Stuck for what to do on New Year’s Eve? Allow us to be your guide
1. British Sea Power
Club NME NYE Ball, KOKO, London
“Oh, what a surprise,” you may say, on seeing our own bash right at the top of the list. The reason this is Number One is because it has been tailored, by us, to be the most amazing NYE of all time. Hence booking British Sea Power who, in ‘Valhalla Dancehall’, have made one of the earliest contenders for album of 2011.
Also featured will be the usual plethora of hands-in-the-air indie dancefloor anthems, surprises and support slots from Joe And Will Ask? And Fiction, both of whom are set to put their stamp on 2011.
2. Magnetic Man
Metropolis & Wax: On, University Union, Leeds
OK, so technically it’s only Skream and Benga but, Lordy, after the year these guys have had, that’ll more than do. The pair have got a two-hour set planned for when the clock strikes 12, and this will, of course, be filled with basslines that will make your chest cavity rock to its very foundations.
Plus, don’t forget Magnetic Man are also playing the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour in February 2011 – head here for tickets.
3. Sonic Youth
ATP Presents Strange Days, HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London
Picture the scene: it’s two minutes to midnight, and your ears, earlier pummelled by support acts Shellac, The Pop Group and Factory Floor, are filled with a maelstrom of squalling feedback. The clock strikes 12, and an instantly recognisable intro starts up, meaning that the first song you hear this year is going to be ‘Teenage Riot’.
4. Mark Ronson
Gatecrasher, Birmingham/The Warehouse Project, Manchester
Dear old Marky R spent the whole of 2010 making and touring an album on which he expressed that he “wanted to be in your record collection”. Mission accomplished. Now, on New Year’s Eve, it’s time for you to hear his. In true superstar DJ fashion he’ll be spinning sets at Gatecrasher in Birmingham, The Warehouse Project in Manchester and Together in London. In one night.
5. Pendulum DJs
The Arches, Glasgow
Love them or loathe them, there ain’t no denying that Pendulum deal in EXACTLY the kind of dance music one wants to hear of a New Year’s Eve. And even if you’ve spent the whole year staying in and listening to Salem, on New Year’s Eve this is just what you want: stupid, sweaty, inhibition-smashing, limb-flailing lunacy.
Flowerpot at HMV Forum, London
Alas The Flowerpot, north London-based scene of so many ‘buzz’ gigs – The Vaccines being the most recent – has been closed down. For now, though, they are concentrating on their New Year’s Eve spectacular up the road at the Forum. They’ve assembled a quite awesome line-up, topped off by Foals who, you will remember, just won NME’s Track Of The Year for ‘Spanish Sahara’.
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7. Biffy Clyro
Hogmanay, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
Do we really need to explain this one to you? It’s Biffy Clyro, off the back of their most successful year ever, in Scotland, on New Year’s Eve. It’s a 100 per cent guaranteed legendary night out. All together now: “I AM A MOUNTAIN…. I AM THE SEA!”
8. Friendly Fires
Bugged Out!, XOYO, London
XOYO has swiftly established itself as one of Old Street’s finest clubs. In it, on New Year’s Eve, are Bugged Out!, who have in turn chosen as headliners Friendly Fires. We had a sneak preview of FF’s forthcoming second album the other night, and it was, as they say around XOYO parts, “banging”. One imagines that their heads will be in a similar sort of place for this do, which means all kinds of brilliant fun.
9. Norman Jay
Good Times, Relentless Garage, London
Norman Jay is always one of the highlights of the Notting Hill Carnival. His sets there, and at the Big Chill, and his series of ‘Good Times’ compilation CDs spell only one word: sunshine. Which, given the likely weather outside on NYE, is going to be very welcome indeed.
10. Katy B
Together, O2 Academy Brixton, London
Also featuring a fleeting visit from Mark Ronson, Together is without doubt the most not-for-the-faint-hearted event on this list, going on until 6am. Amidst a ridiculously good line-up of DJs is a live set by dubstep’s premier – read only – singer-songwriter, and the voice behind ‘Perfect Stranger’. She’s on at midnight. This will be amazing.