December is upon us, are you getting serious about Christmas yet? As the weather gets wetter, the gigs show no sign of drying up just yet, and as usual us BagThingers have been picking out the best shows in MCR this week, along with a few festive treats thrown in along the way. Read on for our guide to the next seven days…

Monday 3rd: The Cardigans @ The Apollo:

// Swedish indie pop outfit The Cardigans get us underway this week, playing their 1998 breakthrough album ‘Gran Turismo’ in full at The Apollo.

Tuesday 4th: Peter Murphy @ The Ritz

// The Godfather of Goth returns. Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy comes to The Ritz to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band, playing their classic 1980 debut album ‘In The Flat Field’ in its entirety, accompanied with founding member and bassist David J.

Wednesday 5th: Zeal & Ardor @ Gorilla

// Gorilla welcome avant-garde metalheads Zeal & Ardor, out supporting sophomore release ‘Stranger Fruit’.

Thursday 6th: Julia Holter @ Gorilla

// On the road from Los Angeles, chamber pop perfectionist Julia Holter supports her fifth studio album ‘Aviary’, following from the huge success of ‘Have You In My Wilderness’.

Friday 7th: Madness @ The Arena // Great Lake Swimmers @ YES // Carl North & The Lonely Hearts @ Gullivers // Red Eye Carnival @ Band On The Wall

// The Nutty Boys return to Manchester on an extensive UK over the festive season, still going strong after four decades in the business. Local R’n’B five-piece Carl North & The Lonely Hearts drop into Gullivers, still fresh from a debut UK tour earlier this year having just seen off new single ‘Blood to Bleed’; read our interview with Carl here. Canadian folk-rock cohort Great Lake Swimmers play YES and local party-starters Red Eye HiFi throw their end of year Christmas bash on Swan Street, also celebrating nine years of soca club nights.

Saturday 8th: James + The Charlatans @ The Arena // Henge @ Gorilla // Girls on Film @ Deaf Institute

// Back at The Arena, North West indie heavyweights James and The Charlatans team up for a joint UK tour, followed by an appearance from Tim Burgess and Deaf Institute club night Girls On Film. Based in Manchester (via “home planet of Agricular in Cosmos Redshift 7”) Henge visit Gorilla in possession of a new genre of music: Cosmic Dross.

Sunday 9th: James Holden & The Animal Spirits @ The Royal Exchange Theatre

// We can’t think of a better way to bring the week to a close than an evening in the company with James Holden, bringing his 2017 “folk-trance” masterpiece ‘The Animal Spirits’ to the Royal Exchange Theatre.

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That’s your lot! For full listings see our calendar.

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