As 2018 begins and the days lengthen, Getintothis’ Craig MacDonald offers an indispensable guide to the best live music Liverpool has to offer over the coming months.
Now that you’ve demolished the chocolates and finally munched down on your last mince pies, the New Year heralds the start of another stellar season of gigs in Liverpool to look forward to.
We here at Getintothis know all too well how busy this time of year can be for everyone, so we’ve put together a helpful guide to make sure you know who’s playing, when and where over the next few months in Merseyside.
With the North Docks and Baltic Triangle continuing to develop, 2018 marks the dawn of a new chapter in Liverpool with plenty of exciting talent to go and check out throughout venues across the city – and this is only whats been announced so far!
Last year our festivals enjoyed a sea of plaudits with Liverpool Music Week being crowned line up of the year. This year will see Sound City return to its roots as it up sticks to take place in the Baltic Triangle on May 5 and 6 with the hope of rekindling its former glories.
Further North, the freak extravaganza Wrong Festival returns following an exceptional first outing with plenty of stellar acts lined up already for April 28 and 29, while Threshold will see a scaled down version of the festival bring its usual madness on April 13 and 14.
Looking further into the year, Liverpool Psych Fest will be sure to bring plenty of eye opening delights to the pzyk colony while Positive Vibrations Festival of Reggae is sure to bring plenty of good vibes on June 8 an 9.
With our own Deep Cuts nights set to bring plenty more new delights your way, there are sure to be a host of special nights to come over the next few months.
So, get your new clobber ready and get looking at what gigs tickle your fancy this Spring. Don’t forget to keep keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook for future additions and competitions to win tickets to some of these too. If you’re curious to hear what any of the artists sounds like in the guide, then have a scroll though our playlist below.
The Bootleg Beatles and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: Echo Arena, January 13
Bringing a close to the city’s Sgt Peppers celebrations, the world’s premium Fab Four tribute act join forces with the RLPO to play the iconic record in its entirety down at the dock front.
With their incredible show at the Philharmonic Hall proving one of the highlights of last year, there are bound to be plenty eager to experience this one.
This Is The Kit: Leaf, January 14
The sparkling folk magic of This Is The Kit make a much welcomed return to Liverpool early this year as they hit up Leaf on their UK tour.
With their fourth album Moonshine Freeze finding them in fine form and making its place on many peoples end of year list, we are sure it will be a packed affair for this Bold Street bash.
Hegarty: Zanzibar, January 27
If you’re looking for an early new music treat this year, you will find no better then the soulful melodies of Hegarty as they look to launch their debut EP, Selling Your Soul To Sanity.
Filled with scouse tinged folk brilliance, the group recently captivated many at their stellar Deep Cuts set and we expect this year to prove fruitful for the five piece.
Queen Zee and The Sasstones: Sound, January 27
Bringing all the drag,dance and noise that our tiny little minds can take, Queen Zee and The Sasstones mark their swift return with a hometown show set to rattle the cobwebs away.
With Sonic Yootha manning the decks plus Ill and Jo Mary also on the bill, you can expect this one to be a hot and steamy affair down in the Duke Street basement.
False Advertising: The Jacaranda, January 29
Kicking off a host of gigs for Independent Venue Week in the city, False Advertising play the famous depths of The Jacaranda in one hell of a line up.
With Deja Vega, SPARK and Spilt all on support duties, this has one of not to be missed written all over it.
The Jackobins: EBGBS, January 31
Rock and rollers The Jackobins prepare to take this year firmly by the scruff of the neck as they kick off their new year down the depths of EBGBS.
Last year saw the group play across the land to packed out venues and festivals alike, with this year seeing the group looking to take the next step in their upward journey.
Nadine Shah: Leaf, February 1
Having blown away all who witnessed her mesmerising set with John Cale last year down at the docks, Nadine Shah heads back to our city as part of a brief UK tour this Spring.
Following the release of her latest album Holiday Destination, the songstress has seen her stock continue to rise with this date a highly sought after ticket.
Katie Mac: Zanzibar, February 2
If there is one person that is set to make 2018 their own, then it is Katie Mac as the vibrant songwriter continues her upward trajectory.
