16797264_10155794267854056_5740058919034121743_oAnd here we are, the run up to Christmas, a week when “twas” and “tis” become an accepted part of the language for the first time since the seventeenth century, gaudy jumpers, or these days possibly onesies, replace having an actual personality, people talk about how A Wonderful Life is the best film ever made (the correct answer is The Fisher King!) and Mariah Carey is every other song on the radio or jukebox. (What’s wrong with Joni Michell’s River and maybe all of the bands who normally cover The Killers’ Mr Brightside could instead learn their iconic/ironic A Great Big Sled, the original of which featured the lovely Toni Halliday?) And yes, if you cut me in half you will see the words Bah Humbug scrolling through my core!

However, if you do love all the seasonal silliness and traditions then you may just like to head along to The Tuppenny tonight for Slim Ditty does Christmas! Crooner, comedian, music hall maestro and vaudevillian, he promises a swinging singalong, fun and frivolity. Also best and worst Christmas jumpers will be awarded prizes.

At The Beehive, Kitchen Sink Dramas will be playing poignant, pointed and politically infused songs in the vein of Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg, music which gently calls out the disharmony in the world, and there is no small amount of ammunition there, but does so via a collection of deft and well wrought tunes.

If you want something which walks the middle ground between those two styles, Interlight will be bringing a truly eclectic repertoire of chart toppers and buried treasures from all eras of contemporary music.

On Friday, covers and originals are on the menu at The Queen’s Tap, Evolution playing everything from the cutting edge alt-rock of The Foo Fighters to the melodic indie sounds of The Stereophonics and Vice Versa will be at The Victoria with their usual bag of effortlessly cool indie tunes delivered with the style and swagger which you come to expect from one of the most popular and hardest working bands on the local circuit.

At The Swiss Chalet, Ruff Diamonds bring you a tribute to that often underrated songwriter, Neil Diamond, the man with the most consistently sing-along-able (that’s a word, honest) songs of the modern age. So don’t be a Solitary Man, head along and check out the Beautiful Noise. Probably best if I leave the tabloid punning to those better equipped…If You Know What I Mean.

A more scatter gun approach to the set list comes from Last Call who play The Groves Company Inn, salvos of high-octane tunes from the rock, metal, indie and pop-punk canon…or should that be cannon! A wise and noble journalist once dubbed W.M.D. “the 10-legged party machine” and if you head to The Bakers Arms you will be able to see why.

Saturday delivers a whole host of nostalgia, pre-loved tunes and rose-tinted retrospection, and why not, comfort zones are just so…well, comfortable, the clue is in the title, and you can get comfortable and relive all your favourite songs with a host of bands what ever your taste.

Syntronix (pictured) is all about 80’s synth-pop at The Victoria, everything from the obvious and iconic such as Depeche Mode and Ultravox but proving that they know their musical onions you may be treated to more underground musical gems from the likes of Kraftwerk and Visage.

Rock is on the menu courtesy of Fracture at The Tap ’n’ Barrel and The Worried Men at The Queen’s Tap take that rock in a more bluesy direction but if you want a real onslaught of the hard and heavy, loud and shouty, okay, not shouty, they are better than that, The Rotten Aces bring their punk package to the Swiss Chalet.

You may not have heard of Get Schwifty but you will recognise the faces. Jamie R. Hawkins and Phil Cooper, two of the finest purveyors of acoustic pop on the circuit today, turn their hand to the classic choons and if you head to The Brookhouse Farm you can see how that all works out. I’m thinking it will be rather spiffing.

Danny and The Randoms and LadsLadsLads deliver a plethora of well-known tunes at The Castle and The Sun Inn respectively.

Sunday, being Christmas Eve is less about live music and more about social gathering, catch-ups and getting your Christmas cheer on but there is still time to catch Paradox lay out a stall of songs you know and love at The Swiss Chalet. If a more riotous way of heading into Christmas Day is required then head to The Rolleston for Dirty Outlaws and a night of street smart punk, terrace anthems and fist in the air Oi singalongs. Think of this as the alternative Christmas party the only one which comes with a Sanity Clause…gedit?

So have a blast whatever you are doing and remember, live music is not just for Christmas. See you on the other side.

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