Jordan Worland, from local music website Slate the Disco, gives his top live music picks for the month ahead
Having begun life as pals living in the same corridor of Homerton College, Sports Team have had a 2019 to remember. This breakout year has seen the six-piece obtain acclaim from various corners of the music press, storm the festival circuit, tour America, play stadiums and dominate radio playlists. All without an album being released! The erratic euphoria the band have become known for is down to driving guitars, shifting rhythms and infectious melodies. Catch this triumphant homecoming (of sorts) at The Portland on the 4th.
The Portland is also the scene for our second recommendation this December, Hot Snakes, on the 15th. Revolving around the talents of childhood friends, frequent bandmates and rock ’n’ roll believers John ‘Speedo’ Reis and Rick Froberg, Hot Snakes formed in the late 90s and released a stream of pulsating, high-velocity punk in the early 2000s. They reformed without a hitch in 2018, releasing Jericho Sirens and delivering one of the best gigs of the year in Cambridge.
There’s a couple of other Portland shows of note this month. The re-formed Echobelly perform a ‘stripped back’ set on the 2nd, then folk-punk singer songwriter B-Sydes is joined by a full band to celebrate the launch of his sophomore record. Finally, the epic cult folk legend Beans On Toast brings his winter tour on the 11th.
Riotous garage rockers Gaffa Tape Sandy have been one of the success stories of East Anglia in the last 12 months. Leaning heavily on the unique dual vocals of their front two, the Bury St Edmunds outfit have attracted widespread praise for their EP releases this year. They close 2019 with a show at The Blue Moon on the 12th.
Is it even December without an Ezio or Craig Charles show at the Junction? Ezio is up on the 14th, and Craig Charles’ pre-Chrimbo big night out is on the 20th. Also at the Cambridge Junction this month, The Magic Lantern – the musical moniker of Jamie Doe, an artist dedicated to remedying anxiety and fear – performs on the 2nd to launch his new EP. Doe is a part of a thriving scene of contemporary musicians who sit across genres from folk to jazz, going about things their own way.
Another local act who has grown in reputation outside the city is Tom Lumley. Joined by his band, The Brave Liaison, he brings momentum to the J2 on the 4th. Still brilliant, The Wedding Present are back in Cambridge on the 4th when they bring their Bizarro tour to town.