Continuing to gain admirers for her passionate renditions and stirring vocals, there is every chance that attendees may see some new material following her recent session with Get Cape Wear Cape Fly.
Snailmania: The Jacaranda, February 2
Welcoming every man and his dog to the depths of The Jacaranda for the inaugural Snailmania event, Salt the Snail are pulling all the stops for their second single, Spanish Announce Table.
Joining them in a steel cage match to the death are Bisch Nadar and Vuromantics in a night were only the bravest will survive.
Moon Duo: District, February 2
Having last rattled our cages at The Kazimier nearly three years ago, this year will see the long awaited return of Moon Duo to these parts as they head down the Baltic for a sonic storm.
The group’s love affair with Liverpool remains as strong as ever and with God On My Right and Lo Five set to provide support on the night, this one has winner written all over it.
The Lost Brothers: Leaf, February 2
Irish duo The Lost Brothers make the quick hop over the Irish Sea to play Leaf next month as part of their latest UK tour.
Having recorded their latest LP with one time GIT Award winner Bill Ryder-Jones, the duo may well bring some fresh material to the night/.
Peach Fuzz: EBGBS, February 3
A triple header of fresh new talent heads back to EBGBS next month as Peach Fuzz are joined by fellow upstarts The Mysterines and The Movamahs.
If you’re thinking you have seen this line up before, you would be right and with their last meeting a sell out we are sure this will be a special repeat performance.
The Weather Station: Central Library, February 3
Canadian folk royalty makes a hop over the pond to Central Library next month as The Weather Station drop into Central Library to take part in the Get Loud In Libraries latest series.
With their eponymous fourth LP arguably producing some of their finest work to date, this should be on many of our readers’ lists of must see gigs for this year.
The Racket: The Magnet, February 3
In what is proving to be a busy night in the city, indie rabble rousers The Racket play their biggest hometown show to date as they make it up to The Magnet for a night of indie anthems.
With the likes of This Feeling tipping the quartet for big things this year, chances are they will pack this place out in no time.
The Night Cafe: Arts Club, February 3
Speaking of biggest hometown shows to date, The Night Cafe kick off their new year with a date at Arts Club armed with new material and raring to prove a point to the doubters.
With fellow Liverpool rockers Paris Youth Foundation and The Cheap Thrills on support duties, there is plenty on offer at this one.
Ezra Furman: Arts Club, February 4
Bringing his sophmore album Transangelic Exodus to Liverpool as part of a very intimate UK tour this year, Ezra Furman is looking to make this year his own with his latest release.
Described as a queer outlaw saga, there is much anticipation to hear the American’s new record with this date proving the ideal setting to get a glimpse.
Erasure: Philharmonic Hall, February 6
Synth pop icons dont get much bigger than Erasure who head up to the Philharmonic Hall next month as part of their extensive UK tour following the release of their latest album, World Be Gone.
Having topped the charts several times over their three decade long career, they are still as relevant today as they have ever been and are bound to have a packed house for this one.
Ad Marginem by Mugstar: Philharmonic Music Room, February 7
A rare opportunity to see Ad Marginem with a live performance of the score by Mugstar is not the kind of opportunity you get to see that often.
With plenty of interest already in this one, chances are that tickets will prove hard to come by when they take to the intimate venue next month so best act fast if you know whats good for you.
Beth Orton: Arts Club, February 7
You know when EVOL and Harvest Sun put on a show together, they mean business. This year’s first one is no exception with Beth Orton making a long overdue return to our city in the Spring.
Following her electro soaked Kidsticks winning many plaudits from muso’s and fans alike, her date at the Arts Club is a rare opportunity to see the songwriter this side of the states with only a handful of dates announced for our shores. Be there.
Jorja Smith: Invisible Wind Factory, February 8
If you haven’t got a ticket for this one then where have you been? Seriously, this is not the type of gig you should have passed on so more fool you.
One of the biggest R&B talents to have come form our country in a long time, Jorja Smith is set to take 2018 by storm with her debut long play one of the most sought after records of the year.
Nightmares on Wax: Invisible Wind Factory, February 9
DJ, remixer and all round groove setter extraordinaire Nightmares on Wax heads to the North Docks next month ready to shake off those last remaining winter blues.
