Winter sucks. It’s cold, you get ill, and if you work in an office there’s a good chance you won’t see daylight for months. Brilliant. It’s a good job, then, that winter’s the best time to go out and see gigs, and this year’s no different: the city’s venues are set to rattle with beautiful folk, grimey pop and sweaty punk all season long. Here’s seven of our favourites to make a space in your diary for.

Dead Cities at St Bride’s Church – 26th November 2011

Local gang Dead Cities have been sharpening themselves for a couple of years on the city’s acoustic scene, and they’ve just unleashed excellent debut album ‘This Killer Wave’. To celebrate its release, they’re heading to the gorgeous setting of St Bride’s Church for a night of pretty unmissable jangly folk rock.

Meg Baird at Leaf – 30th November 2011

Baird is part of acclaimed psychedelic collective Espers, and has a handful of beautiful solo albums under her belt as well. She pops along to Leaf to showcase her latest, ‘Seasons on Earth’, a journey through Fairport Convention-esque pastoral folk and trippy Americana. The perfect winter soundtrack.

Chris Difford at the Brink – 6th December 2011

One of the best songwriters this country’s ever produced, Squeeze frontman Chris Difford brings his tour to new booze-free venue The Brink this December. Expect a clutch of his impressive solo tracks alongside some of his best Squeeze big’uns. This is a man who wrote ‘Up The Junction’, for God’s sake. Bow down.

Hot Snakes at the Kazimier – 10th December 2011

These US punk legends have just reformed after a hiatus, and they’re playing their only UK show outside London at the Kazimier. Made up of members of Rocket From The Crypt and Drive Like Jehu (who both reached impressive cult status), Hot Snakes were the band many rock fans still hold dear to their hearts. It’ll be loud, celebratory, and fantastic.

Wiley at the Masque – 28th January 2012

The king of grime rarely tours, but in January he’s set to bring his acclaimed latest album to the Masque. Followers of Wiley’s interview will know he’s a slightly-crazy-although-we-wouldn’t-say-it-to-his-face genius, as all the best artists are. Expect electro-tinged party tracks mixed with his ice cold East London grime and a hell of a lot of bizarre fun when he rolls up on the 28th.

Everything Everything at the Echo Arena – 31st January 2012

Snow Patrol might be one of the most dull bands on the planet, but they pick a damn good support act. Mercury Prize nominated Everything Everything are set to upstage the plodding Patrol on their arena tour in January, bringing their hyperactive, articulate XTC-style pop tunes to King’s Dock.

The War On Drugs at the Kazimier – February 23rd 2012

Causing a bit of a fuss at the moment, The War On Drugs are best mates with fellow fuzz-pop star Kurt Vile, but their expansive, Sprinsteen-tinged clattering rock ‘n’ roll feels uniquely epic and enveloping. They bring their joyful live set to the Kazimier in February.

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