Jordan Worland, from local music website Slate the Disco, selects his must-see gigs in Cambridge during December
Here we are, presenting our annual end of year ‘escape from the Christmas music’ article. And this December sees a great selection of live music options for us to enjoy.
Our top tip goes down at the NCI on the 6th, when jazz/electronic supergroup Szun Waves perform. The trio comprises saxophonist Jack Wyllie, of minimalist tech-jazz combo Portico Quartet, drummer Laurence Pike, from outer-rock experimentalists PVT, and solo electronic explorer Luke Abbott. Sometimes in improvised music there can be a distance between listener and players, a sense you’re sitting back and admiring their interplay and abstraction, but with Szun Waves’ second album New Hymn To Freedom, you’re right in there with them, inside the playing, experiencing the absolute joy the three musicians feel as they circle around each other, exploring the spaces they’ve opened up.
Remember Razorlight? The band enjoyed hits galore and widespread success during indie’s mid-noughties heyday. Fronted by Johnny Borrell, the band have emerged from a 10-year hiatus with a new record; they play the Cambridge Junction on the 19th. It’s not Christmas without an Ezio or Dr Feelgood show; fortunately both are at the Junction this month, as is Chris Wood (1st) and Alabama 3 (14th).
Way back at the turn of the century, Travis graced Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in a headline slot. It was the Scottish rockers’ sophomore record The Man Who that had propelled the outfit into global superstardom. 18 years on, Travis are touring the nine-times platinum album, including a stop at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on the 13th.
Talking of Glastonbury, as you do in December, Orbital have graced Worthy Farm with numerous appearances, their 1994 set being widely considered a pivotal moment for UK dance music. 2018 has seen the electronic duo celebrate 30 years in music and release their ninth studio album, Monsters Exist. The Hartnoll brothers bring that new album, plus their extensive back catalogue, to the Corn Exchange on the 19th.
Nothing says Christmas like the annual UK Subs Portland Arms show in December, this year taking place on the 6th with Freedom Faction in support. The same venue also hosts the Green Mind end-of-year shindig. Taking place on the 29th, the night will be headlined by one of Cambridge’s biggest revelations this year, Lemondaze. The four-piece mix 90s shoegaze twisted with energetic new shapes.