It marks a swift return to these parts for the Yorkshire man following his blistering set at 24 Kitchen Street last year. If you’re after a party, this is where its at.
Jason Allan: Studio 2, February 10
The rising talents of Jason Allan are one to keep a key eye on in 2018 as he takes aim to make this year his own.
His vibrant cuts and stage presence have already caught the attention of those in the know so you can expect a few heads down at this one.
Montero: Shipping Forecast, February 10
Having wowed a packed out Mountford Hall with their support slot for Mac DeMarco last year, Montero make a quick trip back to Liverpool to play their own show next month.
Much is being touted about their cool pop aesthetic, with many critics tipping them for big things over the next twelve months.
Natalie Imbruglia: O2 Academy, February 12
Yep, you read that right. Having been away from the lime light for what seems an age, Australian songstress Natalie Imbruglia heads up North as part of her UK tour.
We are sure there are plenty of our readers who will be Torn about this one, but we are also sure that some of you will be looking forward to her new material and some old classics.
Big Bambora: Sound, February 16
If new music is what you are after then you better get on the new monthly new music night by CMD presents, The Magic Roundabout, with the first one set to take place in Sound next month.
With each night aiming to give a platform to new artists to play to as many fresh faces as possible, the first night will see Big Bambora, The Holograms and Bedside Manners all jump on board for the ride.
Cream Classical: Anglican Cathedral, February 16
In what is swiftly becoming the must go to date in every Scouse ravers calendar, Cream make their annual pilgrimage to the Anglican Cathedral to bring their mesmerising homage to the classics.
This years outing will see some of the White Isle’s biggest and best known bangers get the classical make over with this event a sell out months ago.
British Sea Power: O2 Academy, February 16
Following standout performances across the festival circuit last summer, British Sea Power make a welcome return trip to Liverpool next month as part of their UK tour.
Hot off the heels from their seventh LP, this will be the group’s first show around these ways for nearly four years. Best make the most of it then.
Cabbage: The Magnet, February 16
The good ship EVOL don’t do things by half, with two shows in the city center in one night for good measure.
Having well and truly made a sizable dent in 2017 with their highly political antics, Cabbage are ready to take things up a gear as they head back to their second home early on this year.
Merry Hell: Philharmonic Music Room, February 17
Wigan may be renowned for a number of things – its pier, pies and rugby team just a few to mention, but striking folk music it is not, with the exception of Merry Hell.
Having enjoyed nearly a decade into their tenure, the ever growing army of talented musicians will be making a stop off at the Music Room next month in a night sure to be music to many peoples ears.
Husky Loops: Sound, February 17
Cockney art rockers Husky Loops may sound like your new favourite breakfast cereal but they produce their own tasty bites with their gripping riffs.
Having released a duo of EP’s to a host of positive reviews, the three piece will be aiming to show why they are begin talked about as ones to watch this year.
High Tyde: O2 Academy, February 20
The fresh faces quartet High Tyde may be only just beginning in their career, but they are already sending waves of fans into hysteria with their indie charms.
The Brighton four piece will be hoping to add to the growing numbers with their biggest tour to date making a stop off these ways next month.
Howie Payne: Unity Theatre, February 20
Three of the regions finest songwriters come together for a special performance next month at the much overlooked Unity Theatre in one of the hottest tickets in town.
Howie Payne will be showcasing his latest LP Mountain together with Marvin Powell and The GIT Award One To Watch winner Zuzu. If this doesn’t have winner written all over it we don’t know what does.
Hookworms: Invisible Wind Factory, February 23
Kicking off arguably their biggest tour to date in the Invisible Wind Factory, Yorkshire psych titans Hookworms make a welcome return to these ways with their latest long player, Microshift.
The group have found much love from across the Pennines, with sterling sets at Psych Fest and Liverpool Music Week endearing them to many a heart. We fully expect a packed house for their return.
Pale Waves: Studio 2, February 24
If you dont know about the doom pop hype machine that is Pale Waves by now, then chances are you’ve been living in a cave recently.
The four piece are seemingly on the cusp of world domination, with this show selling out in seconds and all without an album release. If you snooze, you lose.
