While January is traditionally a month of staying in, saving money and detoxing this handful of excellent musicians are making it easy for us to go out and enjoy some live music by not playing one show, or two but full on multiple night residencies. So if you miss one gig and kick yourself – fear not – there are other dates to choose from. Here’s our pick of the best musical residencies over the next month. And some of them are free! No excuses now.
Toy – Shacklewell Arms, January 18, 25, February 1, 10
One of our tips for 2012, this London quintet plough a furrow that should find favour with fans of The Horrors (with whom they’re currently touring) and The Velvet Underground. They blend psych-pop with a groovy dash of shoegaze and brilliantly every single one of these shows is free.
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas – Ronnie Scott’s, January 23-27
After her four-year stint doing her civic duty on the Detroit City Council, Reeves is back on the stage where she’s been wowing audiences since she was 18-years-old. With her fabulous Mowtown soul sisters in tow expect all the well loved hits – ‘Dancing in the Street’, ‘Nowhere to Run’ et al – performed at the iconic jazz venue for five solid nights. Having acquired a taste for Guinness at the London Palladium back in the day, buy her a pint of the black stuff and she’ll thank you for it.
Chilly Gonzales (above) – Soho Theatre, January 25-28, February 1-4
If you haven’t seen the ever-entertaining Gonzo then you’ll have no excuse now. Touting his latest LP ‘The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales’ he mixes nifty tunes flipping between rapping and singing and sharply observed banter. This piano maverick will leave you laughing and in awe of his genre-skipping musical prowess.
Evan Parker – The Vortex, January 24-29
This renowned improv sax legend takes over the Vortex for his second annual ‘Might I Suggest’ mini-fest. This time round the theme is Anglo-German collaborations. Expect plenty of experimentalism, improv and high spirited freeform action.
Lianne La Havas– The Social, January 17, 24, 31, February 7
After a low key but utterly captivating appearance on ‘Later… With Jools Holland’ in November, this half-Greek, half-Jamaican singer is certain to be a success in 2012. Coming in somewhere between Feist and Erykah Badu, the 22-year-old’s tunes are both playful and sophisticated. Her month-long weekly residency might be sold out but we urge you to either loiter outside in case some ticks are returned, or book now for her show at the Scala on March 13.