Ah, December in our fair city. The first month of winter, where popping to the shop carries the very real risk of your extremities dropping off. Damn the Pennines. Who built this place in a valley anyway?

If you’re able to shovel the snow built up outside the front door, the following may just be enough to tempt you out from your cocoon, with some great musicians and DJs bringing the heat to our streets. There might even be mulled wine if you’re lucky.

Something to ponder over your cocoa: where to be on New Year’s Eve? As usual, Hope Works, the Night Kitchen and the Picture House have all put in a strong showing. It’s up to you to pick your poison. Keep an eye out for what’s still to be announced, and don’t forget that tickets for some of the smaller venues can disappear surprisingly quickly.

Kvelertak
Sat 3 Dec | Corporation | £11.50
If you didn’t guess by the name, Kvelertak are Norwegian metallers hailing from the oil port of Stavanger, and their raucous riffs are laden with demob happy mentality. Similarly unhinged support from US rabble-rousers Skeletonwitch. Link

Dr John Cooper Clarke & Hugh Cornwell
Thu 8 Dec | Leadmill | £23.65
Injecting poetry with a booster shot of post-punk attitude saw Clarke become an 80s cult hero with poems like ‘Hire Car’ (why would anybody buy a car?). His work has always been musical, so it’s no surprise to see him teaming up with Hugh Cornwell of Stranglers fame to perform songs from new record This Time It’s Personal. Link

Living Body
Thu 8 Dec | Picture House Social | £6.10
Living Body is something of a low-key supergroup centred around Katie Harkin (Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts) and Jeff T Smith (Juffage), as well as alumni of Vessels, Mayshe-Mayshe and Esper Scout. Harkin’s beautiful vocals weave a delicately composed form of guitar pop, with the band modestly aiming to “bring joy into the lives of others”. Link

Sound Laboratory
Fri 9 Dec | Cathedral | Free (booking required)
Christmas cheer doesn’t immediately spring to mind when thinking of the weighty works of French composer Olivier Messiaen, but this special performance of ‘The Birth of the Saviour’ will allow organist Joshua Hales to showcase one of his more joyous and optimistic works. Link

Mall Grab, Byron The Aquarius & Ross From Friends
Fri 9 Dec | Hope Works | £15.80
Releasing on leftfield labels like 1080p and Hot Haus, Australia’s Jordon Alexander brings cassette tape warmth to the often clinical world of club music. Joining him will be Detroit’s Byron The Aquarius, as well as Cervo and Al Zanders, plus a live set from like-minded souls Ross From Friends. Link

Vibrations Part III
Fri 9 Dec | Yellow Arch | £11.10
Bright and breezy vibes are guaranteed when the mighty K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade lead the charge. Live grooves from Elephant Disco will warm the studios up nicely before a rinser of a set from Junglist Alliance, plus spicy street food from the Thali Truck. Link

Primal Scream
Sat 10 Dec | Plug | £29.15
Primal Scream have been a vital band for so long because they’re always so quick to adapt to the times, whether it’s the acid house of Screamadelica, the millennial anxiety of XTRMNTR or the zoned out pop of this year’s Sky Ferreira-featuring Chaosmosis. Link

Martin Simpson
Tue 13 Dec | Firth Hall | £14
Martin Simpson’s approach to the traditional folk songbook incorporates delicate fingerpicking and slide guitar techniques, giving English music a transatlantic tint. His instrumental pieces somehow seem to talk without words. Link

Sulta Selects
Fri 16 Dec | Night Kitchen | £19.98
Denis Sulta’s ‘It’s Only Real’ was inescapable this year, with its ineffable melody uncoiling itself on dance floors worldwide. New one ‘Dubelle Oh XX’ is set to be equally huge, and to help him celebrate he’s enlisted Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, as well as regulars Emily May and ES.Q. Taps aff. Link

The End of the Year of Death Non-Christmas Party
Fri 16 Dec | Shakespeares | £5
2016 is pretty much a write-off at this point. What else to do but to laugh nihilistically in its face, with the help of disco band Brownies, the mysterious Waldo Reset and the fantastically monikered Extraordinary Rendition. All profits to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. Link

Nicola Farnon with Dave Newton, Jim Mullen & Steve Brown
Wed 21 Dec | Lescar | £10 (seated), £8 (standing)
This isn’t any old gig – it’s a special occasion. Sheffield bass player and singer Nicola Farnon is celebrating the launch of her niftily-titled new record, So Farnon – So Good, and she’s enlisted the original quartet from the recording for this festive show. Link

Hope Works Double Drop
Sat 31 Dec – Sun 1 Jan | Hope Works | £20.20 (combo ticket)
As is now tradition, New Year’s Eve is turned over to the homegrown talent’ with DJs from Pretty Pretty Good, Gett Off, Denham Audio and STI joining Lo Shea and Duckenfield. Bit of a coup on New Year’s Day, with the boys from Bicep flexing their musical muscle alongside Aus boss Will Saul. Link