Living La Vida Local: Week 9

Music Editor Jamie Shepherd takes a look at the best Christmas musical extravaganzas the North East has to offer

Jamie Shepherd
13th December 2015

So that’s another term over and done with and you’re in a mad dash to book Megabus tickets and cheap rail deals home. While the allure of the family pet and the luxury of home cooked meals inlieu of Super Noodles and Eat4Less is appealing, it might I beg of you readers to not be so hasty in your departure. Here’s my round-up of some of the best festive gigs that are going to be happening in the region to fill you right up with festive cheer.

The Great Curve’s Christmas Office Party, 20th December. Cluny 2

A stalwart of the Tyneside music scene, The Great Curve’s Christmas gigs are always sure to draw a crowd especially with the irascible man-child Mick Rolfe at the helm. Live music will be provided by Franco-Anglo-Russo quartet Them Things, Geordie lads A Festival, A Parade and headliners The Great Curve. And if the fact that each band will be playing a Christmas song isn’t good enough for you, we’re also being treated to some funky electronic beats in the form of Moon Rocks’ Pav and The Cluny’s resident Lord Don Hoolio. Free entry for one and all and as it says on the events page in dodgy chav-esque capitalisations  “fEsTiVe ChEeR cOmPuLsOrY aT aLl TiMeS”. If anything says Christmas then it’s definitely dodgy punctuation.

Lilliput, 22nd December, Sage 2

This one has a special resonance for me seeing that some of the best (worst depending on how you view it) days of my drunken adolescence was spent following members of this band in previous incarnations. I remember watching Libertine wannabes The Deadwoods playing in Sunderland’s Jack Jones when we were all NME bumming skinny jeans wearers back in 2007, and little did I think that Lilliput would transform into the band that we have now. The band’s wholesome folk inspired music has soundtracked my Christmases over the last few years as it’s almost become a tradition amongst my group of pals that we have to see Lilliput at some point over the festive period. Past gigs have seen them fill out venues as diverse as Sunderland Minster and The Cluny and this gig sees them filling up the grandiose setting of The Sage’s Hall 2. It’s the perfect venue to get those cockles warmed by a bunch of dead canny lads.


Hyde and Beast’s Christmas Shindig, 22nd and 23rd December, Independent Sunderland

With the initial gig on the 23rd selling out within 24 hours a second gig had to be added and if you’ve ever seen Hyde and Beast before you’ll understand why. Dave Hyde from The Futureheads and Neil Bassett aka the Beast formerly of The Golden Virgins play a heady mixture of post-punk and psychadelia that is set to heat up the streets of Wearside in the run-up to Christmas. The venue Independent means a lot to me as it’s my local haunt when I’m back on the silver streets of Sunderland and I’ve got many a memory of stumbling out of there in snowfall after drinking one too many vodka and lemonades and sambuccas after serenading ‘Fairytale of New York’ to my friends while I’ve got them in a headlock. Knowing me, I’ll be full of festive cheer at one of these gigs and cause a good old festive ruckus like the good old days. On the 22nd up and comers Vito are the support act while Lilliput’s Jordan and Joe’s new side-project Apple Scruff’s are opening on the 23rd.

Jamie Shepherd

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