January can often be the quietest month of the year for live music but in 2017 the new year starts with a bang for many of the region’s venues.
Leeds’ First Direct Arena welcomes rock legends Black Sabbath on January 26. They reputedly will be revisiting such doom rock classics as War Pigs, Iron Man and Paranoid for the last time.
The same week also sees a package of younger bucks – A Day To Remember, New Found Glory, Neck Deep and Moose Blood – at the same venue (January 28).
Rock fans are also well served at Sheffield Arena, with a headline show by Avenged Sevenfold (January 15).
Other highlights throughout the month around Yorkshire include “country’s next star” Margo Price, at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (January 25), Canadian singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright at Leeds City Varieties (January 27) and Mary Chapin Carpenter at the same venue (January 31).
Name to watch in 2017 Declan McKenna plays at the Brudenell (January 29) and the Leadmill in Sheffield (January 30). Also in the Steel City, blues rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor performs at City Hall (January 26).
Over in York, there’s a chance to see folk legend Martin Carthy at the Black Swan (January 12) while Billy Bragg and Joe Henry bring their fascinating Shine a Light project of songs celebrating the great American railroad to the Barbican (January 24).
Hebden Bridge Trades Club is among a number of concert halls throughout the region celebrating Independent Venue Week in the last week of January. Their highlights include Cass McCombs (January 25) and Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley (January 28).
February sees the musical part of Hull’s City of Culture programme begin in earnest, with the first public appearance in the city since the 1970s of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. The event, on February 3, is part of a series commemorating COUM Transmissions, the subversive music and performance art collective, whose provocative work was to ruffle feathers before they moved to London and later formed Throbbing Gristle.
A weekend of concerts from February 17-19 celebrates the work of Basil Kirchin, the library music composer who Brian Eno once hailed “a founding father of ambient”. Among those performing are Hidden Orchestra, Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne and Jerry Dammers, founder of The Specials.
In Leeds, hip-hop superstar Drake, the most streamed artist worldwide for the last two years, is to play two nights at the First Direct Arena (February 8 and 9); also destined for the same venue are Green Day (February 5), Pet Shop Boys (February 18) and the Kings of Leon (February 19).
Other attractions in the city in February include Julian Cope at Brudenell Social Club (February 3), the return of Kate Nash at Stylus (February 8), Busted at O2 Academy Leeds (February 21), and The Fall at Belgrave Music Hall (February 24). Also at Leeds Academy are US punk rockers Sum 41 (February 26) and rap heroes De La Soul (February 28).
In Sheffield BBC 6 Music DJ Huey Morgan brings his hip-hop renegades Fun Lovin’ Criminals to Plug (February 9), while the Leadmill plays host to Kate Nash (February 9) and Sundara Karma (February 13), and White Lies head for the O2 Academy Sheffield (February 24).
York’s music offerings in the same month include Stone Temple Pilots at Fibbers (February 11).
Mark Morriss of The Bluetones plays at Bradford’s new venue The Underground (February 24), Midge Ure is at Unity Works in Wakefield (February 18) while Sophie Ellis-Bextor visits Holmfirth Picturedrome (February 24).
March looks set to be a vibrant month for music across the county. In Leeds it begins with Kaiser Chiefs at First Direct Arena and Seven Years hit makers Lukas Graham at O2 Academy (both March 4), there’s reggae from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry at the Brudenell (March 8) and The Wailers at O2 Academy (March 9), pop giants Olly Murs (March 9), The Weeknd (March 14) and Craig David (March 31) all have shows lined up at the First Direct Arena, and Emeli Sandé makes her live comeback at O2 Academy (March 22).
Other attractions at the city’s Academy include Laura Marling (March 8), Black Star Riders (March 11), Lower Than Atlantis (March 13), All Time Low (March 15), The Stranglers (March 17), Peter Hook and The Light (March 18), James Arthur (March 25) and Blossoms (March 30).
Sheffield’s highlights in March include the second multi-venue Outlines Festival, featuring The Selecter, Slow Club, Hookworms and The Crookes (March 3), the Pigeon Detectives at the Leadmill (March 7), Lucy Spraggan is also at the Leadmill (March 8) and Olly Murs is at the Arena (March 10 and 11). The X Factor Live show rolls into the Arena on March 3, while three former series winners will also be performing in the city the same month. James Arthur is at the O2 Academy (March 13) while Ben Haenow is at Plug and Sam Bailey is at City Hall (both March 24).
A strong City Hall bill that month also includes Thunder (March 18), Elvis Costello (March 20), Jack Savoretti (March 26), Lloyd Cole (March 27) and Rick Astley (March 28).
The Never Gonna Give You Up singer, who made a successful comeback in 2016 with his chart-topping album 50, also appears at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax (March 17) and Harrogate International Centre (March 25).
One of Sheffield’s brightest hopes The Sherlocks travel to Fibbers in York (March 6). Across the city, the Barbican’s offerings include Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet (March 21), Sam Bailey (March 25), Marc Almond (March 26) and Amy Macdonald (March 29).
In Hull Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey present David Bowie’s classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars live in its entirety for the first time at City Hall (March 25).
Elbow promote their eagerly anticipated new album Little Fictions with two Yorkshire gigs at Bridlington Spa (March 14) and Doncaster Dome (March 15).