Live Music Highlights – January 2012

Feature by Mark Shukla | 06 Jan 2012
  • M83

Combining electro, pop and house may be about as revolutionary as beans on toast but Edinburgh's Discopolis have arrived at a uniquely energising and euphoric take on the recipe thanks to their use of silky live vox and no-nonsense drops. They play King Tut's on 10 Jan with support from emotive indietronica duo Capitals, plus Capstin Pole and Kill The Waves – all part of Tut's New Year's Revolution: a 15 day mission to rep the b'jesus out of our homegrown talent.

The product of a collaboration between Stars of the Lid man Adam Wiltzie and American pianist Dustin O’Halloran, A Winged Victory For The Sullen are all set to deploy their achingly elegiac drones and mournful piano refrains at Glasgow Òran Mór on 15 Jan. No way these men don't have mad bank invested in Kleenex®. Get set to melt.

Skin-flayingly fierce alt-rock desperados United Fruit head up a stellar bill at Glasgow King Tut's on 16 Jan alongside math-funk bad boys Lady North plus Hunt/Gather and Natalie Pryce. If you're down with muscular, dynamic guitar music then you can't really afford to sleep on this. Tinnitus schminnitus.

Synth wizards M83 managed to resolve their ultra-lush dream pop inclinations with stadium rock grandeur on their latest opus, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, and all reports suggest their current live show does a damn good job of replicating the effervescent fizz and tickle of that particular album. We expect a ruddy good show at Glasgow's Arches on 19 Jan.

Stereolab/Monade mainstay Laetitia Sadier will play an intimate solo set at Glasgow's Platform on 21 Jan as part of the Celtic Connections festival. Armed with just an electric guitar (and a rich, mesmerising voice, obvs), Sadier's solo work is a more revealing and personal variation of the psych-pop/new wave template that she perfected with Stereolab. Gorgeous stuff, and with support from both Jo Mango and Dan Haywood's New Hawks this promises to be a great evening.

Irony-free Norwegian electronic pop outfit Casiokids make music to smile and dance to, so anyone in need of some undistorted good vibrations should get along to Glasgow Captain's Rest on 21 Jan. Expect chunky and direct DIY synth-pop peppered with gently evocative Norwegian-language vocals.

Tubelord may have have a somewhat infuriating penchant for over-earnest vocals, but what they lack in lyrical fortitude they more than make up for in propulsive, gymnastic rock moves and sheer infectious enthusiasm. Check them at Glasgow Captain's Rest on 22 Jan, Aberdeen Tunnels on 23 Jan and Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's on 24 Jan.

Perennial standard-bearers for cathartic, instrumental guitar music, Explosions in the Sky will play Glasgow O2 Academy on 23 Jan. These chaps always play with heart, so expect a ruthlessly sustained attack of big, beautiful sounds.

Despite having fallen foul of the indie hype machine a few years back, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah came back strong this year with an enjoyably direct album entitled Hysterical. Expect pretty, chiming guitar lines; driving post-punk basslines; mannered, nasal vocals – you know the deal by now. See them at Glasgow SWG3 on 28 Jan.

Comprised of ex-Sleater-Kinney heads Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss plus Helium's Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole of The Minders, Wild Flag are a band positively overflowing with individual talent. On stage they manage to blend Sleater-Kinney's driving, melodic urgency with Helium's off kilter pop sensibility and supercharge the whole shebang with a delightful upbeat grooviness. Yeah, Glasgow Òran Mór on 30 Jan is gonna go off motherfuckers.