Her’s | Fri 1 Feb | Sunflower Lounge | £9.90
Hazy post-punk, dream-pop, beach-scuzz: call it what you will, but Her’s are one of the finest examples of the current explosion of 80s revivalists combining Peter Hook-style chugging krautrock basslines with dreamy, jangling guitars and crooning angst.
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead | Sat 2 Feb | Castle & Falcon | £22
From the blazing chaos of ‘Mistakes & Regrets’ to the detuned hellscape of ‘Sigh Your Children’, Trail of Dead’s sophomore album ‘Madonna’ still bites as hard as it did twenty years ago. Catch the live legends (pictured) playing the album in full, in the cosy – and sweaty – Castle & Falcon.
Laura Veirs | Fri 8 Feb | St Paul’s Church | £18.40
Twenty years into her career, Oregon singer-songwriter Laura Veirs is a folk-pop icon to those in the know – and her experience shows on her typically gorgeous tenth album ‘The Lookout’, tackling life, motherhood and American chaos with maturity, quiet optimism and barely a wasted note.
Chvrches | Fri 8 + Sat 9 Feb | O2 Academy | £25
Since their breakout debut in 2013, Scottish trio Chvrches have always built their synth-pop anthems like they’re singing to the balconies – thanks in no small part to Lauren Mayberry’s swing-for-the-fences hooks. Catch them on a two-night stint at the O2 Academy off the back of last years’ ‘Love is Dead’.
Youth Man, the Double Happy + more | Sat 9 Feb | Muthers Studio | Pay what you can
A benefit show for the Black Country Recording Company – whose studio was lost in a fire last year – this covert gig serves as a who’s who of the deep-fried scuzzy sounds that the West Midlands do best: Youth Man’s corrosive chaos, the Double Happy’s molasses-thick fuzz, and more besides.
Ohmme | Mon18 Feb | Hare & Hounds | £7
Rock duo Ohmme churn out improvisational art-rock with a burned-out intensity that would make Oxes proud, and they make it sound embarrassingly easy: in part because they top their polyrhythmic guitars with breezy, confident melodies that have more than a bit of Breeders in their blood.
The Orielles | Tue 19 Feb | Hare & Hounds | £10
DIY surf-poppers Orielles perfected their dreamy indie jams on last year’s ‘Silver Dollar Moment’, a debut album full of VHS-grit, casually acerbic one-liners, and Jonny Marr guitar jangle: in other words, an album from another world where ‘Freaks and Geeks’ was made in Halifax.
Nils Frahm | Wed 20 Feb | O2 Academy | £27.50
Whether it’s the extreme restraint of his solo piano recordings, the lush maximalism of his studio compositions, or the improvisational collaborations in between, Nils Frahm’s music is never short of intoxicating. Don’t miss the chance to hear last year’s gorgeous ‘All Melody’ live.
Avi Buffalo | Thu 21 Feb | Hare & Hounds | £12
After two albums of West-Coast indie on Sub Pop, Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg disbanded his group – resurfacing three years later with a Bandcamp-only record of bizarre electronic noodlings. With another left turn in new single ‘Panegyric’, and an unexpected tour, there’s no telling what to expect from this ticket.
The Joy Formidable | Thu 21 Feb | O2 Academy 3 | £20
The Joy Formidable still have bigger riffs (and a better band name) than you – but last year’s fourth full-length ‘AAARTH’ found new, weirder ways to approach their 3-minute epics. If you think pop-rock is a tired genre in 2019, the Welsh rock titans will make you think again.
Published on: Mon 21 Jan 2019