Primal Scream, Deacon Blue and Calvin Harris among the big name Scottish acts playing winter gigs

Primal Scream, Deacon Blue and Calvin Harris among the big name Scottish acts playing winter gigs

Deacon Blue / Photo: Brian Sweeney

Travis, Glasvegas, The View and Wet Wet Wet also holding holiday gigs

If your letter to Santa this year included a plea to see all your favourite big name Scottish acts live in the space of two weeks, then rejoice – the jolly old beardy guy has delivered early for you, with a host of huge gigs by big homegrown hitters lined up to light your way to Christmas day. Behold the groaning buffet table of Scottish cuts, some more prime and juicy than others. But which one is the turkey? Come hither and know them better.

Primal Scream (SECC, Glasgow, 14 Dec) are a whole tasting menu in their own right. Over the years, they have served up their fair share of fresh, innovative flavours but have interspersed their zestier offerings with generous helpings of stodgy rock. Latest album, More Light, succeeds in breaking some new ground for the veteran campaigners. Its esoteric Kraut-jazz-psych-garage sounds didn’t translate so well in front of a Stone Roses audience this summer but could well satisfy more adventurous tastes.

Travis are offering a double helping of Yuletide cheer (Barrowland, Glasgow, 20/21 Dec) to cap their comeback year. Their whimsical Scotpop has always been easy to digest but their current album, Where You Stand, is such an insipid affair that these shows could be the bland sorbet of the bunch.

Deacon Blue (the Hydro, Glasgow, 20 Dec), on the other hand, are solid main course options, boasting a back catalogue which is perennially popular with a home crowd. The robust likes of ‘Dignity’, ‘Wages Day’ and ‘Real Gone Kid’ are the aural equivalent of comfort food, while current album, The Hipsters, featuring their first new music in over a decade, succeeds in spicing up a favourite old recipe.

If Marti Pellow is on his usual gallus form, then Wet Wet Wet (the Hydro, Glasgow, 19 Dec) are surely the cheese course. Their frontman may have a tendency to lay it on thick with the patter and the cabaret vocals but, for those who are not dairy intolerant, the Clydebank group peddle an impressively slick line in soul pop hits. Plus Pellow really can sing when he drops the bad habits.

Following a suitable break for digestion, Calvin Harris (the Hydro, Glasgow, 22/23 Dec) is on hand to provide the sugar rush. His tried-and-tested turbo-charged rave pop formula ensures that the sweet trolley is constantly being replenished with frothy treats which will have the kids bouncing off the walls well into Boxing Day. For a sense of the mayhem the Dumfries DJ/producer will unleash over these two enormo gigs, imagine Christmas Top Of The Pops stamping on your face forever…

You could, of course, dull the effect with some alcohol – or even forego all this conspicuous consumption entirely and opt for a liquid lunch. In which case you are directed to sample the boozy indie singalongs of either The View (Academy, Glasgow, 18 Dec) or Glasvegas (Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, 22 Dec) and maybe make some new besht friends in the more intimate confines of their shows.

Finally, having indulged thoroughly in this Scottish pop smorgasbord, the only sensible option is to take a post-prandial nap, clutching a batch of Berocca in one hand and a fistful of Rennies in the other. Wake us up in the New Year …


Sweeping and ethereal guitar-driven indie rock by the platinum-selling four-piece from Glasgow head out on their 10th anniversary tour.

100 Club, London W1D

Sat 7 Dec

Sold out / 020 7636 0933

Old Fire Station, Carlisle

Sat 14 Dec

£18.70 / 01228 817590

Soup Kitchen, Manchester

Sun 8 Dec

£22.40 / 0161 236 5100

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Scotpop heroes playing their classic album The Man Who.

Wet Wet Wet

The Glasgow soul popsters tour their greatest hits, and some other people's greatest hits as well.

Calvin Harris

The Dumfries producer and DJ has become of the biggest EDM artists in the world, behind huge hits and even bigger collaborations including 'I Need Your Love', 'Blame', 'Summer' and 'We Found Love' with Rihanna.

The View

Dundonian indie scamps who rose to fame with their 2007 debut album Hats Off to the Buskers. They are known for their raucous live shows and were inducted into the Barrowland Ballroom Hall of Fame in 2017.

Calvin Harris and Tiesto

Two of the world's highest paid DJs, including homegrown hero Harris, join forces for this night of party rave tunes.

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