Hammer's Gigs Of The Week: 4/5/15 - 10/5/15

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You’ve all had a few weeks to recover from the ‘Chewie, we’re home’ moment, and if that isn’t enough for you insatiable little scamps, there’s a truckload of gigs going off throughout the week. What a time to be alive, eh?

SCOTLAND

Funeral For A Friend: Aberdeen, The Tunnels, Friday 8th May While these Welsh heroes once subbed to Guns N’ Roses at Download Festival, their unique brand of post-hardcore has always felt more natural in the confines of small venues. Latest album Chapter And Verse contains so many singalong moments, you’ll be spending the entire weekend sucking on Soothers and trying to learn sign language for work on Monday morning.

WALES

Moss: Cardiff, The Moon Club, Thursday 7th May Named after the nation’s favourite bryophyte, Moss are nowhere near as boring, green or furry as their eponym suggests. However, their planty counterpart does one-up them when it comes to speed; Moss’ rumbling, melancholic doom moves slower than decomposing roadkill, thus enhancing the Lovecraftian themes within the lyrics. Definitely the most evil Thursday you’ll have had in a while.

THE NORTH

Evile: Leeds, University Union, Saturday 9th May Do you want to bang your head so hard, it detaches from your neck and lands in someone’s beer? Do you want to run around in circles until you’re violently sick? Do you want to chant “HEY” and other manly things to the apocalyptic, tremolo-picked purveyors of British thrash? Of course you do. Evile can provide this service.

THE MIDLANDS

The Prodigy: Birmingham, O2 Academy, Thursday 7th May The Prodigy are massive. They’re huge. Gargantuan. Titanic. Immense. They shouldn’t be playing venues this small. Have you heard the new album? Christ. So much pure badassery cannot be contained within the mere walls of the O2 Academy – this is going to be a limb-flailing frenzy to rival your primary school disco. Dance. Mosh. Passionately embrace an empty cup on the floor. We’re sure weirder things have happened at a Prodigy gig.

THE SOUTH

The Pop Group: Brighton, The Haunt, Tuesday 5th May Thirty-five years is an immense amount of time. Thirty-five years from now, we’ll all probably be stitched together a la The Human Centipede in a last ditch event to prevent famine and Pudsey will be taking pictures of it all. Thirty-five years has finally seen the completion of The Pop Group’s third full length, Citizen Zombie, and it’s a corker – the post-punk legends have refused to bow to convention, topping their previous efforts and still sounding like nothing else on the planet. This gig is no nostalgia trip, and we pray it doesn’t take thirty-five years for the next album to surface.

LONDON

Arcturus: Boston Music Rooms, Thursday 7th May People use the term ‘avant-garde’ to describe everything from a new pair of shoes to a bag of kiwis, but Arcturus can justifiably be labelled as such. Bonkers, genuinely thought-provoking metal is the band’s speciality and their first album in ten years, Arcturian, confirms that they’re still pretty good at it. Vulture Industries provide main support, and it’s their first time in the UK promoting their excellent 2013 opus, The Tower. Don’t be a dick. Get a ticket.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Sinocence: Ballymena, Diamond Rock Club, Saturday 9th May Pinching the crushing, bass-heavy grooves of Machine Head and blending them with the tamer, clean aspects of latter-day In Flames, Sinocence are a formidable live force within Northern Ireland’s metal scene. Having cut their proverbial teeth touring with everyone from the aforementioned acts to Paradise Lost to, er, Staind, these Belfastian behemoths are primed, ready and at your service this Saturday for just over a fiver. Do the right thing, yeah?

IRELAND

Negură Bunget: Dublin, The Pint, Thursday 7th May As far as authenticity goes, sticking lumps of genuine Transylvanian soil in a limited box set seems pretty legit. Negură Bunget did this for their Vîrstele Pămîntului album; while recent disc Tău (not a concept album about the 41st millennium. Sorry, chaps) is devoid of soil, its expansive, progressive sweeps of darkened splendour are sure to transport gig attendees into a completely different realm. But not to the 41st millennium.