The music acts to catch in Yorkshire over the coming year

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott , formerly of The Beautiful South, are heading to Leeds in February.
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott , formerly of The Beautiful South, are heading to Leeds in February.
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There’s a great line-up of bands heading for Yorkshire’s music venues in the coming months. Duncan Seaman takes a look at some of the highlights.

The new year starts on a quiet note at the region’s music venues but there are a handful of highlights to look forward to during January.

Scarborough Spa celebrates the music of folk great Norma Waterson with a two-night Normafest on January 8 and 9.

Noisy Mercury Prize nominees Slaves should blow away a few cobwebs when they play at O2 Academy Leeds on January 10 and the same venue also hosts the eagerly anticipated return of Massive Attack on January 27.

Irish singer Hozier, whose track Take Me To Church was voted Song of the Year at the BBC Music Awards, visits the O2 Academy Sheffield on January 11 while The Kooks promote their remix album, Hello, What’s Your Name? at York Barbican on January 20.

Yorkshire’s arenas kick back into life in February, with American heavy metal giants Slipknot at the First Direct Arena on February 13 and Foals playing songs from their highly rated fourth album What Went Down at the same venue on February 20.

A busy month at O2 Academy Leeds sees Fun Lovin’ Criminals mark the 20th anniversary of their album Come Find Yourself on February 4; Bloc Party reveal their rejigged line-up on the NME Awards Tour on February 8; Suede celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14; Marina and The Diamonds are back in action on February 17; and The Used will be toasting 15 years together with two shows on February 20 and 21.

Sheffield’s O2 Academy has Bowling For Soup on February 7 while The Leadmill welcomes BBC 6 Music favourites Villagers on February 6, flamboyant rock ’n’ roller Ezra Furman on February 17 and Power of Love chart-topper Gabrielle Aplin the same night.

Wendy James, once of 80s pop punk band Transvision Vamp, unveils material from her forthcoming solo album The Price of the Ticket at Brudendell Social Club on February 6 and US troubadour Ryley Walker, whose album Primrose Green featured in many best of 2015 lists, teams up with veteran double bassist Danny Thompson on February 26.

There’s more folk music at Leeds City Varieties with Fairport Convention on February 4. The same venue also hosts spiky-haired 80s synth pop star Howard Jones on February 19. York Barbican has Rebecca Ferguson performing the Billie Holiday songbook on February 6 and Steel City balladeer Richard Hawley on February 19. At Hebden Bridge Trades Club former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones performs on February 19 and shoegaze favourite Ulrich Schnauss is in action on February 20. The voice of M People, Heather Small, will be searching for heroes at St George’s Hall in Bradford on February 3.

The pick of the crop at Leeds Arena are Elle Goulding on February 15 and Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, late of The Beautiful South, on February 19. Ellie Goulding can also be seen at Sheffield Arena on February 12.

Leeds Met graduates Piers Agget and Kesi Dryden return to the city’s Academy with their group Rudimental on March 1 where The Stranglers also play on March 25.

Reformed Liverpudlian janglers The Coral are at Brudenell Social Club on March 7 and The Leadmill on March 11. Reef are at Fibbers in York on March 18 while Peter Hook and The Light play Warehouse 23 in Wakefield on March 5. 80s stars Midge Ure, Nick Heyward, Big Country and Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot share the stage at St George’s Hall on March 8 and Lulu relights her fire on March 13.