As the end of the decade hangovers subside, Getintothis’ Steven Doherty looks forward to a month of Mancunian based entertainment rather more than some other elements of 2020.
So 2020 then.
I suppose now would be the ideal opportunity to write a heartfelt state-of-the-nation intro to this month’s column about how doomed we all are.
How we don’t need some sort of excellent vision (insert 20-20 joke here) to see how things are going to get so much bleaker before they get better.
About how this year will no doubt be the worst 12 months that most of us will ever experience, due to the country’s reversal back into the dark days of the 1980’s, what with the dual horrific prospects of both an evil Conservative Government and a Liverpool title win.
But there will be none of that here.
January is the most awful month of the year as it is, without reading someone droning on about it.
Dullards trying to get you to do Dry January or Veganuary.
So, let us focus on the good things about what’s to come, whatever that might mean to you.
This could be the year you get that new job, promoted, married, divorced, have a child, get a pet, et cetera.
And whatever happens, this promises to be another splendid year for just getting out there and going to see some bands.
Back in the aforementioned 1980’s, out of that adversity came the best decade for music. Ever.
Don’t @ me. (Whatever that means).
So why not this one?
As an example, just look below to see the bounty that this month is bringing to this corner of the nation, and that is just in a matter of the next month or so.
See, feeling better already?
Onwards and upwards.
Strawberry Guy: Castle Hotel, January 11
T’is still the season of goodwill (at time of writing) so in that spirit, I would heartily recommend your first stop this month to be Strawberry Guy.
He brings his ever swoon-some, lilting tunes to the Castle Hotel in order to further his ever building reputation as a heartfelt song-smith on the back of his latest EP, Taking My Time To Be.
He may have taken umbrage to some of the things written in the past, but we genuinely think that this will be his year.
Whyte Horses: RNCM, January 18
A rare gig in these parts, and a special one-off hometown show for the beyond eclectic Whyte Horses.
Their widely anticipated, about to be released, second album Hard Times sees them make a welcome return and although their use of various guest vocalists may see them sound a bit different live, this is set to be a very special one.
This one sees support coming from ex-Wu Lyf member, local hero Francis Lung making it a proper Mancunian love-in.
Petrol Girls: Deaf Institute, January 18
Describing themselves as “raging feminist raging hardcore”, the part Bristolian, part Austrian Petrol Girls bring last year’s album Cut & Stitch to the eloquent Deaf Institute.
It’s a frenzied attack of a record, screeching vocals and guitars, which we think will sound amazing in a venue such as this.
If you want something new, interesting and above all loud, with a positive message, then this is the night out that you need.
Black Country, New Road: YES, January 22
This month’s main attraction bar none.
One of 2020’s hype bands, based on the strength of their two scintillating singles last year, Athen’s, France and Sunglasses, BCNR are back in town, showcasing what other golden nuggets they have in store for our ears this year.
The six piece from the nation’s capital have clever, achingly topical, wordplay based with some unusual instrumentation, no verse chorus verse at play here, and it’s is capturing hearts and minds already.
You had to be quick to snap up tickets for this one, next time you see them it certainly won’t be in this room.
The K’s: Ritz, January 25
Not ones to blow our own trumpets (yeah right), Earlestown’s finest, The K’s, were receiving the big up from us over 12 months ago, after we saw them play one of the finest festival sets that year at the Bread Shed.
They have grown with each one of last year’s singles, to now, where they are on the brink of stardom, already selling out one of Manchester’s largest venues.
Their everyman natures allied with their catchy, shout-along mainstream indie tunes have seen them become one of our favourite rags-to-riches stories, so we are understandably thrilled for them.
Penelope Isles, Francis Lung: Gullivers, January 30
Here as part of the ever splendid Independent Venue Week, the Isle Of Man’s favourite brother and sister Penelope Isles are back in town at the too-small-for-them Gullivers
Enjoying the success of last year’s debut album Until The Tide Creeps In, and for fans of fuzzy harmonies, the cosy surroundings are sure to suit.
Support again comes from the busy boy Lung.
Faux Pas: Aatma, January 30
A new name to many, at a venue that is new to us, Manchester’s very own Faux Pas exploded into our atmosphere with a blistering set supporting LIFE late last year.
Their swirling yet thrashing sound was an enthralling spectacle and marked them out as very much a name to keep an eye out for.
Hunt out their last single, the corking That’s My Ego, and get yourself along to this (there’s nothing better than checking out a new venue), pleasingly another hometown gig in a month full of them.
H Hawkline: YES, January 31
Finally this month sees the Welsh troubadour and sometime TV star, also known as Huw Evans, make a welcome long awaited return to these parts.
Having spent more time recently as part of his partner’s Aldous Harding band set up, this sees a return to his own action and hopefully a follow up to 2017’s I Romanticize.
Also this month:
Black Midi: RNCM, January 10
New Model Army: Ritz, January 11
Slipknot: Arena, January 16
Jah Wobble: Academy, January 17
Big In 2020: Bread Shed, January 18
Michael Head: Gorilla, January 21
Purple Pilgrims: YES, January 19
Ned’s Acoustic Dustbin: Night and Day Café, January 24
Twin Temple: Deaf Institute, January 27
Colossal Squid: Soup Kitchen, January 27
Deno: Deaf Institute, January 28
Wire: Band On The Wall, January 28
JOHN: Deaf Institute, January 29
The Game: Albert Hall, January 30
Giant Drag: Deaf Institute, January 30
Kokoroko: Gorilla, January 30
Rachel Dadd: Gullivers, January 31