Gig-wise, it's certainly not a busy month, but here's our pick of what's in store for December 2002...
BURY ST EDMUNDS/NEWMARKET
Gig of The Month: THE LIGHT OUTSIDE + EL SPOONIO + BIFF TANNEN (Bury St Edmunds NCC - 7th)
The mighty El Spoonio bring their uniquely twisted brand of medieval pop-rock to Bury St Edmunds: "This one's about mini-milks and child abuse."
Also Recommended: Slowdrowned (Bury St Edmunds Prior Inn - 5th)
Darkly hypnotic and captivating indie.
Other Gigs: Bone Idol + Freak Infliction + Brides Of Yesterday + Karrie - Newmarket Palomino (4th), Rosco + Fat Panda + Possum Fodder - Bury St Edmunds Prior Inn (12th), The Light Outside + The Vaults + Shooting - Bury St Edmunds Prior Inn (18th)
Gig of The Month: MCLUSKY (Clwb Ifor Bach – 15th)
A welcome return for arguably the best live band on the welsh music scene, with their fireball, arse-tattering, punk pop tomfoolery
Also Recommended #1: Dalek (Clwb Ifor Bach – 16th)
Progressive U.S hip hop influenced by anyone and everyone from Miles Davies to Black Sabbath.
Also Recommended #2: DJ Vadim (Clwb Ifor Bach – 20th)
Boundary breaking front runner on the underground hip hop scene
Other Gigs: The Vandals - Newport TJ's (3rd), Pretty Girls Make Graves + Your Enemies Friends - Cardiff Barfly (7th), Mew - Cardiff Barfly (11th), Radio 4 & Schneider TM - Cardiff Barfly (12th).
ESSEX & SUFFOLK
Gig of The Month: THE BLOCKHEADS (Colchester Arts Centre - 21st)
For those with any knowledge of musical past, you will know the band were revolutionary in their time and broke many taboos. With the passing of their singer, Ian Drury, the band continue to tour with comedian Phil Jupitus doing the vocals. Be worth seeing!
Also Recommended #1: Bad Manners (Southend Chinnerys - 13th)
Old school 2-toners keep going!
Also Recommended #2: Hell Is For Heroes + Reuben + Tyler (Harlow Square - 4th)
The ultimate Xmas rock line up!
Other Gigs: Sion Whiley - Harlow Square (7th), Jesse James - Harlow Square (8th). (Please Note :- The Army & Navy in Chelmsford is now CLOSED. All gigs planned have been cancelled!).
Gig of The Month: GOLD BLADE (The Masque Theatre - 14th)
John Robb and his merry men bring the rawk. Two reasons to love ‘em: their last album was called ’Do You Believe In The Power Of Rock And Roll?’ and they have T-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Motherfucker’. Ace!
Also Recommended #1: The Thrills (Barfly - 4th)
With songs as gorgeous as Rachel Wiesz and a Morrisey support slot already under their belt, this Irish troupe are ready to, if not rock, gently stroke your world.
Also Recommended #2: The Relatives (Barfly - 11th)
The Daily Star called these “The Next Big Thing”. The next best thing to what, exactly? Anyways, their vaguely sinister Wildhearts-esque tuneage is rather delicious.
Other Gigs: Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Masque (5th), Spunge - Academy (4th), Aqualung - Academy (9th), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Stanley Theatre (11th), Death In Vegas - Lomax (20th).
Gig of The Month: SERENITY + BIKESHED + BOSTON CRAB (C103 -5th)
What do you have in the South West? The real South West that is, Bristol and Exeter get all the same stuff as the rest of the country, but Plymouth.. now there's a proposition... The PMC are putting on this leg of the Transit tour and everyone's invited.
Also Recommended #1: PMC Christmas special featuring No Comply (Tramps Cafe - 21st)
Christmas party with eh PMC, Tiny Elvis and Dirty Sanchez are lined up for support.
Also Recommended #2: 'A' play the SAS Christmas party (Dance Academy - 20th)
You know who they are by now, but you might not know that they're playing the Surfers Against Sewage Christmas Party. you do now.
Other Gigs: Fraternity - C103 (5th), Fallen To + Orca - C103 (13th).
Gig of The Month: The Sound Foundation 10th Anniversary REEF + THE NAKED APES (Reading Uni - 3rd)
This month is a tale of self-pity, my computer has just broken and to cheer myself up I am going to make Reef my gig of the month. Reef take me to a place where the sun is shining, the beer is free and the partying never stops - my first expereinces of ligging then. The Naked Apes however are an average surf-punk novelty, entertaining none the less.
