One of our favourite local outfits Goldblume are kicking the year off with an EP launch at The Portland on the 6th. A three-piece from Cambridge, we fully recommend their off-kilter, fuzzy, sound which takes influence from the likes of Reuben, Pulled Apart By Horses and the Pixies.
Sticking at the same venue, SuperGlu bring their furious, exciting lo-fi pop-punk to The Portland on the 28th. Formed in 2014 by two Bens (Brown and Ward), Brown’s brother Alex and girlfriend Krista Lynch, SuperGlu are a garage pop four-piece from Manningtree, Essex. They’ve been championed by Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing’s Huw Stephens, who broadcast their first demo on Radio One in October 2014, before the band had even played a gig. They released their debut single “Diving Bell” via Ipswich-based antigen records in April 2015, generating an instant online buzz, sufficient to secure their first festival appearance, at Latitude 2015, only nine months after the band first formed.
Fifteen years ago, Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton – two founders of the wildly popular group The Be Good Tanyas – first joined forces. Now they come together once again, with a worldwide touring schedule and new studio album coming in 2017. Their new project, as always, is a page from the big book of North Americana and outsider folk. They’re at The Portland on the 16th. The Portland also hosts a strong dark electronic music bill on the 25th featuring Necro Deathmort. CAM DEAS and the low-frequency rumblings of Twenty Three Hanging Trees complete the line up. Finally Hope and Social take to The Portland stage on the 27th.
There’s a host of a trio of indie/pop punk free nights going down on Saturday nights at the Corner House throughout January. The first night on the 7th includes Don Blake and James Meakin, the 14th sees I Said Goodbye headline whilst Standing Like Statues featuring on the 21st’ bill.
Kenny Anderson, or King Creosote to you and I, paints the most immersive, moving and magical pictures through his music. Mixing delicate vocals and folk guitar influences, his is a sound that provides a beautifully crafted demonstration of what can be achieved with a song and a strum. His latest his new record ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’ explores the tension and harmony between tradition and technology – between analogue and digital philosophies – and also invokes a feeling, King Creosote says, of “being caught between heaven and earth”. Anderson makes his welcome return to Cambridge on the 18th, playing his biggest show to date at the Corn Exchange.
The Corn Exchange plays host to one of the biggest shows of the month with Two Door Cinema Club in town on the 25th. 2016 saw the County Down trio release their difficult third record, four years after its predecessor. ‘Gameshow’ saw the band embrace the 80s in a re-energised move following their self-imposed hiatus.
Opening on the 25th are up and coming indie starlets Sundara Karma who themselves release their debut record this month. The Reading four-piece bring chorus-heavy, anthemic singles to the party with a unique brand of psychedelic pop. They’re a band creating something qualitatively different from their indie contemporaries.
The recently reformed three piece Busted fulfil our guilty pleasure quota this month. Though stylistically unrecognisable and far darker around the edges, recent album ‘Night Driver’ is still the vivid hook riot you would expect from Busted, as vivacious in their early thirties as they were in their teens. Busted play the Corn Exchange on the 30th.
Billed as the folk music event of the year The Transports tour plays the Cambridge Junction on the 24th. Peter Bellamy‘s masterpiece Ballad-Opera ‘The Transports’ made its first appearance in 1977, released as a vinyl double LP via Free Reed Records. The cast read like a Who’s Who of the Folk world at the time: Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, Mike & Norma Waterson, A L Lloyd, June Tabor, Cyril Tawney, Dave Swarbrick and many more. A new production of the Ballad-Opera sees the likes of BBC Award Winners The Young’uns, Faustus, Nancy Kerr and members of Bellowhead together on stage taking on this classic it what promises to be a special experience.
Sticking at the Cambridge Junction, The Steve Rothery Band take to the stage on the 14th. In a rare UK appearance Marillion guitarist and founder member Steve Rothery performs tracks from his highly successful solo album The Ghosts of Pripyat with his band, followed by a selection of older Marillion rarities with guest vocalist Martin Jakubski.
We end with a reminder that on February 1st California rockers Rival Sons play the Cambridge Junction. The band are in a purple batch with recent records like ‘Great Western Valkyrie’ going down as a modern classic in rock circles and tour slots with the likes of Black Sabbath.