Feature: Music in early 2016 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With 2016 fast approaching, it’s time to get excited about all the new year has in store for us. We’ll spend the build up to New Year’s Eve picking out some of the cultural highlights for you, so you can start scribbling dates and gigs into that new diary you got for Christmas.

With a plethora of awesome music gigs hitting stages big and small across the North East, here are some of the highlights we’ve picked out for you, as we look at what’s happening in music in early 2016.

What better place to start than The Cluny, revered as one of the North East’s finest venues, it kicks off 2016 with lots of wonderful gigs. With Friday 8th of January seeing a free gig featuring awesome alt rockers A Festival, A Parade and the charmingly melodic Slow Decades. They also play host to an evening of chaotic noise with Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs PigsBismuth and Apologies on Friday 29th January.  If you fancy something different, then The Cluny are happy to provide, as there’s a unique blend of R&B, blues and country, courtesy of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis on Saturday 31st January.

Head Of Steam will be a similarly wonderful home to many an awesome show across 2016 too, and they start tremendously well, with lovely guitar riffs from Drifts, and support from No Ditching, Integers and the aforementioned A Festival, A Parade. It’s the North East’s smaller, intimate venues that are such an important part of our music scene, and Little Buildings had a great 2015, with another great gig one of the very early treats of next year, and their fourth showcase collecting together some of the finest emerging bands with The Heavy Jets, The Vellocette and The Welcome Party all on show on Saturday 9th January, also taking place at The Cluny.

The bigger venues are not to be out done though, O2 Academy, Newcastle sees some awesome shows, with stand-out names from the punk world being particular highlights; pop punk from Bowling For Soup on Saturday 2nd February, even harder punk from Cancer Bats on Tuesday 26th January, punk legends The Stranglers and Stiff Little Fingers on Wednesday 9th March and Friday 18th March respectively; and politically-charged, reggae-influenced punk from The King Blues on Wednesday 17th February.

Riverside Newcastle has a similarly stellar collection of bands, with alt indie legends They Might Be Giants on Thursday 28th January and fellow indie funsters The Front Bottoms on Saturday 6th February. Alt-pop four piece Lisbon are a band going from strength to strength, so will be well worth catching on Saturday 13th February.

There’s lots across the North East too, ARC in Stockton have plenty to look forward to, though Reverend And The Makers headlining their stage at Stockton Calling on Saturday 26th March may be one of the stand-out days of the year, with venues across Stockton showcasing the best in up-and-coming music.

Rounding it all out, there’s so much to look forward to at The Sage, with the legendary Paul Carrack on Saturday 9th January,  the equally great songwriter Joe Jackson on Monday 8th February, and some amazing talents already lined up for Gateshead International Jazz Festival (more info here) from Friday 15th April until Sunday 17th April.

With an adundance of incredible bands emerging from a vibrant North East scene, and 2015 being a year of solidifying exciting sounds for a lot of those, 2016 is going to be another exciting year.

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