This week's quest for top-notch live new music has taken us hither and yon. Erm, that's 'from up north to down south and a bit in the Midlands as well', for those who don't speak in Old English.
With our talented Emerging Icons residing the length and breadth of this fine country, our hottest gigs are somewhat scattered, which will hopefully mean that you'll be able to catch at least one of this tasty little lot.
Remember- when you've decided which ones you're going for, click on the links below to visit that artist's gig page. You can then log in and click 'YES', you plan on attending. Not only will it be added to your personal gig calendar, but it will also make that act feel all fuzzy inside just knowing that you're going to be there to support them. Aw. Still unsure? Watch this...
So here they are- those gigs you just can't miss in the coming week. Our very tasty Top Five Emerging Icons Live...
Tuesday 19th March
In our only London gig this week, Abigail Hubbard takes her quirky trip-hop spectacular to Rattlesnake of Angel. This is a show for anyone who loves a good beat, plenty of rhythm and music to get lost in. Her love for all things folk, jazz and classical flavour her eccentric and unmistakeable sound...as well as that intoxicatingly unique voice of hers. Falling somewhere between Bjork and Olof Arnalds (erm...no, she's not actually from Iceland) the poetry that accompanies her vocal tone is as hypnotising as it is honey-like to the ears. Despite her youth, this lady is a truly polished and class act that you'd be wise to pay attention to now. Come along and tap your fingers, your toes, your head... anything... you'll just need to prepare to really get into this one.
Wednesday 20th March
Since featuring them in our 'You Need To Hear This' feature a couple of weeks ago, we've been wondering just how awesome a band like The Mourning Suns might be live. Well, as luck might have it- we have our chance to find out. Taking to the stage at Birmingham's hot little nightspot, The Yardbird, this beguiling bunch will have the chance to smoulder on that intimate stage. Impossibly intense and brimming with drama, a set from The Mourning Suns won't be for the faint-hearted...but for new music fans in search of something uniquely creative and driven with raw self-expression, definitely give it a go. With a strongly guitar-driven alt rock sound, it's a venture through dark, haunting soundscapes and curious dreams, and hopefully you'll come out at the other end feeling inspired, stunned if not a little bit mind-sh*gged.
Friday 22nd March
We often tell you that by going along to any one of our Emerging Icons' shows you have the opportunity to potentially see 'the next big thing'. Well, it''s possibly even more true on this occasion- as We Dig For Fire are embroiled in the bitter battle for a place in the finals of this year's 'The Next Big Thing Competition' with this Sheffield show-down. This region never lets us down in terms of talent and this lot are certainly no exception. On a mission to tear post-rock a new one, Steel City's hottest new four-piece are fuelled on a heady concoction of mega riffs, awesome melodies...and a fair bit of booze. Well, they like a party. Sounding like Foo Fighters one moment and nu metal the next, they could really do with as much support as possible for this show. BE THERE!
Saturday 23rd March
Fans Of Faye are on their way to huge things. Since their epic track 'Paint The Sun' made a huge splash on the alt music scene towards the end of 2012, the shockwaves have been spreading further and further across the country. The midlands-based band- whose origins go back some ten years already- quite sensibly made sure they'd built up a fanbase around their local Midlands haunts before venturing too far. But with the release of their rocking debut album, Fans of Faye are casting their eye to more exotic climes... like, erm... Nottingham! Seriously though- it's set to be a cracking date to follow a fantastic trip to London earlier this year and you'd be well advised to check them out. If you like a bit of Versa Emerge you'll probably get into this.
Sunday 24th March
How about summat a bit different for your Sunday? Not only do we have a gig that's taking place at lunchtime instead of an evening, we also have an artist who will stand apart from most of the other Emerging Icons on your playlist. Rob Johnson is a purveyor of fine instrumental tunes- making for a perfectly chilled addition to your afternoon (particularly for those of you with poorly heads from the night before.) With his influences ranging from the cinematic genius of Hans Zimmer to the electronica of Daft Punk, the acoustic vibe of John Mayer, darkness of NIN and everything in between... there will be creative vibes and epic soundscapes ahoy. On his Emerging Icons profile, Rob says: 'Thanks for checking out my page. This automatically makes you twice as cool as you were before. Just so you know.' How much cooler will seeing him in person make you? The mind boggles.
If you can't make it to any of these shows, don't you worry. There's plenty more going on across the country in the coming week- including some amazing shows from Fragile Creatures, The Moth Lantern and The Bambi Killers to name a few. Click on the GIGS tab at the top of our homepage for the full listings. Or you can just click here we suppose...