Words by Ian Pennington

If we can learn anything from penguins, the wintry bite in the air is best remedied by huddling for warmth, and what better way to do that than standing in a crowd at some of this city’s gigs of the week?

Starting, as ever, at the start of the week, the Roadhouse continues its psychedelic winter courtesy of the Beauty Witch promoter. They were first on this list last week with Dead Meadow and this Monday 2nd they’ve ensnared The Cosmic Dead for a show, with Dead Sea Apes and Ghold in support.

Another school-nighter worth leaving the house for is Braids’ show at Deaf Institute on Wednesday 4th. The melodic processed beatsmiths are touring their latest record, Flourish//Perish, released in the UK via Tunng’s label, Full Time Hobby, earlier this year, achieving plenty of critical acclaim in the process.

The live music floodgates open up on Thursday 5th, with plenty of musical penguin huddles available to join. Band on the Wall’s offering is the soundscape-y trip hop jazz group Hidden Orchestra, while Fallow Café welcome former Burnley resident Tim Crabtree, now living in Canada, to perform his Beat Paper Scissors set ahead of an album to follow next year. Cuba Café hasn’t appeared as a venue on the preview column before, which of course makes Beans On Toast’s second gig in three months stand out.

On Friday 6th there’s another gig fixture congestion. Local angular indie types Dutch Uncles are set to entertain an Academy 2 crowd and there are also two launch nights around town. First of all, there’s the early dubstep throwback duo Akkord, comprising of local producers Indigo and Synkro, whose album launches with a late-nighter at 2022NQ. And before that, over in Salford just off Chapel Street another rare venue in the First Chop Brewing Arm hosts the local folky label Dogface Records’ launch, featuring Richard Lomax, Forge On and Robert John.

The first Xmas special of the year is at Fallowfield’s Platt Chapel on Saturday 7th. ‘Christmas in Bedlam’ is the tagline, and if Louis Barabbas has his way on the stage then there’s be more dancing than huddling in the audience. Otherwise, get a taster of the New Year’s Eve party staple, Mr Scruff, who’ll warm up for the big annual Band on the Wall with his final monthly slot of the year.

Remember The Strokes? Of course you do, but you might not be as familiar with their former members’ solo projects. Night & Day Café presents a chance to find out as Albert Hammond Jr pays a visit to close the week on Sunday 8th.

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