The spring months are the most glorious in the music calendar, with a constant stream of new releases and acts hitting the road to clock up stage time before the festival period. March is hands-down the busiest month for live music so far in 2015, and there are some real treats to take in.
The Portland Arms begins the month with the slightly spooky melodies and reflective folk of Texan songwriter Jarrod Dickenson on the 1st. On new album Maximum Entropy, Welsh duo Man Without Country merge sleek electronic minimalism with a love of classic pop music, combining the pared-back synths of Ulrich Schnauss and East India Youth with the adventurous quest to redefine pop shared with early electronic pioneers such as The Human League. They bring their new record to The Portland on 2 March.
Other highlights at The Portland Arms include the art punk stylings of Zun Zun Eugi on the 3rd, Feeder frontman Grant Nicholas with his wonderfully crafted solo material on the 4th and the return of the eccentric John Otway on the 5th.
One of the last remaining bastions of the British hardcore scene, Funeral For A Friend are at The Portland on the 8th. It promises to be a busy night, as the British emo veterans returned reinvigorated with their seventh album in January.
Last seen in Cambridge opening for Twin Atlantic at their sold-out Junction show, Nothing But Thieves headline the Portland in their own right on the 9th. The hotly tipped Southend outfit mix Jeff Buckley-like vocal acrobatics with intense, inspired guitars.
Anyone who caught Steven James Adams in Cambridge last year will know that his return to the Portland on the 13th is not to be missed. The former frontman of the lauded Broken Family Band released his gorgeous debut solo album last year.
Frontman of seminal noughties emo/rock band INME, Dave McPherson returns to Cambridge in the intimate surroundings of CB2 on 26 March, in support of his new solo record Journal of a Journey Buoy.
Our pick of the shows this month – a hard call given how busy March is – takes place at the Cambridge Junction J2 on 2 March. Pitching somewhere between Radiohead and The xx, but with polished, pulsing indie electronica-by-way-of-RnB, Glass Animals released one of the best debut albums of last year.
Also appearing at the J2 this month is virtuoso guitarist, independent musician and viral success story Jon Gomm, who offers his mesmerising acoustic guitar skills on the 23rd, while Martha Tilston brings her striking folk sound to the J2 on the 30th.
The main stage at the Junction hosts some top shows this month, notably the return to Cambridge of the majestic Lucy Rose on the 23rd. On her first tour in 18 months, Rose will undoubtedly be road- testing material from her forthcoming second album, due later this year.
Duke Special (pictured) releases his fourth album this month. In celebration, he’s mapped out a no-stone-left-unturned tour of the UK throughout the springtime, taking in a whopping 21 dates across the country with his full live band in tow, and playing Cambridge on the 21st.
Formed in 1977, Punk rock legends Stiff Little Fingers are still going strong, releasing their latest album back in January, and the band play the Cambridge Junction on the 22nd in support of its release.
The Corn Exchange plays host to two high-profile shows this month. Former Cambridge students Clean Bandit released one of the biggest hits of 2014, and return to the city where they all met on the 8th. Another returning act, the legendary Paul Weller, plays Cambridge once again on the 13th. Both shows are long sold out, so keep your eye on social media to see if there are any returned tickets to get hold of.
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