From tiny, friend­ly gigs where you feel as if you’re in some­one’s liv­ing room, to the big, bold and out­landish, 2013 is all about state­ment venues. Here are a few to whet the appetite.

Festival No 6
Touch down at Fes­ti­val No 6 in Port­meiri­on, north Wales, in September

1. Feb­ru­ary 17: Bush Hall, Shep­herds Bush, west Lon­don. Only £5.
A mel­low Sun­day evening under the chan­de­liers beck­ons at this pock­et-sized glam dance­hall in Shep­herd’s Bush. There’s a menu of musi­cians, which includes folk-based Ali War­ren Band. Ali’s voice is rem­i­nis­cent of Jeff Buck­ley, and he played two unfor­get­table sets at Nova Festival.

2. March 30: Suede, Alexan­dra Palace, north Lon­don. £35.75.


Those ear­ly-Brit­pop boys are back after an eight-year hia­tus, and their first and what looks like only gig so far is at Alexan­dra Palace. This icon­ic build­ing is great for ice skat­ing and exhi­bi­tions, but as a music venue it’s uncom­fort­able and some­what soul­less. If you want to to see Suede, how­ev­er, it may just be your only option. Sup­port­ing Suede are Tem­ples (pic­tured below), who I saw at Bush Hall with Steal­ing Sheep last year, so it’s nice to see this young, gut­sy psy­che­del­ic band get­ting wider exposure.

Temples play Bush Hall, 2012
Tem­ples play Bush Hall, Decem­ber 2012

3. March 31, The Pret­ty Things Anniver­sary Tour, The Trades, Heb­den Bridge, Yorks. £18.
There’s nos­tal­gia mode up north too as The Trades indulges in a 60s fest with The Pret­ty Things Anniver­sary Tour. Dick Tay­lor, orig­i­nal gui­tarist with the Rolling Stones, is still a member.

4. April/May (dates to be con­firmed), North­ern Soul the film, nationwide.
Wigan seizes the spot­light as this long-await­ed film hits our screens. Direc­tor Elaine Con­stan­tine con­duct­ed metic­u­lous research for her film, and is set to reignite all the pas­sion of the north­ern soul move­ment. The film tells the sto­ry of two teenagers who get caught up in the music, seek­ing out obscure records and danc­ing at ‘all-nighters’. It’s the music that formed the back­drop to my teenage years in Man­ches­ter, so I’m sold already.

5. August 22–26: Tow­ersey Fes­ti­val, Oxford.
The pop­u­lar Spooky Men’s Chorale are return­ing to friend­ly Oxford­shire fam­i­ly fes­ti­val Tow­ersey this year. Also appear­ing are The Unthanks, Home Ser­vice and lots more. Plus of course there will be those Ceilidh class­es for you to enjoy. Read about Tow­ersey 2012 here.

Spooky Men
Spooky Men’s Chorale

6. August 30: Sig­ur Ros, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire. £38.95
Space-rock (ok, I’m try­ing not to call them ethe­re­al) Ice­landic band Sig­ur Ros will be play­ing under the giant Lovell tele­scope at Jodrell Bank at the end of August.
Jodrell Bank

It’s part of the Live from Jodrell Bank series, which aims to mar­ry sci­ence and music, and as part of the expe­ri­ence you can take part in work­shops and sci­ence exper­i­ments dur­ing the after­noon – no doubt it will be a great fam­i­ly expe­ri­ence, and a more chilled out one for those of us no longer with small sprogs.


7. Sep­tem­ber 13, 14, 15: Fes­ti­val No. 6. Port­meiri­on, North Wales. Adult wknd £170.

Back for it’s sec­ond year after a suc­cess­ful debut, despite the rain. Curios­i­ty alone will prob­a­bly pro­pel me to check out Fes­ti­val No 6 this autumn, and if you’re feel­ing that your Besti­val days are behind you, this may just fit the bill. The fes­ti­val takes place in the quirky and beau­ti­ful Ital­ian vil­lage of Port­meiri­on on the north Wales coast – check out TV pro­gramme The Pris­on­er to get a feel. I’ve vis­it­ed Port­meiri­on and it’s breath­tak­ing, with its scenic vil­lage and huge sweep of beach: if the weath­er holds up this should be pret­ty amazing.

Festival No 19, Portmeirion
Fes­ti­val No 6, Portmeirion

2 thoughts on “Location, location: music for 2013 in unforgettable venues

  1. Port­meri­on sounds amaz­ing – have want­ed to vis­it since watch­ing The Pris­on­er so this would be the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty. Might go to Suede, too.

    1. Port­meiri­on is an amaz­ing set­ting. I’m intrigued to see who is on the line-up but there’s no announce­ment as yet.

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