Gig Guide: Bands You Need To See In December

Article by Sarah Williams.

Christmas is coming. For many of us, December is a time of tradition, consumerism and excessive alcohol consumption. If you survive the guantlet of the office Christmas party (advice: don’t get off with anyone’s boss, especially not your own) then you still get to face the awkward questions from relatives you’ve not seen since last year. “What happened to that nice boyfriend?” Oh, the one that cheated on me three months ago? “Are you still doing that… ‘job’?” Yes, Gran, I’m still a world class fuck-up, thank you for asking.

As one of the busiest and most expensive times of year, gigs can sometimes take a back-seat. There’s no need for that as there’s plenty going on and, let’s face it, a room full of loud noises is a lot more fun than playing Cluedo with your in-laws. We’ve got all your Christmas and New Years treat wrapped up for you:

Gig Of The Month: Umlaut Records Christmas Party

  • When: December 16th
  • Where: New Cross Inn, London
  • Who: Consumed, Spoilers, Müg, No Matter, Ships Down, Launch Control, Our Lives In Cinema, Shark Party and Tape It Shut
  • Tickets HERE, Facebook event HERE

Umlaut Records Christmas Party.jpg

This is such a banger. Scrap your stupid work Christmas party and all the other invites you’ve had (this is literally the busiest night of the whole month for me – there are 10+ gigs to choose from) and get your arse down to the New Cross Inn.

Consumed are legendary in the UK punk scene, having pioneered the British late 90s/early 00s skate-punk sound. They even reached the fabled heights of the Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 soundtrack. There are few bands in England that I ever get more excited about seeing, so Christmas is genuinely coming early for me with this booking.

The rest of the line up is all fast, melodic and awesome. Britain’s catchiest punks, Spoilers are on before Consumed, so get your singing voices ready. Umlaut label bosses Müg are also, in my opinion, one of the most underrated bands in London right now – plenty to rock out to. No Matter are trekking over from Ireland to give us some super-catchy pop punk. Ships Down are one of the best punk rock acts I’ve seen in 2017; they take cues from bands like Belvedere/Rise Against. Keep your ears open for Launch Control‘s Christmas song (I assume they’re doing one this year). Our Lives In Cinema are what you get if you chuck Alkaline Trio and Jeff Rosenstock in a musical blender, well worth getting down earlier for. Before them, catch Shark Party and Tape It Shut. What’s not to like?

Enjoy one of my All Time Top 5 Best Punk Songs Ever:

Anarchistic Undertones: New Years Eve Party

  • When: December 31st
  • Where: Gullivers, Manchester
  • Who: Stand Out Riot, Riggots, Revenge of The Psychotronic Man, plus more.
  • Facebook event HERE

New Year’s Eve is a consistently crashing disappointment, so I aim to keep my expectations as low as possible at all times. This gig represents a glimmer of hope in the mire of plastic champagne flutes and overpriced entry fees (seriously, one NYE I was charged £10 to get into a pub where I lived and worked). While I’m keen to maintain a cynical facade at all times, this is pretty fucking exciting!

Ska-punk heroes Stand Out Riot are reforming for this one-off show – it’s their first gig since MPF 2015. Revenge of The Psychotronic Man will no doubt play as fast as phsycially possible, hurtling you into 2018 at full speed. You can also look forward to  having spit, guitars and dischordant noises hurled at you by Riggots. If that’s not enough, there’s Wadeye, Habits and The Mighty Bossmags. Grab a ticket before they sell out – otherwise you’re going to be stuck in a shitty overpriced bar, or wanking alone on your sofa to the hollow charm of Jools Holland.

Book Yer Ane Fest XI

  • When: December 1st – 3rd
  • Where: Dundee: Abertay Student Centre, Conroy’s Basement and Deacon Brodie’s
  • Who: The Murderburgers, Flatfoot 56, The Kimberly Steaks, Darko, Terrafraid, heaps more…
  • Tickets HERE, Facebook HERE

This would without a doubt be my gig of the month, if I were able to actually go to it. This is my third year of desperately wanting to make the trek to Scotland for this weekend of punk fun, so I’m gonna go ahead and just book my trains for next year right now.

The festival is Make That A Take Records’ annual showcase of talent, which also raises money for a range of worthy causes – clearly an enterprise with DIY at its core. They operate four stages in three venues, across three days, and there’s a hell of a lot of bands to choose from. My personal picks from this year’s line-up (in no particular order) would be PMX, Darko, Murderburgers, Nosebleed, Tragical History Tour, The Kimberly Steaks, Flatfoot 56, Tim Loud, Coral Springs and On A Hiding To Nothing. There are also usually plenty of bands on the line-up that I haven’t heard of, which gets me seriously excited – what’s the point in going to see the same 10 bands you’ve seen 100 times? Get out there and discover some new shit.

Revenge of The Psychotronic Man @ The Smokehouse

  • When: December 2nd
  • Where: The Smokehouse, Ipswich
  • Who: Support from Project Mork and This Is Not A Drill
  • Facebook event HERE

It’s always a treat to have one of your favourite bands in your local venue, and this is going to be a corker. Over the years Revenge have developed a shenanigans-forcefield whereby you’re forced to do something stupid if you’re within a 10 metre radius of the band. We’re no strangers to human pyramids, piggybacks, rowboats and circlepits at The Smokehouse, but I’m sure we can come up with something even sillier when pushed.

Support comes from Norwich’s Project Mork, a band with a complete disregard for genres, who play heavy, fast and loud. They’re staggeringly good live – do not miss it. Also be sure to catch This Is Not A Drill, the new anarcho punk band from members Chewed Up/Brain Freeze/Trioxin Cherry.

I hope you’re prepared to dance like an idiot. Much as I (and many others) do in this video of the last time they played in Ipswich…


  • When: December 14th, 15th and 16th
  • Where: London – The Montague Arms, The Sebright and The Old Blue Last
  • Who:  Gnarwolves. More Gnarwolves. Then some more Gnarwolves.
  • Facebook event HERE.

If, like me, you’re an absolutely massive Gnarwolves fan, this is the literal definition of Christmas coming early. If you’re not a Gnarwolves fan… probably one to skip?

Gnarwolves are playing three London shows over three days. On Thursday 14th at The Montague Arms they will be playing all of their first 3 EPs (Fun Club, CRU and Funemployed). On Friday 15th at The Old Blue Last they’ll be treating us to all of their self-titled album plus Adolescence. Finally on 16th December they’ll be playing all of their new album Outsiders at The Sebright Arms.

I don’t envy the band practicing for this one. This is a massively self-indulgent romp through their back-catalogue, but I love that I know exactly which songs I’m going to get to sing along to, rather than wondering whether they might pull out Melody Has Big Plans in the encore. In fact, I’m so excited that I’m going to two dates of it on my jack. Come keep me company?

It’s also worth checking out the following (in date order):

In the meantime, I’ll see you down the front!

Article by Sarah Williams.

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