new single from indie rock emo queen Phoebe Bridgers, titled 'Kyoto', and Check Masses also have a new single out called 'Lonesome Little Paradise'. We got to catch up with Vic Galloway about the song, how he's keeping busy during the lockdown, as well as the band's post-quarantine plans. Rapper and producer Quelle Chris also took the time to chat with us about his new album Innocent Country 2, and how to roll through life's many rough patches.
Royal Albert Hall are keeping the lights on with their new live stream music sessions #RoyalAlbertHome, which will feature home-bound performances from a dynamic roster of artists. The weekend will feature indie rock and sardonic storytelling talent Baxter Dury (Fri 17 Apr). South Korean boy band phenomenon BTS are also hosting an eight-part concert special over the weekend via their YouTube channel titled Bang Bang Con (Sat 18 and Sun 19 Apr), featuring footage from past concerts. Closer to home, Stirling's own Tolbooth are hosting their weekly Saturday Shindig (Sat 18 Apr) over on their Facebook, featuring a live gig from Carla J Easton and Man of Moon, which will raise money for mental health charity Tiny Changes.
There's a growing list of artists taking to Instagram and Facebook to perform live gigs and let us voyeuristically glimpse into their living rooms, including Robyn (Fri 17 Apr), Biffy Clyro (Fri 17 Apr), the Killers (Sat 18 Apr) and Katherine Jenkins (Sun 19 Apr). But half the fun of listening to music is talking about it with pals, so join in on the discourse in the Twittersphere with Tim Burgess' Twitter Listening Party, which sees the Charlatans' frontman provide live commentary to an album of his choosing. Queued up on the playlist this weekend are Elliott Smith's Figure 8, Supergrass' I Should Coco, Joan As Police Woman's Real Life and more, so if you've got any strong feelings about those picks, keep up using the hashtag #timstwitterlisteningparty.
If you're able to stay up for it (or unable to sleep), catch the virtual concert One World: Together at Home (Sun 19 Apr), which is being hosted by the WHO and Global Citizen. It promises to be a star-studded celebration of the incredible efforts that people had made to protect others during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the healthcare workers saving lives around the world. Slated to make an appearance are the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, Idris Elba, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Lizzo, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and many, many more. The event will be streamed online via Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, as well as broadcast on BBC One.
The Doctor is here to keep the hellions appeased with not one, but two new Doctor Who adventures in story-form, available on their website. Former showrunner Steven Moffat has penned 'The Terror of the Umpty Ums,' while the Doctor and her friends face a lockdown of their own in Paul Cornell's 'The Shadow Passes'. Little Angel Theatre are also uploading a new story, told by one of their talented performers, everyday at noon on their YouTube channel. Head to their website to download each story's accompanying activity pack, perfect for their wee audiences to engage with the story in new ways from home.
Let beloved American singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb take over the childcare reins for a moment at Colour and Sing-Along with Lisa Loeb and Crayola (Fri 17 Apr), which will see the Grammy Award-winner team up with ubiquitous art supplies purveyor Crayola to release a pre-recorded nursery rhyme on her Facebook, alongside a free downloadable colouring page. There's also plenty of family-friendly science content to be mined over at Elements of #EdSciFest (Fri 17–Sun 19 Apr), or check out these recommendations for tabletop fun from List staff about the best board games for the whole family.
TV and Home Cinema
There's a wealth of new film releases for you to catch up on this weekend, and we've got some of the heaviest-hitters rounded up here in the fifth instalment of our Home Cinema series, featuring Céline Sciamma's breathtaking Portrait of a Lady on Fire on Mubi, and the acclaimed British crime drama Blue Story via Amazon On Demand. We've also recently lavished stars on Alan Yang showing us his serious side in Netflix film Tigertail ★★★★☆, as well as Amazon Prime Video offerings Selah and the Spades ★★★★☆ and sci-fi mind-bender Tales from the Loop ★★★★☆.
Just as Zoom pub quizzes are now very much a thing we do, so too are digital viewing parties. Except instead of the normies at your local watering hole, you can discuss The Souvenir with director Joanna Hogg herself, alongside stars Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke, at Curzon: Living Room Q&As (Fri 17 Apr). Director Nisha Ganatra will also be hosting a virtual watch party of her film Late Night, followed by any questions you might have about goddess Emma Thompson at a Q&A afterwards (Sat 18 Apr). Finally, in celebration of the life and work of Adam Schlesinger, who tragically passed away from complications around COVID-19, fictional one-hit wonder band The Wonders participate in a special screening of That Thing You Do! (Sat 18 Apr), raising money for the MusicCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Follow The List's Staying In is the New Going Out articles for more kids TV recommendations, alternative online events, press releases, refund policies, restaurant deliveries and further general information.