Fredo: O2 Academy, February 26
One the UK’s most sought after rappers Fredo will be ready to raise the roof off the O2 next month when he rolls in to town.
His gruff, striking MC skills have gained him plenty of admirers with many tipping him to be the next big thing in UK hip hop. We’d be daft not to agree.
Electric Six: O2 Academy, February 28
It wouldn’t be a Liverpool Music Gig Guide without Electric Six featuring in it somewhere along the way now would it?
The hell raisers are an ever present fixture in our calendar and seen as a right of passage for any gig goer worth their salt. Just be sure to have your elbows up and you’ll be fine!
Sleeper: Arts Club, March 1
Britpop lovers will be in their element this Spring as one of the era’s cult groups make ready to head out on the road, with Sleeper kicking off their UK tour in Liverpool.
With plenty of other acts from the age enjoying much success on the nostalgia circuit, Sleeper are perhaps one of a handful of acts from Britpop to come through that time with credibility and justifiably so.
All We Are: North Shore Troubadour, March 3
One of the most endearing groups around, All We Are, head home later this year as they bring their critically acclaimed second long player Sunny Hills to town.
Showcasing a sizable shift in the groups sound, the album is filled with post punk tinged lush electro and proves that the trio are more than capable of expanding their horizons to great things yet to come.
The Handsome Family: Leaf, March 3
Following a near three year absence from Liverpool, husband and wife duo The Handsome Family make a long overdue return as they head up Bold Street this March.
Now ten albums into their career, their macabre tales will be sure to win them even more fans upon their return to our fair city.
The Stranglers: O2 Academy, March 6
You would be forgiven that The Stranglers have never slept, such is their relentless touring schedule, with their latest voyage dropping off in Liverpool this Spring.
With the icons being joined by fellow cult heroes Therapy? on their tour, this one should be a must for any muso who knows whats good for them.
The Wailers: O2 Academy, March 7
With Liverpool now quickly making itself one of the UK’s biggest cities for reggae music, the legendary The Wailers are sure to have plenty of folk getting down to this one.
With a back catalogue that would make most artists blush, this will be sure to melt away those winter blues in an instant as they perform Legend in its entirety.
Tea Street Band: North Shore Troubadour, March 10
A rescheduled date, but one well worth the wait, as local faves Tea Street Band play a very special intimate show at one of the city’s rising venues.
Their cult status has seen them play to capacity crowds throughout the city and beyond so expect this one to be a hot ticket to grab.
Pinegrove: Arts Club, March 10
American indie rockers plot a course for the Arts Club in the new year as they look to take things up a gear following praise for their sophomore album Cardinal.
This date will see the group play fresh material from forthcoming album Skylight, following some turbulent times for the group of late.
Lee Scratch Perry: Arts Club, March 13
Dub pioneer Lee Scratch Perry heads back up north to play arguably his biggest date in the city so far as he hits up the Arts Club on his latest UK tour.
Quite how the maestro does what he does at the age of 81 is anyone guess, but long may it continue!
Karl Blau: Leaf March 14
American troubadour Karl Blau makes a much welcomed return to Leaf later this year as he brings his latest album to our shores.
With Out Her Space, Blau has released arguably his strongest work to date so there are bound to be a fair few eager to get down to this one.
Phobophobes: Shipping Forecast, March 15
Its two for two from Harvest Sun with southern menace specialists Phobophobes clattering into town this Spring.
The Dark pysch overlords will be sure to have plenty attending their debut blast through town at this one.
Belle & Sebastian: Philharmonic Hall, March 19
Having proved one of the highlights from Sound City following their headline turn a couple of years back, Belle & Sebastian return to town to play the glorious innards of the Philharmonic Hall.
Having played some of their biggest gigs to date over the last few months, we expect this year to be no different with their growing army of fans keen for more from the Scots.
Paloma Faith: Liverpool Echo Arena, March 20
Having finally topped the album charts with her latest record, everyone’s favourite pop pixie Paloma Faith makes a welcomed return to Liverpool as she hits the Echo Arena in March.
Now four albums into her ever rising career, we can only imagine what she has in store as she brings The Architect to town.
