The gigs to see in York right now – January 2016

Country singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega plays the Duchess as part of her UK tour
3 Jan 2016 @ 4.18 pm
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I had already, due to bad time management on my part, planned this month’s column to be a shorter one than normal and, in some ways, it feels even more appropriate to do so now.

As I write this music is probably even more inconsequential and less important to whole swathes of York residents as they begin to recover from the excesses of the festive period – excesses that, this year, are more to do with the weather than celebrations.

In my own, somewhat limited, circles on social media I am aware of three stalwarts of the city’s entertainment sector that have experienced flooding, so there are probably at least a few more.

And I assume there will be some people who would normally attend gigs who will instead be working to clean out homes and businesses and rebuilt their lives.

As usual, though, those involved in music are rallying round to help those who need it.

Apollo Music Festival organiser Stuart Kelly has already announced a charity gig at The Ainsty on January 23rd. No line-up has been announced yet but the event is due to start at 2pm and go on all day and night.

Entry will be £5 on the door, with under 18s free. I’m almost certain that there will be other gigs arranged as time goes on, so keep an eye on the listings.

This month’s picks

Playing the National Centre for Early Music – Lucy Rose
Playing the National Centre for Early Music – Lucy Rose

Rather than a (nearly) full round-up of everything happening around York in January, I had decided to pick one gig from each venue that I normally cover.

Inevitably this means that the choices below lean towards my own personal tastes (although they are almost certainly not the only gigs I will be attending) and I hope I can be forgiven that for one month.

Normal service will be resumed when I have more time.


More gigs have been added since I last looked at Fibbers’ website. Despite an appearance from Halo Blind on the 26th, I’m sticking with my original choice.

“You like your classic rock, don’t you?” asked Mr H during one of our pre-gig chats, before writing “FM” in a corner of that evening’s guest list and then looking incredulously at me when I admitted I hadn’t heard of them…

A quick bit of research later in the evening convinced me that they would be a band I would want to see. Formed in 1984, they have toured with the likes of Meat Loaf, Foreigner, Status Quo and Bon Jovi – all represented in my music collection – and released their ninth studio album, Heroes And Villains, last year.

Given that I own none of their albums, the 27th could prove to be an expensive evening at the merchandise desk for me, especially as ex-Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden is the support act.

The Duchess

It’s not all about hard rock for me, though.

A previous work colleague used to poke fun (I was never sure why) at my predilection for the female voice, especially that of Shania Twain – which was unjustified as the only CD by her in our household belongs to my wife – and other Canadian artists, of which there are a fair few representations in my collection.

Country singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega is Canadian, although now based in Nashville.

She doesn’t feature in my collection but it is her gig on the 20th that jumped out at me from The Duchess’ website. The gig is part of a tour to promote her fourth studio album, Faded Gloryville, across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

The Basement

Soft-rockers Little Resistance were one local band that convinced me to see and hear them again when I saw them as a support act in 2015. But, so far, I haven’t been able to see them perform a second time.

I hope to put that right on the 13th, when they headline an NA Music Showcase which also features Gramercy Park, pop-rockers The Patron Saints and Becky Bowie (although, having been unable to find anything about her, I wonder whether this is actually Harrogate singer-songwriter Becky Bowe – if anybody knows any different, please comment below).

Fulford Arms

Having just discovered the Fulford Arms what’s on list a couple of months ago, I note that it has only one gig listed for January.

Surely there will be more forthcoming, especially since the one listed is for headliners 999 as they celebrate their 40th anniversary.

I’m sure they are good at what they do, but I’ve never been a fan of punk, so you won’t find me there on the 16th. Sorry.


Similarly, I won’t be at the NCEM for Lucy Rose’s performance there as part of her solo acoustic tour.

That’s not because I’m not a fan of female singer-songwriters (see above), but because it clashes with another gig on the 26th, which is a shame as the write-up makes Lucy’s gig sound like one I would enjoy.

The Barbican

Paul Carrack, Sheffield-born singer-songwriter and former frontman of Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics returns to The Barbican on the 27th, as part of a 34 date tour taking in his favourite venues.

I love Carrack’s vocals and, despite not owning any of his solo material, his bands are well represented in my music collection.

The Black Swan

It’s sometimes difficult for me to pick out gigs at The Black Swan because, while I don’t mind a bit of folk music, it’s not a genre I am overly familiar with.

This time, however, it was made easier by the fact that I had seen one of the acts before.

Despite their name and choice of Celtic music, Róisín Bán are based in Yorkshire.

Their at times atmospheric, at times comical and, overall, lively performance was a highlight of the 2015 Folk Weekend and they are back on the 21st.

A final word

I normally include gigs at the Grand Opera House but there aren’t any there in January.

There are, of course, plenty more on offer across the city, many at the venues above and many more free gigs at various pubs, clubs and bars, some of which might need support when the flood waters have receded.

As usual, you are free to comment below to highlight anything I have missed (and there is a lot this month).


Below is a chronological list of the main gigs I covered above. All details are correct at time of putting this column together and ticket prices are as advertised. Paying on the door at Fibbers will cost a pound or two more.

Date Act Venue Price
13th Little Resistance The Basement £4
16th 999 The Fulford Arms £8.80
20th Lindi Ortega The Duchess £12.50
21st Róisín Bán The Black Swan £9
23rd Various – charity gig The Ainsty £5 (under 18s free)
26th Lucy Rose NCEM £12
27th FM Fibbers £18.50
  Paul Carrack The Barbican £33.04/£44.24