XFM Winter Wonderland – Tuesday 8th December 2009

Academy 1, Manchester

After the resounding success of its festive bash last year, XFM once again brings their Winter Wonderland show to the Manchester Academy. Like its predecessor, this year’s gig is a choice assortment of the finest rock and roll bands around, with a blend of up-and-coming stars and established veterans. 

Low-fi indie rockers, The Cribs, headline the evening ,and the three brothers Jarman along with the legendary Johnny Marr will no doubt be as raucous and frenetic as ever. Their latest album ‘Ignore the Ignorant’ was released to great public acclaim this year, and the band will be drawing upon select cuts from this and their previous three releases. 

Liverpudlian legends Echo And The Bunnymen are also on the bill. The post-punk heroes have experienced a resurgence of late with their latest album being hailed as their best in years. Front man Ian McCulloch’s haunting baritone remains as powerful as ever, and classic tracks such as ‘Killing Moon’ and ‘The Cutter’ will go down a storm with the Wonderland audience. 

Folk-punk troubadour Frank Turner has seen years of constant touring and song writing finally pay off in an outstanding 2009. Storming sets at the Reading and Leeds festivals and his biggest UK tour yet have cemented his place as a Billy Bragg for a new generation. Expect many a heartfelt sing-along when Turner takes to the Academy stage. 

The Courteeners vocalist, Liam Fray, will be doing a special solo acoustic set, and local boys Delphic bring their electronic-infused indie to the proceedings. Finally, alternative folk singer/songwriter Liam Frost completes the eclectic line up. 

If last year’s show is anything to go by, this will not be a night to miss and will undoubtedly prove one of the hottest tickets of the winter.

By Rob Keeling

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