It’s nearly the end of January (how fast has this month gone?!) and it’s safe to say we’re still trying our best to stick to the New Years resolution of going to more gigs. But perhaps you’re not so sure exactly what the best gigs are this week…? Well, fear not! The Gig Pic Guide is back for 2016, with a hand-picked selection of gigs and music events across the UK that we think are worth going down to. It’s also ‘Independent Venue Week’ this week, so do make sure you support your local venues and celebrate all things music!
It’s probably fair to say that Hozier was easily one of the biggest breakthrough artists of 2013, after coming out of nowhere with his number one hit Take Me To Church. But this wasn’t all new for the Irish man – who’s full name is Andrew Hozier-Byrne – as he spent the first few years of his career in a chorale ensemble, and later going onto tour internationally in 2012. Fast forward a few years, the Irish musician entered the world of soul and blues, and is now the proud owner of a debut album that went up to 6 times platinum in his home country. His most popular records off the self-titled album such as Take Me To Church, Work Song and Someone New have seen him gain worldwide success, and also to be invited to perform on shows such as the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Seth Meyers. And to go one better, his husky and powerful voice also saw him nominated for a Grammy Award last year in 2015. It’s been a massive couple of years for Hozier – but to kick 2016 off, he’s currently gigging across the UK in cities such as Manchester, Cardiff and Portsmouth and you can buy tickets from here.
You might not know who the band Daughter exactly, but chances are – you’ve probably heard one of their many haunting yet heavenly records. The trio, who respectively hail from all over Europe, have made quite the impact since forming back in 2010. The indie-folk group – who have been likened to other bands such as the indie quartet The XX, have just released their second studio album titled Not To Disappear. This is the follow-up from their top 20 charter debut If You Leave which featured their most critically acclaimed tracks Youth and Amsterdam; which have been used for countless advertisements and programmes since it was released back in 2013. With Elena Tonra’s hard hitting lyrics, and themes of broken relationships and family issues, the three-piece really do know how to make you a bit weepy. The band are currently in the middle of their UK and Europe tour, with a few remaining dates in England before moving onto France and Germany. You can purchase tickets from here.
With an envious amount of blonde hair and angelic vocals, it isn’t hard to see why Scottish singer-songwriter became a household name back in 2014 after the release of her debut album Peroxide. Edinburgh lass Nina Nesbitt made her mark way back when she supported ex-boyfriend Ed Sheeran in 2012, and ever since she has become one of Scotland’s national treasures. The multi-instrumentalist has performed the National Anthem in front of thousands and even has her own recording studio – all at the age of 21. Impressive, right? Fast forward to 2016, Nesbitt is all about new hair and new music. With a second album set for release in the next couple of months, the singer has given fans a taste of what’s to come, after releasing her new EP Modern Love, which she describes as “a new state of mind, a new person and a new life.” And with new music comes much anticipated gigs, and Nesbitt embarks on a small three date tour this week. You can get tickets from here.
Lisbon: the four piece who hail from Whitley Bay, rather than the capital of Portugal – have burst onto the music scene in a riot of colour over the past year with their dreamy aqua pop sounds. The alt-pop band is made up by Matthew Varty, Joe Atkinson, Gaz Turkington and Alex Wright, who have collectively made quite the impression on music critics and gurus alike, with their sound described as “A perfect mix of hazy electronic backing track loops, catchy guitar riffs, drums and honest vocals.” They’ve even gained fans such as Huw Stephens – who has often championed the quartet on his Radio 1 show. With nearly 2 million listens on Spotify, and even a cheeky feature on hit TV show Game Of Thrones last year with their track Khaleesi, it’s almost guaranteed that 2016 is going to be a cracking year for the Geordie lads. And what better way to start off the year than with a tour? The group are currently gigging around the UK, with dates in Guilford, Sheffield and London still to come. You can buy tickets from here.
Having recently signed to Lana Del Rey’s management team, Dua Lipa has quite literally burst onto the music scene in a riot of colour and bubbliness. The 20 year old English-Albanian singer-songwriter has gained quite the following since starting out last year, amassing over 40,000 followers on both Facebook and Twitter. What started as song writing and posting song covers on YouTube at the young age of 14, emerged into something special as her big, smoky vocals began to gain her recognition – which ultimately led to Lipa being signed by Warner Bros Records. And if that wasn’t already enough, she was announced as a contender on the BBC’s Sound Of 2016 long list. Which can only mean that she’ll go onto be a huge hit for fans of her dreamy pop. She’s currently on tour, hitting Manchester, Birmingham and London this week. You can get tickets from here.
Picture by Josh Wardle.