What with all the happy families, festive spirit and Jesus related matter you’re probably thinking that Christmas is for squares, right? Wrong. In actual fact, this merry interim provides the opportunity to spend three decadent weeks exploring some of the best nights of the year. So for all you Christmas cranks that are simply too cool to join in the seasonal revelries, don’t despair. Stop the gloomy ramblings about visiting your extended family and feast your eyes on some of the best music featuring around the UK this Yuletide…
James Yorkston with Friends – Union Chapel, London
On Wednesday 21st December the ruddy-faced Scots troubadour reappears with his sixth annual Christmas show in London. Join the folk singer whilst plays his distinctive yet subtly-affecting country blues, ruminating on love, lust, longing and liquor. Don’t let the melancholy lyrics put you off; this evening has become renowned for its festive spirit with fancy dress competitions and festive mix tapes in abundance. Advanced tickets are £12.
Soulwaxmas – Brixton Academy, London
Prefer more synths over your solos? Then head to Brixton Academy, on Saturday 17th December. The Belgian duo Soulwax will return for their annual Soulwaxmas knees-up – a fixture that has quickly become a staple of both the London and European club calendars. Also featuring Paul Chambers, Gesaffelstein, Erol Alkan, Mixhell and Turbo Wolf.
The Feeling Christmas Special – Komedia, Brighton
Riding on the back of their first ever singles collection release, The Feeling will be hosting a Christmas Special in Brighton on 21st December. So, yes, they might be old news, but your ticket will include a mince pie and a chance to meet the band – the perfect opportunity for any Scrooge to moan further about a group that appears to be clinging on to their last specks of fame. On the other hand you could surrender to the Christmas cheer and sing along to some noughties classics such as ‘Fill My Little World’ and ‘Love It When You Call’.
Créche,’ A Boxing Night Rave’ – T.B.A., London
After their runaway success of all day electronica parties in summer, Créche are back with some evening entertainment. Along with Crosstown Rebels’ head honcho Damian Lazaras and Hot Natured’s Lee Foss, all the Créche residents will be there to ensure this Boxing Day is one to remember. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the secret location – tickets will be on the door to avoid disappointment.
Rinse Boxing Day/Every Rinse DJ Under One Roof – Fabric, London
Like your grime, funky, dub step, garage, drum and bass? This Boxing Day Fabric is hosting almost every single DJ from the London based Rinse FM under one roof. One word: huge. Featuring the likes of the higher profile Scream and Katy B right down to the most esoteric beats of Crazy D and Trim, this night will touch on every strand of the electronic spectrum. Be warned, this event promises to bump and grind for ten straight hours, and is not for the light-hearted.
The White Party 2011 – Gatecrasher, Birmingham
For all you House-Heads that cannot wait until the ‘Ibiza Summer’ for their dose of live DJ’s then Gatecrasher’s White Party is the event for you. This year the infamous event lands in Birmingham, bringing with it a plethora of world renowned DJ’s, including the likes of Laidback Luke, Eddie Halliwell and Radio One resident Judge Jules. A white-themed dress code means Christmas celebrations can carry on after the big day.
New Year’s Eve
Warehouse Project – Piccadilly Arches, Manchester
Headlining the proceedings in Manchester will be Mark Ronson, joined later by the incredible Annie Mac and Retro/Grade, amongst others. Early bird tickets are sold out but Hospitality tickets can still be bought for £49 – worth it for a nine-hour party that starts at 8pm and finishes at 5am on New Year’s Day. Don’t wait too long though, tickets are expected to sell out in the next few days.
Ec-lectricity New Year’s Eve Extrvaganza – HMV Institute, Birmingham
Join Chase and Status, Caspa and Joy Orbison for a night of dub step, house, drum ‘n’ bass and electronica. With five rooms and 2,500 people, Ec-lectricity promises its punters ‘outrageous levels of sound and visual production, ridiculous pyrotechnics and a very special countdown to bring in the New Year.’ Early bird tickets are also sold out for this event, but standard tickets are still available for £30.
Vagabondz New Year’s Eve Party – Clapham Grand, London
This New Year’s Eve Vagabondz takes over the mighty Clapham Grand for what is cited as ‘the biggest winter carnival this side of Rio’. A superb line-up will embark on this stunning Victorian theatre, rinsing the largest sounds from garage to dub step, drum and bass to bashment and hip hop to dub, and providing the perfect sonic soundtrack to welcome in 2012. Kicking off proceedings will be the celebrated Rebel MC, followed by the incredible ten-piece live band, Gentleman’s Dub Club. With Room 2 hosted by Redux, plus carnival dancers, whistles, horns and extra sound and lighting across both rooms, this is one New Year’s party that is sure to fill the empty void when the clock strikes twelve.