On The Horizon: Gigs Coming This Way

Itching to see what gigs will make up the next few months? Here’s a playlist featuring our pick of some of the best…

If you’re anything like us, you’ll have spent the first weeks of this year scouring listings guides for news of a gig (any gig, god damn you!) to go to. The only results of your endeavours – bar the odd notable exception – being that you ended up imagining seeing tumble-weeds appear before your eyes. The well was dry (or is that frozen?) and our venues were empty.

Fortunately, and not a little too soon, things in the next few days, weeks and months pick up pretty quick, gathering a real momentum as we head towards Spring. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, for we need look no further than early next week (22nd Jan,) when the infectiously catchy Joy Formidable hit The Kazimer, touring their second album, Wolf’s Law.

Another band with a new album at the ready are the locally-sourced Wave Machines (The Kazimier, 1st Feb). That new record, Pollen, comes three years after debut, Wave If You’re Really There, earned the band goodwill and critical acclaim to spare. It’ll be interesting to see what sonic leaps have been made in the interim.

Helping us prepare to emerge from our bleak mid-winter are Mazes, playing the Blade Factory at Camp and Furnace on the 1st of February. Acting for all the world as if they had no idea these are the years when guitar music dies (again), as they sing on Go Betweens, the opening track to 2011’s A Thousand Heys, ‘it’s fine, yeah, it’s alright by me’. And no doubt many others, because Mazes – who wear many of their references proudly on their sleeves – have clearly had a very fine education when it comes to guitar bands.

Next up are Iceage, a band described by the Guardian as “in thrall to the spirit of 76”, and while that’s a fair assessment, who’s to say there’s anything wrong with that. Pogo-ing into the Shipping Forecast on the 26th Feb, the Danish punk quartet will not, one imagines, be coming quietly. Heading into March, and the first week sees Chicagoan four-piece Maps & Atlases play The Kazimier (on the 5th). The folk-experimentalists have Tall Ships in tow.

Hot on their heels, a week later, is Willy Mason (Tuesday the 12th, The Kazimier). Mason, whose 2005 hit Oxygen brought him to the attention of those obsessed with comparing folk singer-songwriters to anyone they might sound a little like (but mostly Bob Dylan), is probably, a mere two albums later, only recovering from those unfair comparisons and high expectations now. We’re glad he rode out that particular storm, because latest album Carry On, shows a man reaching the top of his game.

Kenny Anderson, or King Creosote (The Kazimier, 14th April) as we know him, has been doing the rounds for getting on for the best part of two decades (a period in which he has been insanely prolific), and is another one getting better with age. Most recent offering Diamond Mine was nominated for 2011’s Mercury Prize, a prize which, had KC won, he would have been every bit as deserving of as eventual winner, PJ Harvey. Expect extra helpings of Diamond Mine, what with it recently having been re-released, bundled with extra tracks at no loss of quality.

This week saw a handful of acts announced for Sound City 2013. Our picks of the bunch have to be TOY and – hang on to your hats – The Walkmen. Now, in the case of the latter, the temptation to include (best single of all time™) The Rat is overwhelming, but given you’ll have heard that for sure (google it right now if not), we’ll resist it just this once.

A couple of entries earlier, the subject of the Mercury Music Prize came up, and on the 11th May, last year’s winners Alt-J hit town. Some would argue Alt-J’s prize-winning album, An Awesome Wave, didn’t need the extra push that the Mercury gave it. BUT, somebody had to win, and it’s best that the most-deserving name on the list were chosen. In any case Alt-J, with their of-the-moment indie-glitch sound, make for a good way to round off our playlist for our pick of the gigs coming your way in the first few months of 2013.

Posted on 18/01/2013 by thedoublenegative