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So here it is, our guide to Christmas gigs

20 December, 2018 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Slade – marking 45 years since the release of Merry Christmas Everybody – are set to play ULU on December 21 with support from MUD II

FOR those not caught up in last-minute shopping, wrapping or who just need a break, there’s no shortage of entertain­ment coming up over the next few weeks, starting with two particularly cheesy and unavoidable elements of Christmas – Slade mark 45 years since the release of Merry Christmas Every­body by playing ULU on December 21 with support from MUD II. But don’t expect Noddy Holder to be there, as this line-up features founder members Dave Hill and Don Powell, plus new additions ex-Mud bass guitarist John Berry – frequently spied as the Big Issue seller in EastEnders – and new lead vocalist Mal McNulty.

On the same night, The Wurzels bring their annual West Country Christmas Party to Dingwalls – expect all the songs, stories and jokes from a career spanning more than 50 years.
Here’s our selection of events to keep you busy over Christmas…

• Crawdaddy!’s Christmas party is at The Fiddler’s Elbow tomorrow (Friday) with guest DJ Alan Handscombe-McGrath, a veteran of the London mod and soul scene for over 30 years, who recently ran the popular RnB123 club night. Dishing up quality tunes, Quality Street, crackers (maybe) and cracking visuals are regulars Gary, Lucienne and Danny, playing the finest northern soul, mod, Motown, vintage R&B, Two Tone, ska and rocksteady, all on vinyl.

• A Very Merry Christmas – Smooth Sailors perform a selec­tion of Christmas hits at The Monarch’s Christmas party tom­orrow (Friday) with support from Geno Carrapetta & Gentle Friends.

• The Orielles and friends end their three-night residency at The Social tomorrow (Friday) with a special Christmas party where they will be blending 90s dance grooves, 70s disco, world music and more – free entry.

• Inject a little more energy into the night with a packed line-up of UK Garage specialists at UKG Branch Christmas Special at the Electric Ballroom on Dec 22 with appearances from Da Click + Pied Piper + Creed + Shola Ama + MC Harvey + Scott Garcia + Stevo The Mad Man + Kofi B + DJ Cartier + Aurie Styla + BBBrown.

• Also at the Electric Ballroom, Bop-A-Lena’s Christmas Ball takes place on Dec 23 where DJ Strops Hop and guest DJ will be spinning their vinyl collection, the best sounds of raw rockabilly, classic Rock’n’Roll, Doo Wop & Rhythm’n’Blues from the 50s & 60s. Be ready to jive – 3pm-8pm.

• The Gunners hosts a Solstice Benefit Gig for The Simon Community helping the homeless and those sleeping rough tomorrow (Friday), featuring Jellly, Rites Of Haddā, Unofficial Chalice and Spirit Of The Age.

• Queen of Folk Maddy Prior with The Carnival Band present Carols & Capers at Cadogan Hall on Dec 22. Together they mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with plenty of humour, putting their own stamps on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare.

• Bad Manners play 229, Dec 22.

• Enjoy the best of Fleetwood Mac as The Blues Kitchen house band play a selection of their tracks on Dec 22. The 10.30pm set will be followed later at 1am by the house band rolling through classic party tunes of the 60s and 70s from Aretha Franklin to Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac to Led Zeppelin.

• Relive Paul Simon’s influential album Graceland with a live interpretation of the classic work by London African Choir at Jazz Cafe on Dec 26.

• Fans of Omar Souleyman should check out Kurdish pop star Aziz Weisi at Scala on Dec 23 – this promises to be a memorable show.

• Jazz chanteuse Tina May brings her Swinging Christmas Party show to Pizza Express Holborn Dec 23 where she will be joined by a selection of award-winning musicians.

• Those crazy Cuban Brothers never fail to throw a memorable party. Revel in their comic personas and b-boy skills at the Jazz Cafe on Dec 23.

Notable gigs this week: Thunder, Roundhouse; The Blackbyrds + The Expansions, Jazz Cafe; The Twang + Mona + Sugarthief, The Forum; The Blockheads, Islington Assembly Hall; Nathan Dawe, Islington Academy (Dec 21); Richard Ashcroft, The Forum; The Silencerz + Emily Capell + Man Like Jack + DJs The Hit, Git And Split, The Dublin Castle; Vic Goddard, The Water Rats; Perkelt, Hope and Anchor (Dec 22); Leroy Hutson. Jazz Cafe (Dec 27).


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