There’s much to fall in love this month on Cambridge’s live music circuit…
There’s a mammoth month of top events over at The Portland Arms, including Ben Watt (11th) The Pop Group 15th, The Spitfires 25th and The Nightingales 27th. Scottish indie-pop heroes Catholic Action bring their inescapable melodies and equally fervent live show to The Portland on the 18th. The same bill also includes new Cambridge outfit Mad Mary who have impressed us with their harmony led Indie-Folk.
We’ve been waiting an age to have Menace Beach play Cambridge, they’re finally here with their raucous and scuzzy pop on the 9th.
Clock Opera have a history of producing memorable shows at The Portland, after a hiatus they return on the 22nd bringing their new record with them. Expect Fizzy electronic glitches shimmering alongside powerful harmonies.
Having put out one of the best records of last year, New Jersey’s Pinegrove play Cambridge as part of their UK tour on the 26th. Expect loud guitars, uplifting choruses, and a prevailing sense that life is best listened to with the volume turned all the way up.
Our final Portland tip this month is Brighton’s Tall Ships who are here on the 28th. This month the band release their long-awaited sophomore record, their propulsive and anthemic sound makes them one of the most promising rock bands about.
Our top pick at the Blue Moon this month is Cowtown (18th) who play econo, dynamic, over-stimulated rock music that embraces a heavily abridged history of rock n’ roll.
A busy month at the Cambridge Junction kicks off with visionary Singer, Poet, Occultist & Photographer Julian Cope on the 2nd. Syria’s most successful musical export, international singer Omar Souleyman plays on the 11th in what will be one of the most unforgettable shows of the year, guaranteed. The J2 hosts Cambridge outfit Sweet Crisis on the 16th as they return for their first hometown show in some time.
If your bae loves some smart, rapidly delivered indie pop with engaging melodies then perhaps a Valentines Day evening trip to the Cambridge Junction to catch Little Comets might suit you on the 14th. This month sees Little Comets release their new album and it’s a record woven together with great beauty and care, drenched in positive melodies. Support on the night comes from Eliza and the Bear, their exuberant and europhic folk-pop has gained them numerous plaudits and major radio airplay. Their debut record last year was filled with gleaming guitars and stadium-sized harmonies and saw them pack out The Portland in their own right.
Legendary US trio the Fun Lovin’ Criminals are in town on the 17th. The multi-platinum New York group celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut album Come Find Yourself in 2016, and true to their hashtag #LoveYaBack, the Crims are feeling the love from the fans, so are doing it all again in February 2017. Fun Lovin’ Criminals burst onto the music scene in 1996, gate crashing the euphoric Brit-pop party with unforgettable finesse. Heralded for their generation defining blend of styles and effortless New York cool, FLC’s refreshing cocktail of rock n’ roll, funk, blues, soul, hip hop, jazz and latin, gave the Crims a unique timelessness that is still apparent three decades on.
We close with a mention to the City Roots festival which launches this month. The ‘Cambridge Folk Festival presents City Roots’ is a new expansion to the Cambridge Folk Festival and aims to celebrate Folk and Roots music throughout the city.
Internationally-renowned Malian singer songwriter Salif Keita has been confirmed as the closing headliner for the new event, joining the Transatlantic Sessions as part of a varied line-up of gigs and events at venues across the city. Cambridge Junction will be presenting four gigs as part of City Roots. In the J2 will be Jim Moray, the English folk singer known for pushing the boundaries of traditional music, Paolo Angelli and Derek Gripper in a daring double bill of genre-defying solo guitar, and Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson, a pairing of two generations of captivating performers. Meanwhile in J1, Mad Dog McRea will entertain with a unique mix of folk rock, gypsy jazz and bluegrass. Amongst a host of events, including events at CB2, Cambridge Guildhalls, Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridge Union, we recommend you get yourselves to Steven James Adams at The Portland on the 3rd.