It aint ‘alf nippeh outside, making it very tempting to hibernate indoors with a stash of mince pies this month. However, if you love your tunes then the music calendar is packed tighter than your belt after Christmas dinner. Here are our top picks that make it worth heading outdoors this December…
Bodega 20th Anniversary: Kagoule & Friends
When? Sunday 1 December
Where? The Bodega
What? To celebrate the end of its teenage years, The Bodega is having some pretty big parties. They have organised a trio of shows and this Sunday’s is a right corker, showcasing their very favourite Nottingham bands.
Kagoule will be headlining the second of three shows organised to celebrate the big 2.0 and the Nottingham three piece could not be more fitting. After playing a not-so-secret headline set at Hockley Hustle Festival in October they showed why many believe they are one of the finest bands the city has produced. The trio of Cai Burns, Lucy Hatter and Lawrence English will be playing tracks from their brilliant sophomore album, Strange Entertainment as well as some ‘oldies’ from their debut, Urth - and we’ll eat our hat if there aren’t some newbies thrown in there for good measure too. Support comes from dream-pop quintet, Sancho Panza, Nactus Kunan and Black Mustard, adding up to a very fun Sunday indeed. Rob McCleary
Belters Choir Sing at St Barnabas Cathedral
When? Wednesday 4 December
Where? St Barnabas Catholic Cathedral
What? Is there anything more Christmassy than a good ol’ sing along? Or even, doing your bit for the community? Belters Choir ticks both of these boxes, making this midweek gathering a must-do for anyone who’s feeling festive.
Don’t expect to hear your usual Christmas bangers though - these ladies will be humming to the tune of soul, gospel and folk alongside some midwinter songs, accompanied by mince pies and mulled wine a-plenty. All money raised goes to Emmanuel House Support Centre to help the homeless.
How much? £5 OTD
Abstract Orchestra Plays MF Doom Live at Rescue Rooms
When? Thursday 5 December
Where? Rescue Rooms
What? You’d be pretty hard-pressed to do much better this month for unique live music in Notts than getting yourself down to Rescue Rooms for this early Christmas prezzeh. Seamlessly combining orchestral instrumentation with iconic, pioneering hip hop; 16-piece big band, Abstract Orchestra, will be showcasing some of the country’s finest musicians as well MCs and vocalists who have previously recorded and toured with the likes of Roots Manuva, Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, and Adele among many more.
Expect plush strings and a whole load of brass expertly working their way through the evening on instrumental as well as re-worked and genre-defying creative reinterpretations of your favourite DOOM tracks.
Whether you’re a fan of orchestral big band, metal face masks with a built in frown, or just fancy having your Xmas stockings blown off – be there. Max Leathers
How much? £16.50 including booking fee
Music Is The Answer - 48hr DJ'athon - Kids Hospital Nottingham
When? Friday 6 December - Sunday 8 December
Where? Live streamed from Four Four DC Academy
What? The fast-rising FourFour DJ academy is hosting a 48-hour DJ’athon to raise money to buy DJ equipment for the Children’s Wards at the Queen’s Medical Centre (and you can learn more here.)
Organised by Fourfour’s Luke Gordon, one half of local DJ duo Chubz and Nukem, the event is hosting a stellar line up of local artists including bassline superstars and hometown heroes, Darkzy & Window Kid. The 48 hours promise to be an eclectic showcase of some of the best music that the city has to offer while raising money for an extremely worthy cause. Tune in, donate and spread some festive cheer. Rory Evans
How much? As much as your want to donate!
IN Search of SYD: "The madcap laughs again"
When? Friday 6 December
Where? The Chameleon
What? Syd Barret's children are coming to Notts for the most psychedelic night of the year. The idea is simple; three bands on one floor, several DJs on the other. Psychedelia live and on vinyls. A colorful mixture of guitar music from another reality. Lights and projections adjusted to the vibe. Turn on, tune in and drop out.
Pink Floyd couldn't handle Syd - considered an outsider or a madman, even for them. However, he inspired thousands of musicians including Bunkerpop, Sundaze and Wiches Mark, who perform in the intimate surroundings of our favourite venue in the city for this show. Whether you are a fan of Pink Floyd or are interested in the music from the future, we highly recommend this one. Shine on you crazy diamond. Lebe Matnick
How much? £6.60
Wigflex: Joy Orbison - All Night Long
When? Friday 6 December
What? None other than Joy Orbison will be gracing the Wigflex decks this December, for an all night session set within one of Nottingham’s more intimate club spaces, Box - it ain’t often you get to see such a big name so up close and personal.
