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The weekend what to do (18-20 Dec)

Bunnymen, Space Invaders and a big Christmas knees-up. Joseph Viney on what he thinks the world is coming to, events wise, in the next few days....

Published on December 17th 2009.

The weekend what to do (18-20 Dec)

Bunnymen back
Hometown boys Echo & The Bunnymen complete the last two nights of their three night residency at Liverpool’s O2 Academy and, despite the fact that they never had a Christmas hit, will no doubt be bringing some cheer to the faces of their diehard fans.

They remain the indie heroes of the 1980s and perma-sunglassed Ian McCulloch still might be your hero, if not your dad’s.

The group’s last visit to Liverpool saw a packed Arena as they played the magnificent 1984 album Ocean Rain in its entirety.

After a number of line-up changes, two untimely deaths and a career of tensions Echo & The Bunnymen have been reduced to McCulloch and long-time guitarist Will Sergeant; though with the peerless McCulloch at centre stage there’s always a reason to celebrate the return of the Bunnymen.

*Echo & The Bunnymen play three nights at Liverpool O2 Academy from 17th-19th December. Tickets £18. See rel="iframe" title="Liverpool Academy::www.liverpool-academy.co.uk:: fullscreen: true" class="lightview">www.liverpool-academy.co.uk for more information.

All in the game
FACT, this weekend launches a season of gaming with Space Invaders, a group exhibition that brings art and gaming cultures together. From retro text-based role-playing games, to the detailed city maps found in the latest Grand Theft Auto, Space Invaders draws on these sources of artistic inspiration and explores the increasingly blurred boundaries between video-game spaces and real spaces. It also offers constructive social comment relating to the amount of violence present in modern computer gaming as well as trying to highlight the plight of sweatshop workers in Asia.

Fans of the online game Counter-Strike can play with a modified version in Riley Harmon’s live sculptural installation, What It Is Without the Hand That Wields It. With every death in the game, the installation dispenses a blood-like liquid onto the wall – a physical manifestation of the game’s violent action.

Art enthusiasts will relish Bill Viola’s return to FACT with The Night Journey, the pioneering video artist’s first foray into the gaming format. The piece uses custom 3D processing techniques that stretch the boundaries of the gaming experience.

Ubermorgen’s Chinese Gold is also included; a study of the World of Warcraft sweatshops staffed by Chinese workers repetitively gathering game points to sell to Western players, in real currency.

For those of you with a head in the digital clouds, this is one exhibit that is definitely not to be missed.

*Space Invaders: Art & The Video Game Environment, FACT, Wood St. Dec 18-Feb 21. Free. See www.fact.co.uk for further details.

Christmas past. Very past
Celebrate a traditional Christmas with the Renaissance Music Group and their music session, The Nativity – Sounds and Images from the Renaissance. This performance brings some of the Christmas music by Orlando Lassus, a composer of late Renaissance music who was the most famous and influential musician in Europe at the end of the 16th century.

Their performance will be set against the backdrop of some of the depictions of the Christmas story in Renaissance art on display in the Medieval and Renaissance room.

There will also be projections on the wall of artworks from The Royal Collection, The British Library British Museum, The National Gallery and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Netherlands).

The Musicians Gallery runs until the end of March 2010 and offers visitors the chance to enjoy the magnificent artwork the Walker Art Gallery has on display whilst listening to a mix of music. The programme will showcase soloists and small ensembles from the pool of local talent as well as professional musicians who may be performing in the city in other venues.

*Music & Masterpieces – Walker Art Gallery, William Brown St. Saturday 19 Dec, 2pm-4pm. Free. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk. Call: 0151 478 4199

And so this is Christmas
It wouldn't be the party season without the Geek Chic girls getting under the mistletoe for mulled wine, mince pies and festive frolics in the warmth and magnificence of the Contemporary Urban Centre's Mezzanine Bar. Would it?

Put on your festive knits, they urge, and sit with Uncle Rinty around the fireside for an evening of parlour games, quizzes, music and booze.

There's a charity raffle in aid of the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal. If you buy your ticket for this event online you will be entered into a prize draw to win a bottle of bubbly and a pair of tickets to a 2010 Club Geek Chic event of your choice!

Tickets are £15 and are available via www.clubgeekchic.co.ukReindeer jumpers optional…

*A good old fashioned knees up with Club Geek Chic, Mezzanie Bar CUC, Parliament St, Saturday 19th December, 8pm-1am.

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