Also Recommended #1: Clearlake + Akayzia Parker + support (Reading The Fez - 4th)
Clearlake are one of those bands that I keep meaning to check out but they have a way of floating by without notice. This time I've noticed, even if this gig was added to a tour which I didn't.
Also Recommended #2: Riviera Gonzalez + Joski + Sonic Undermind (Bar Oz - 8th)
Free Sunday night live music at Bar Oz is going strong and this is a cracking line-up. Joski are worth 30 minutes of anyones time.
Other Gigs: Hell Is For Heroes + Reuben - Reading Uni (10th), Jesse James + Spankboy + Brass Monkeys - Reading The Fez (11th), Crackout + Metropolis - Reading The Fez (18th), aUdax + Stem + Inuit Monk + Exit 10 - Reading Bar Oz (29th - all ages show).
Gig of The Month: INTENTIONS OF AN ASTEROID + TERRASHIMA + SUFFERKISS (Derby Victoria Inn - 23rd)
Derby's where it's at gig-wise this month so you Sheffield dwellers may want to discover the joys of public transport and get your arse to the Vic, if only for this one date. Apparently "hell is coming home" as IOAA return from headlining a festival and gig in Norway. Having graced the Windmill stage only a few weeks ago, we can tell you that when they describe themselves as "apocalyptic axe-wielding devastation from the far reaches of the galaxy", they're not lying! Main support comes from Terrashima who, after being chucked off the the Il Nino tour in true r'n'r style are back in the area and no doubt scarier than ever... and that's pretty damn scary! AND as if that's not enough, Sufferkiss are supporting, and I know you all love them.
Also Recommended #1: Douglas + Two Fold + Lucky Thirteen + Stapleton (Derby Victoria Inn - 3rd)
'Fraid you'll have to wait for my review to know what Two Fold and Lucky Thirteen are like, but I can tell you Douglas just rule and Stapleton are simply beautiful.
Also Recommended #2: Plans and Apologies + Dead By Dawn + The Removals + European Sun (Derby Victoria Inn - 6th)
Some kind of quick whirlwind tour guide to the best young bands in Derby.
Other Gigs: SPUNGE - Sheffield Leadmill (1st), Hell Is For Heroes + Reuben + Tyler - Derby Vic Inn (2nd), Ladytron - Sheffield Barfly (5th), Sick on The Bus - Derby Vic Inn (13th).
This month sees some fairly inconsequential gigs in the north-east wedged in between two skyscrapers of live music. That’s right, two all-dayer’s in the space of one month, so ignore the rest and get yourselves to these.
Alldayer #1: Durham Rowing Club - 1st
The first of the month sees US HC band ‘Bane’ visit this neck of the woods for the first time, to play none other than the now-legendary - and de facto hardcore axis of the area - Durham Rowing Club. This, for all punk fans, is utterly unmissable and is unlikely to be anything but incredible, judging by the line up.
Line-up: Bane, Sworn In, Thirty Seconds Until Armageddon, This Ain't Vegas, Stand, Driven Down, The Last Chance, My Favourite Co-Pilot, Written From Negative, Fighting Chance, Jinn.
Alldayer #2: Middlesbrough Dickens Inn - 28th
The second is also borne of a legendary background. Those kids at Open-Season have once again brought some incredible acts into the Middlesbrough conurbation, this time with yet another famous all-dayer set up. Expect the usual Bombed Out hits, alongside with two bands from the previous all dayer - TSUA and My Favourite Co-Pilot.
Line-up: Twofold, Fig 4.0, Thirty Seconds Until Armageddon, Eighty Six, The Mercy Suite, The Leif Ericsson, Buzkill, Milloy (TBC), This Ain't Vegas (TBC), Stand, My Favourite Co-Pilot, Billy Got Fired The 4th Open Season All-Dayer.
Gig of The Month: GLASSJAW (Wulfrun Hall – 8th)
Ahh…another year; another K-Fest. It’s good to see that Kerrang! haven’t forgotten to visit us in Wolverhampton with their travelling rawk show (yeah, NME, take your tour to Birmingham next year, see if we care! Who needs Interpol when you’ve got Glassjaw, anyways?). Every note will stab at your heart; every scream will bounce through your mind; every word will mean something to you. If you’ve ever longed for anything; if you’ve ever had a broken heart; if you’ve ever felt let down - this band should mean something to you.
Also Recommended #1: Black Heart Procession (The Varsity – 14th)
Stunning, beautiful, insanely addictive and even quite sexy at times.
Also Recommended #2: Douglas (Little Civic – 12th)
High quality Welsh punks complete with soaring choruses and all.
Other Gigs: The Datsuns – Wulfrun Hall (13th), Psychid – Little Civic (7th), Gomez – Wulfrun Hall (3rd).