Gary Flockhart: Summerhall or nothing for live gigs

Have your say

IN what’s become a yearly tradition, quality gigs are rarer than a rare thing round these parts this January.

Mercifully, there are one or two worth braving the cold for, starting with the visit of Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, who visits the Usher Hall tonight.

Last year was massive for the 25-year-old, pictured, whose song Take Me To Church was the third biggest-selling single in the UK.

He followed that up with a debut album which, to date, has sold an impressive 1.5 million copies and earned him nominations for Album of the Year and Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys.

Live, this guy is incredible, and his visit to the Usher Hall tonight would be a highlight even if he wasn’t the only show in town.

Hozier aside, it pretty much falls to Summerhall to single-handedly rescue the month of January for gig-goers.

The venue’s Nothing Ever Happens Here series – a misnomer, thanks to them – kicked off last year with a fantastic programme that included headline shows by Broken Records, Paws, RM Hubbert, Honeyblood, and many more.

The good news is, there’s plenty to get excited about from Summerhall’s new programme of live music.

Now, regular readers of this column will know that I hold Withered Hand in high regard, so it goes without saying that his visit to Summerhall on Saturday, 23 January is one to make a beeline for.

As well as the über-talented Mr Hand, on the same bill there’s original Fence Collective member James Yorkston and his old pal Johnny Lynch, aka The Pictish Trail.

That’s three of Scotland’s finest songsmiths on the bill right there, folks.

NEHH is a breath of fresh air to the local music scene, and as well as the above, there’s the visit of Ghanaian street-folk trailblazer King Ayisoba (January 22), legendary DJ duo Optimo (29) and Lanarkshire band De Rosa (30).