As we edge towards festival season (starting just next month, can you believe it?!), gigs are abundant across Southampton. Of course, you can always go elsewhere, but why would you want to? Special mentions go to The Sex Pissed Dolls for having my favourite band name of the month, and anyone going to Salisbury for a gig. You’re much braver than I am. If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself that this is something you’d like to be responsible for every month (as well as some other bits but they’re obviously not as fun as rambling about gigs), then why not put yourself forward to be the next live editor? Check out the AGM event page here which will tell you everything you need to know.
Where? The Joiners, Southampton
When? April 12th
Why? If you’re into bubblegum pop with a punk twist (or, as she describes herself, “Riot grrl for the Snapchat age), you’ll love Girli. Disturbingly catchy and much cooler than I could ever aspire to be, her goal is to dominate the world with PC Music and pink. With a slightly jarring mix between relatable lyrics about boys and being a teenager, and incredibly opinionated in her songs, she’s really just very, very good and worth seeing in one of Southampton’s best gig venues. ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’ is a particular favourite of mine – tickets here!
Who? The Vamps
Where? Bournemouth International Centre
When? April 16th
Why? That quite catchy pop band adored by teenage girls everywhere, The Vamps, are coming to a venue that’s far too big for me, the BIC. But what I’m really curious about is one of their supports – none other than 15-year-old Jacob Sartorious. He started on musical.ly, lip-syncing to songs, and now has two EPs, millions of social media followers, and is dating Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown. With songs about how overwhelming social media can be when you’re a teenager alongside songs about how great being young is, I never thought I’d feel too old for a singer, but I can’t say I’m not intrigued. Tickets available here.
Where? Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
When? April 21st
Why? Moving on to a slightly (!) different artist, Cabbage are coming to Portsmouth in a few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited. They have quite the history, having released an album this year and a collection of their early EPs last year, they seem to be moving very swiftly upwards, very quickly. Aforementioned debut album Nihilistic Glamour Shots was released on March 30th, reaching number 21 in the UK Official Top 40 Album Chart. They attended The Great Escape last year, supported The Courteeners, secured themselves a place on the BBC Sound of Music 2017 list alongside the likes of Maggie Rogers, Nadia Rose, and Raye, and oh boy, are they opinionated when it comes to politics (like all good indie-punk bands). It’s almost guaranteed to be a good night, in a lovely venue – get your tickets here.
Where? Engine Rooms, Southampton
When? April 25th
Why? I’m a pretty big fan of Coasts – I find their pop-rock, chilled out sound to be perfect for revising to – and ever since they signed to Capitol Records in 2014, they’ve been garnering a lot of attention. ‘Rush of Blood’ was Zane Lowe’s hottest record, and their self-titled and This Life, vol. 1 albums have been incredibly well received. With over 400,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, they do seem to be taking a more pop approach to their music now, particularly in their second album (we touched on genre confusion following their October tour), but if you like a pop-rock band they definitely seem like a band who are rockier in person. Tickets here!
Who? Kele Okereke
Where? Heartbreakers, Southampton
When? April 27th
Why? Aside from Heartbreakers having excellent pies, Kele Okereke has a gorgeous voice. Sound familiar? Probably because he’s the lead singer of Bloc Party. Now three albums into his solo career, Okereke (who just goes by Kele as a solo artist) is increasingly favouring a more folk sound, in a swift departure from his usual sound (see: ‘Streets Been Talkin’). The kind of music I can see at a Sofar Sounds gig, Kele’s sound is incredible and I will definitely be at this gig. Tickets available here.