Fickle Friends: O2 Academy, March 21
With their debut long player set for release the week before this date, Fickle Friends will be primed to take the O2 Academy by storm this March.
The Brighton group will be coming to the end of their biggest tour to date and are sure to make this one count.
The Fratellis: Olympia, March 22
Having last ventured to these parts for the infamous Hope and Glory Festival, Scottish rockers The Fratellis will be hoping that this date is more kind to them.
With their fifth album released the same month, chances are that they will be mixing in their latest material in with a few classics at this one.
Gary Numan: O2 Academy, March 24
Having released arguably his best work for decades in new album Savage: Songs From A Broken World, Gary Numan makes a swift return to play a capacity show this March.
His turn at the Summer of Love events last year proved to be one of the sets of the year. If you’re lucky enough to go, you’re in for a treat.
Sunflower Bean: The Magnet, March 31
The wait is finally over for fans of Sunflower Bean as they glide into town to make their Liverpool debut later this year.
With their latest single I Was a Fool oozing enough coolness to make Lou Reed blush, this trio are set for big things in 2018.
Flight of the Conchords: Echo Arena, April 1
When two of the finest comedians in the last few years bring back their cult outfit for a one off tour, you know what time it is?
Yes Bret and Jermaine are back and they certainly mean business as they bring Flight of the Conchords to the docks this April.
Jeffrey Lewis: Leaf, April 4
Cult indie singer songwriter Jeffrey Lewis makes a much welcomed return to Liverpool this Spring as he rolls into Leaf.
Having dazzled the Buyers Club with his powers last time around, there will be plenty of our readers down for this one we imagine.
Read our full preview here.
Bahamas: The Magnet, April 5
Canadian singer songwriter extraordinaire Bahamas makes a rare stop round these parts in Spring, as he heads up to The Magnet as part of his latest UK tour.
The multiple award winner will be sure to put on something special if his latest record Earthtones is anything to go by, with plenty heralding it as one of the stand out albums of the year already.
Shame: The Magnet, April 6
Mark our words when we say that Shame are going to own 2018 like no other, as they hit The Magnet later this year.
We’ve been on to them for a good while now and it seems like the rest are playing catch up. If you haven’t yet, then head on down for a night you wont forget.
Gregory Porter: Liverpool Empire, April 7
American jazz maestro supreme and cool hatted mofo Gregory Porter takes aim at Liverpool Empire as he heads over the pond for this latest UK tour.
With his latest album featuring covers from his hero Nat King Cole, attendees at this one will be in for a night filled with some of the best melodies around.
Jethro Tull: Liverpool Echo Arena, April 7
If you think of prog rock, then chances are you think of Jethro Tull who after over five decades of being at the peak of the scene come to the Echo Arena this April.
Although Ian Anderson remains the only original member in the group, we are sure there will be plenty wanting to get down the docks for this one.
Public Service Broadcasting: Olympia, April 12
Following their most successful album to date in Every Valley, Public Service Broadcasting head out on their biggest tour to date in April with a stop at the Olympia on the way.
With news that Jane Weaver now joins them at this date as well, this is bound to be a sell out if ever we saw one.
Goat Girl: The Magnet, April 12
In a busy night for music lovers in the city, Goat Girl make a quick trip back to town as they play The Magnet.
Following their stellar set at Liverpool Music Week last year, anticipation is high for this one later this year.
Alex Cameron: The Magnet, April 13
Having helped to kick start The Killers back into life with writing the majority of their latest album, Aussie songwriting maestro Alex Cameron makes a welcome visit to Liverpool this Spring.
With plenty of our readers hailing his second long player as one of their favourite record form last year, we expect a big turn out for this one.
Marillion: Philharmonic Hall, April 20
Prog must be the flavour of the month when it comes to April as Marillion make it two for one in Liverpool for prog legends during the month.
With a fan base like no other, the group are seen as Gods by some and who are we to argue with them?
Courtney Marie Andrews: Arts Club, April 21
The UK love for all things country shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, with the latest rising star set to be welcomed to our shores soon.
With her album being critically acclaimed by fans and peers alike, Courtney Marie Andrews look set to make this year her own if rumours are anything to go by.