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Live Picks (Feb '20): Duck / Planet Zogg / Portico Quartet / Bunkerpop / Lilli Unwin and more...

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Little Robots

On the Now Then App, we've got a brand new column from the hallucinogenic heads behind virtual culture zine PROLE JAZZ. Each month they'll be finding the freshest tunes coming out of South Yorkshire, whether that's finger-picked guitar from Frank Birtwhistle, DUCK's unique brand of synth-grunge or the old-skool junglism of The Chalice Crew.

"Our team of gonzo miscreants will curate a monthly round-up of the finest wild noises emanating from the luminous metropolis of Sheffield," said editor-in-chief Captain Jack Avery. "Covering everything from doom-folk to surf rock, glitterpunk to electropop, the PROLE JAZZ crew will review song releases of the month just gone released by bands and artists from our fine citadel."

Lilli Unwin

Wed 5 Feb | Lescar | £8 (£5 students)

Lilli Unwin is a singer and songwriter whose narrative works explore themes of love, longing and loss, with a focus on female stories. A member of the acclaimed London Vocal Project ensemble, she's now formed a new trio with guitarist Rob Luft and Rupert Cox on keys.

Kornél Kovács

Wed 5 Feb | Signal | £8

Superstar Studio Barnhus co-founder Kornél Kovács is set for a storming gig of high-quality house and techno at Signal, who have a newly-installed Void Air Motion rig for him to play with. Providing an extended warm-up for this La Rumba night are renowned local duo Wow & Flutter.

Groundwork

Thu 6 Feb | Shakespeares | Free

After taking a break from the ones and twos, eclectic selector Alief marks his return with a sophomore set for the Groundwork crew. Expect a genre-hopping, party-starting set, with the former Pretty Pretty Good resident promising to pull a "kaleidoscope of weirdness" from his record bag.

Little Robots / Funland

Fri 7 Feb | Regather | £8.30

Little Robots are an all-woman folk trio weaving together intricate stories of blues, moods and social justice. They're joined by Funland, a brand new pairing of Jim Baxter and Kate Wood, who pen odes to the mature and melancholic pop of the eighties.

DUCK

Sat 8 Feb | Hatch | £5.10

Synthpunk noiseniks DUCK launch their second album, There Are No Normal Conversations Any More, in the company of two Leeds trios: the garage pop of Nervous Twitch and futuristic girl-punks Lunar Sounds. Repping Sheffield are the lovely Hatchlings of Dearthworms.

Breabach

Wed 12 Feb | Greystones | £15.40

Emerging from a febrile Glasgow scene, Breabach are a five-piece group dedicated to an experimental and expansive take on folk. Alongside traditional songs on their latest album, Frenzy of the Meeting, are original compositions exploring "today's frenzied experience of global politics, media and the natural world."

Planet Zogg Valentine's Ball

Fri 14 Feb | Yellow Arch | £11.10

Marking the first party of their twentieth - yes, twentieth - year, the psychedelic shamans behind Planet Zogg hold down their now traditional Valentines fixture. DJs include Unconscious Mind(s) and DJ Pod, while Åyusp play a live chill-out set alongside hot drinks and snacks in the Freak Street Cafe.

Crake

Sat 15 Feb | Bishops' House | £6.10

Pigeon Hands present Crake, an introspective outfit from Leeds who "live in a world where it is perpetually autumn." Playing tracks from new EP Dear Natalie, they're joined by Sheffield surf-pop stalwarts Precious Metals at this BYOB show.

Food Drive

Fri 21 Feb | Couch, Campo Lane | £5

Ten years into austerity Britain, it's estimated that 14.3m people now live in poverty. Six local acts, including Oh Papa, I Set The Sea On Fire and Millie Middleton, have decided to do something about it, with all proceeds from this gig going to S6 Foodbank. DJs till late.

Portico Quartet

Wed 26 Feb | Leadmill | £18.87

Now Then and Opus present a night of cinematic minimalism and widescreen soundscapes from the Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet. They'll be playing material from mesmerising new album Memory Streams with support from Before Breakfast, a dreamy Sheffield trio picking up worldwide attention. One not to be missed.

Bunkerpop / ShaSh

Fri 28 Feb | Café Totem | £5.70

Hailing from the inner circles of Hull, Bunkerpop summon the gods of krautrock in a swirl of psych electronics and cult-like ritual. There's the lyrical absurdity of ShaSh and their "synthesized Xanthic science-pop", with the whole night opening with mysterious solo project JIMMY-nom de pax.

Sam Gregory

Next article in issue 143

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