Image: Hot 8 Brass Band
Jordan Worland, from local music website Slate the Disco, selects his must-see gigs in Cambridge during February
At the Blue Moon this month you’ll find the unusual line-up of two singing drummers. It sounds like it can’t be done, but Rattles, performing on the 1st, use the limitations of their arrangement to create pieces of intertwined, flowing, textural percussion, while threading sublime melodies through the gaps. The same venue also sees the return of Cambridge’s eclectic night of electronic music, Theo Sayers & Friends on the 15th with COIN OP headlining and hosts History & Lore on the 23rd. Our top Blue Moon pick, however, comes courtesy of Leeds noise-rock and DIY linchpins Bilge Pimp, who released their first record ten years ago. They will be performing on the 21st.
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are one of the best live bands we’ve seen, and they return to the UK this month to celebrate 20 years since the release of their seminal sophomore album, Madonna. The band is performing it in full, alongside a host of songs from their other studio albums, at Storey’s Field Centre on the 10th.
After a gap of ten years since their last album (Varshons, released in 2009), alt-rockers The Lemonheads perform at the Junction on the 14th, in support of their new album Varshons 2. Like Varshons, the new record is dedicated to covers. The same venue hosts White Lies on the 13th, who are celebrating an entire decade as a band. They return with their new album, Five, and a headline tour to flaunt it on. The record sees the indie trio reaching new creative heights that’s bolder and more complex than previous efforts, and sure to cement their status as one of the most important bands on the scene. Canadian hardcore legends Cancer Bats (7th) and New Orleans street brass legends Hot 8 Brass Band (19th) complete our Junction recommendations.
Our Portland Arms tip this month is Kevin Krauter on the 11th. An insightful songwriter with a lyrical style that is both economical and evocative, Krauter crafts unique soundscapes that scramble a range of influences: 1960s flower pop, 1970s easy listening, 1980s New Wave, 1990s alt-radio and 2000s indie rock. Also at Portland this month are John Smith on the 1st, Kris Barras on the 13th, Kulk on the 16th and Sean McGowan on the 20th.
Always popular in Cambridge, John Grant returns to the Corn Exchange on the 7th. Grant laces sumptuous soft-rock ballads with an array of spacey, wistful synthesiser sounds, increasingly adding taut, fizzing sequencers, nu-synth disco settings and icy soundscapes to the incredible sound mix.