This image: Honeyblood
Jordan Worland, from local music website Slate the Disco, selects his must-see gigs in Cambridge during November
We start this month’s blog with a guide to a busy November on Chesterton Road – and we’re not just talking about fireworks night! The Portland Arms boasts an impressive line-up of much-fancied new acts, which ranges from contemporary gems to seasoned veterans.
Hooton Tennis Club are in town on the 3rd, bringing their recently released Edwyn Collins produced second record with them. This band has a knack of combining catchy off-kilter riffs with droll storytelling; album narrators – vocalists and guitarists Ryan Murphy and James Madden – straddle optimism and uncertainty with their lyrics, whether singing about their own emotions or commenting on a motley cast of characters. Definitely our top pick.
With the recent resurgence of 90s rock we’re happy to announce that Indie trio Dodgy will be joining us for an evening of their feel-good hits at The Portland on the 6th. The Reading trio found fame in the early 90s and seem to have figured out the secret of musical longevity, still going strong with their unique style of indie pop.
Speaking of still going strong, Teenage Fanclub play Cambridge Junction on the 30th. Teenage Fanclub’s early years were propelled by a kind of frantic energy. As outliers of the young sound of Scotland’s second wave, they released five albums in their first six years together. The foundations of their national treasure status were already laid. Their gig this month is hot on the heels of the release of their much anticipated new album, Here.
Always popular in Cambridge, The Wave Pictures (above) are back at The Portland on the 7th as is Terry Reid (8th), Wonk Unit (28th) and Cambridge’s brightest folk stars The Willows (17th).
Xtra Mile laureate Chris T-T will see out the year with an autumn and winter of touring Love Me, I’m A Liberal and supporting good friend and national treasure Jim Bob, playing Cambridge on the 29th.
Bristol punks Idles bring their lean, mean sonic sound to The Portland on the 10th, whilst the resurgent alt-dance saviours Jesus Jones play the same venue on the 21st. Other Portland highlights include The Pop Group (22nd), the brutal and stark indie vibes of Lanterns on The Lake (26th) and Future of The Left (above, 27th).
A great month is on the cards over at Norfolk Street’s The Blue Moon. Particular highlights include Chicago post-punk outfit Negative Scanner (above), who bring their blistering songs here on the 15th. There is indie-rock smarts aplenty with the double bill of Tellison and Grieving at the same venue on the 24th. Top of our must-sees at The Blue Moon has to be the first indie pop all-dayer. Since the launch party in February, Sweet Revenge has been quietly building a reputation for its friendly, fun and inclusive atmosphere and a playlist that mixes old and new DIY and indie pop with indie disco floor-fillers. This month they’ll be bringing some excellent DIY and indie pop bands to the Blue Moon to play their first festival on Saturday 12 November.
A big month at Cambridge Junction starts with indie heroes We Are Scientists and their sizzling smorgasbord of giant pop tunes on the 1st. Elsewhere on the Cambridge Junction bill is the bluesy and infectious Southern swagger of The Cadillac Three (7th), Welsh radical rockers Skindred (11th) and the rekindled Shaun Ryder led Black Grape (12th).
If you pick one Cambridge Junction show this month, make it the return to Cambridge of the awesome Glaswegian duo, Honeyblood on the 28th. The duo’s new album is out early this month and is full of grit and confidence.
Over at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge welcomes ska legends The Specials on the 11th – though you’ve long since missed the chance to pick up tickets to that one unfortunately. Noise twosome Slaves bring their second record to town on the 14th. Mercury Prize nominated, Laura Mvula (above) arrives on the 24th with her captivating and layered sound as one of the headline events of this year’s Cambridge Jazz Festival (there’s loads of events across the city for the festival this month – see their website for details).
Rounding out this month’s offerings, folk favourites The Shires (27th) and singer songwriter Seth Lakeman (30th) also play the Corn Exchange.