With Wigflex bringing their ever amazing sound system, joined by Multimodal on lighting and visual installation duties, it’s sure to be as fun as the night is long. If you’ve ever been to their Ben UFO B2B Lukas session you’ll know what to expect, so dress to sweat. For anyone who fancies kicking off the party season with a bang then definitely don’t sleep on this one. Ellie A
How much? £15 + booking fee
George Gadd Live + Velvet Blush Support
When? Saturday 7 December
What? You’ve probably heard George playing before as he’s a regular on local festival lineups including Beat the Streets, Dot To Dot, Hockley Hustle and Splendour. But now, as he graces the Bodega stage in all his glory for a headline show, it’s the perfect opportunity to warm the cockles with some goosebump-inducing acoustic bliss.
Support comes from Kate Auburn, Harker and Nottingham’s own, Velvet Blush, making it an evening of genres that are mixed, but connected by quality.
How much? £5.50
Mimm & Lusty Arts Presents Universal Lovers LIVE
When? Saturday 7 December
Where? Nottingham Street Food Club
What? Fancy a bit of music with yer snap? You could do worse than head to the award winning Nottingham Street Food as it plays host to a Lustyarts X Mimm party, showcasing their new compilation release together.
Featuring some of Nottingham’s finest up and coming musical talents, Universal Lovers offers up 15 tracks of musical excellence. Whether you love a bit of funk, soul, electronic or hip-hop, maybe even fuzzy guitars too, there is sure to be something that’ll get ya excited. As well as musical performances, there will be an epic raffle and the chance for people to purchase some Universal Lovers merchandise - perfect for stuffing the stockings. All ticket sales go towards the musicians involved, so why not pop along and support local? Ellie A
How much? £5
The National live at Motorpoint Arena Nottingham
When? Tuesday 10 December
Where? Motorpoint Arena
What? Christmas has come early as the biggest band you’ve probably never heard of broodily join the big boys of arena tours. That’s right, The National are in town and for anyone who loves their music on the (slightly) less brighter side of life.
The Notts show is one of only four arena shows the Candian four piece are playing in the UK as part of their world tour, following on from the release of their eight studio album I Am Easy to Find on 4AD. Lead singer, Matt Berniger, is worth the entrance price alone; his presence on stage as a marauding, sombre and isolated figure is one that stays with you. The band have more songs than you can shake a Christmas tree at and for anyone who is seeing them for the first time, we envy you, we really do. A band that could headline Glastonbury but are probably quite happy just quietly selling out arenas all around the world. A must see. Rob McCleary
How much? Varied, starting at £41
Audiobahn x Peach Fuzz // Dance for MS Society
When? Friday 13 December
Where? Bar Eleven
What? It’s been a great year for grassroots electronic promoters Audiobahn and Peach Fuzz, with both enjoying appearances at Wigflex City Festival, growing their brands and gaining recognition in national press. We’re glad to see there’s no rivalry though as they both join forces to give us a warm’n’fuzzy festive blowout that’s bound to leave us knackered ‘till New Year’s Eve.
Residents from both nights will be going B2B in a genre-defying evening, with 100% of the box office takings going towards the Nottingham branch of the MS society - a cause that’s close to both of the crews. Don’t worry about munching those mince pies this season ‘cause you’re bound to work of the calories at this one.
How much? A donation of £3+
Boiler Room with Nastia
When? Sunday 15 December
What? One of the world’s most recognisable underground music brands is back in Notts for an evening of no holds barred electronic music. They are putting the cameras away and the full focus of the dance floor will be on the powerful line up headlined by Ukrainian DJ, Nastia.
However, the real draw of this event is the standard of the support DJs. Afrodeutsche stunned the famous Boiler Room stage at Amsterdam’s Dekmantel festival this August with a selection of high energy acid and electro. She is joined by Finnish Born, Glasgow Based, Boiler Room resident, IDA, who has emerged this year as one of the most exciting DJs on the scene. Rory Evans
How much? £15 + booking fee
Krudd Xmas Party w/ Notion & Distinkt
When? Friday 20 December
What? Krudd needs no introduction, delivering bass driven parties in Midlands and gaining a notorious reputation. After the massive success of Bru-C's set in Rescue Rooms recently, the wizard of dynamics Notion and Distinkt take over the decks for the festive blowout. If you're looking to sweat away the memories of the previous year, there really isn't any better bassline party from now until NYE.
If you’re not sure if this music is for you then hear this, duckeh - somebody told me “if you're coming from a punk background, you need to give UK bass a try” which I did, just recently, and I definitely don't regret it. The bass scene in Notts is on the rise, crowned by mighty Krudd. Lebe Matnick
How much? £6 - £12
For the motherload of everything else going on this December check out our comprehensive Nottingham events listings.
Promoters: Want your event featured in one of our upcoming listicles? If so then you can start by adding your event details into our magazine and website database.