The Hotelier | Tue 24 Jan | Mama Roux’s | £11
The East-Coast darlings of the emo revival, Hotelier made a bold dash for the mainstream with 2016’s ‘Goodness’ – an upbeat, raw and driving pop-punk record that nestles right in alongside Cloud Nothings, Hop Along and REM; a record that turned heads for balancing a positive outlook without getting trite. Their first UK dates since the album’s release should be a cathartic blow-out for anyone on a feelgood kick. See our full preview here.

exmagician | Wed 25 Jan | Sunflower Lounge | £6
Belfast’s sons of psychedelia exmagician craft the dreamy folk pop of the 60s into a modern, romantic sheen; somewhere between Animal Collective and Beck at his folky best. The low-key hooks of last year’s ‘Scan the Blue’ are quietly charming, saturated with shimmering synths and understated optimism; these Irish veterans barely put a foot wrong. See our full preview here.

Oathbreaker | Wed 25 Jan | The Flapper | £10
The Belgian black metal band surged into new territory late last year with their album ‘Rheia’; Deafheaven’s shoegaze-metal is a clear influence, but Oathbreaker add the caustic bite of Converge, and Caro Tanghe’s druggy, furious vocals, which recall Julie Christmas at her most terrifying. Stunningly dynamic, visceral and unrelentingly heavy post-rock, unbeholden to genres; we’d wager it’s a good ticket.

Vex Red | Fri 27 Jan | O2 Academy 3 | £12.50
Those with fond memories of Hundred Reasons, Reuben and the strangely potent Farnborough music scene of the 2000’s probably have a soft spot for Vex Red’s ‘Start With a Strong and Persistent Desire’, the band’s only record to date. For these thirty-somethings and newbies alike, this show at the O2 will be the first chance to hear Vex Red’s new material. Following a 14-year absence, it’s surely enough to make any alternative rock fan a little bit curious.

Waveforms 004 | Sat 28 Jan | Hare & Hounds | £5
A smorgasbord of local indie-pop talent at the fourth instalment of Waveforms, with upcoming Birmingham artists Bryony Williams, Dame, The Real Cool and more. When you feel the need to hear something home-grown and maybe a little raw, this is your hookup – earnest young artists crafting new earworms as we speak. And all for a humble fiver.

Mon 23 Jan - Sun 29 Jan
Chris Donald - Gigs Editor
Published on:
Sun 1 Jan 2017