From Dilly Dally to Girl Band and beyond...

Happy New Year and congratulations, you made it through the festive season.

There are only so many hours you can spend across the sofa, glued to Making A Murderer whilst pretending a cheese board qualifies as dinner. Just like all Netflix series, good things must come to an end. It’s time to get back out there, brave the pipe-washed pints and backroom chatters, and indulge in some live music. Here’s my top seven picks to kick start your 2016, all handily available on DICE with No Booking Fees (it is January, after all). Step away from the remote.

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Dilly Dally

Stealing the attention of everyone with a pair of ears and a taste for straight to the gut, sucker punching indie rock, Dilly Dally are the band you need in your life. With a throat-scratching delivery and a talent for riffs that would make J Mascis jealous, the Toronto quartet have been picking up heat as tracks like ‘Purple Rage’ boil with the kind of teen angst you never grow out of. Releasing debut album ‘Sore’ late last year, it’s been slowly picking up word of mouth adoration, as well as critical acclaim.

Make sure you’re at the Dalston Vic on January 7th when they bring the walls down.

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Diet Cig

Crafting instantly addictive pop-punk songs with crushing guitars, Diet Cig are a dangerous NY duo putting a bit of wit into heartbreak. Made up of Noah Bowman and Alex Luciano, the pair turn venues upside down with crashing drums and Luciano's obliterate-everything attitude. After releasing the short and sweet ‘Over Easy’ early last year, they'll be bringing their crushing live show to London's Servant Jazz Quarters on January 13th. Full of striking observation as stark as their delivery, tracks like new single ‘Sleep Talk’ only take one listen before you’re head over heels.

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The Maccabees

Indie stalwarts The Maccabees are in the form of their life right now. Growing from five South London scamps singing songs about swimming pools into the band that released last years striking, poetic and beautiful Marks To Prove It, they picked up their first UK number one album. Building on a timeless base of love soaked lyrics steeped in maturity and euphoric instrumentation, they feel like a band we’ve watched grow up.

Playing three huge hometown shows at Brixton Academy (January 21st – 23rd), you have to be there. Get a ticket now and let The Maccabees take you on a journey.

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On their debut album ‘If You Leave’ Daughter delivered a heavy blow of heartache lyrics that ripped into your stomach and left you empty, completely consumed by their eloquent and all too relate-able creations. Add to that an innate talent for huge crescendos that broke into the barest breaths and glorious production that saw every sound hanging in the air, and you had a record as utterly addictive, exhilarating, damaging and perfect as love itself.

Returning with new record ‘Not To Disappear’, we know this will be one exceptional evening of catharsis. The London trio are as compelling live as on record. Get ready to dwell in those winter blues.

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Alex G

Abbreviating to Alex G, Pennsylvania native Alex Giannascoli has been DIY recording and self-releasing lo-fi indie gems in a way that makes Michael Cera look corporate. Finding his way into the laptop glare of indie fans around the world through word of mouth and message boards, his first full-length DSU won him praise from numerous titles online. Off the back of critical acclaim he released two records last year before signing to Domino to put out the instant fuzz of 'Beach Music'.

Live, Alex G brings his swells and crushes to the stage alongside some ribbing banter and palpable riffs. Having charmed crowds in the capital throughout 2015, make sure you don’t miss him this New Year.

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Tame Impala

Psych-pop slammers Tame Impala are in their own league right now. Fresh off the back of releasing the stunning Currents, the Aussie heroes are on fire, picking up so many nominations and awards they’re gonna need to buy a new mantelpiece. Building on their origins of spiralling guitar lines and drifting vocals, the quintet have created another masterpiece packed to the rafters with sun-kissed alternative anthems that were made to be experienced live.

The Tame Impala show is coming to Ally Pally (February 12th and 13th) and you can't miss it. Warm up your winter with this hot gig.

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Girl Band

Violent, destructive, and always on the verge of breaking, Ireland’s Girl Band are a terrifying force live. They’re aggressive and self-knowing, and will have you gripped from the first note. Releasing their debut album ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’ earlier this year, the noisy slammers affirmed that they are one of the best live bands on the planet right now. Abrasive, relentless and jaw dropping, they were nominated for last year’s DICE Live Award while their debut found itself on a heap of end of year lists.

After a smashing date at London's 100 Club, Girl Band will be taking it to the next level in 2016. This show at the Village Underground (February 29th) is set to be huge. You need to be there.

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