Anything but dry
By Kath Butler (follow Kath on Twitter: @k_butler92)
If subscribing to the idea of “dry January” isn’t your thing, but free music is, this month is packed to the brim with wide-eyed newcomers ready to take on 2016 in music. I’m pretty sure that roll on this Friday’s happy hour most pub-going Londoners would have come to the realization of how unrealistic “dry any month” is in the big smoke. However, if your pockets are dabbling on the empty side after the indulgent period that is December, countless pints and bad decisions at your local boozer may make for a very blue Monday indeed. Why not give your very non-dry January some purpose and catch a cool show at one of these epic venues. In chronological order:
#1 Repeater Festival | Shacklewell Arms | 7 – 9 January
Record Label/Event Organizing/Psych Rock powerhouse Bad Vibrations are skulking into the New Year with a free weekend residency in Dalston. Head down on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to the Shacklewell Arms and find yourself engulfed in all manner of garage, reverby goodness. Post punk three piece Strange Cages, psych-rock occultists Taman Shud and prog rockers The Wharves will all be taking the place upon The Shack’s hallowed stage at some point during the weekend. Best gear up for some unrelenting noise that will surely skyrocket you into 2016. More info here.
When: 7 -9 January, Doors: 7:30pm
Where: Shacklewell Arms , 71 Shacklewell Lane, E8 2EB
#2 Hinds | Rough Trade East | 11 January
Spanish señoras Hinds will be bringing their infectious garage rock to the UK fresh off the back of their debut album release “Leave Me Alone”. Do not heed that warning and cruise on down to Rough Trade East to catch the notoriously fun quartet as they unleash reams of lo-fi joy in an in-store performance. Pre-order the album/bundle here or buy it in-store in order to get a wristband for entry. It may not be completely free but is undeniably worth it, with “Leave Me Alone” pegged to be a 2016 stand-out debut and also a soothing oasis of summer vibes in the midst of dreary post-festive season January.
When: 11 January, Doors: 7:00pm
Where: Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
#3 Diet Cig | The Old Blue Last | 12 January
Pop-punk duo Diet Cig plays the second date of DIY presents Hello 2016, a month long series that will crop up more than once on this list. The UK based magazine/events promoter, has previously showcased bands that include Spring King and Wolf Alice, hinting that whilst the series serves to introduce it very seldom bids farewell. The upstate New Yorkers will be bringing their catchy recipe of rollicking drums, distorted guitar and witty vocals to the Old Blue Last next Tuesday and I dare you not to dance. They’re supported by Bruising, Willie J Healy and Trudy All shows are 18+
When: 12 January, Doors: 7:30pm
Where: The Old Blue Last, 38 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3ES
#4 Little Machine & Liz Berry | Southbank Centre | 13 January
Eclectic musical poets Little Machine will team up with spoken –word maestro Liz Berry at the Southbank Centre for an evening of quirky muso-poetic entertainment you’ll struggle to find again. They will be performing at in the Poetry Library at The Royal Festival Hall and whilst the event is free, it’s bound to fill up quickly so best to book your space by emailing [email protected]
When: 13 January, 20:00pm – 21:30pm
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
#5 Gang | Rough Trade West | 15 January
Fresh off of a tour supporting Kagoule around the UK in November and December, Canterbury based Gang look poised to take centre stage in 2016. Having just released a limited edition 7” vinyl, the pixies influenced psych trio will do an in-store performance at Rough Trade West showcasing their imitable sludge rock. No wristband required.
When: 15 January, Doors: 6:00pm
Where: Rough Trade West, 130 Talbot Road, W11 1JA
#6 Beach Baby | The Old Blue Last | 19 January
Goldsmiths alumni Beach Baby have already supported Hooton Tennis Club and look to join Sundara Karma on tour this year, without a full release to their name they are fast becoming one of the more hyped bands of 2016. The shoegazers will be joined by Yonaka, Girli and Fish for the third instalment of the DIY presents Hello 2016 series at The Old Blue Last.
When: 19 January, Doors: 7:30PM
Where: The Old Blue Last, 38 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3ES
#7 Early Ghost | Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen | 19 January
The whimsical outfit that is Early Ghost will be gliding into Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for New Crush. With their myriad of instruments, including sax and banjo, and soothing harmonies, the psych-folk outfit will bring some cool vintagey vibes to East London. They are supported by the perpetually joyful Cambio Sun and Jlly. Get £0 tickets here.
When: 19 January, Doors: 8:00PM
Where: Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
#8 Mystery Jets | Old Truman Brewery | 21 January
A decade down the line and veteran indie band Mystery Jets continues to keep fans and critics guessing on their unpredictable musical direction. 2016 will see the release of most recent album “Curve of the Earth” an showcase of expert personal song-writing you have come to expect from them but yet remain pleasantly staggered by. The quartet plays an in-store at Rough Trade East, which you will need a wristband to gain entrance to by either preordering the album here or purchasing in-store from the 15 January. Don’t miss the triumphant return of this continually mutable stalwart of British indie music.
When: 21 January, Doors: 7:00pm
Where: Rough Trade East Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
#9 Chaudière Quartet | King’s Place | 24 January
For those more classical music inclined the experienced but comparatively young string quartet will play a free pre-concert showcase in the foyer at King’s Place, as part of the London Chamber Music Series. Expect a very cultured time and probably a soothing remedy to those of us still struggling with our New Year’s Eve antics.
When: 24 January, 5:45pm
Where: King’s Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG
#10 Get Inuit | Black Heart | 27 January
Although Kent based, pop-punk foursome Get Inuit, have built up a loyal London cult following with their many past gigs across the city being packed with mosh pit hungry revelers. They play Camden’s Black Heart in association with Independent Venue Week to jolt you into February. Expect thoughtfully playful lyrics intermingled with their unmistakable huge sound and relentless stage banter. If you somehow managed till this point your January will certainly be saying cheers “dry” after this night.
When: 27 January, Doors: 7:00pm
Where: Black Heart, 2 – 3 Greenland, NW1 0AP