Southampton Gig Guide – December 2023

Southampton Gig Guide – December 2023

By Vicky Greer

Hello, and welcome to your new monthly guide to Southampton’s ever-vibrant live music scene! Every month, I’ll be scouting out the best gigs in the city, from the massive headliners to the unmissable emerging acts. I’ve been attending gigs across the city since I moved here five years ago, and Southampton’s live scene never fails to amaze me.

The year might be coming to an end, but live music doesn’t show any signs of settling down for the festive period. Here are a selection of shows you don’t want to miss this December.


Friday 1st  – Face to face: the punk era exhibition by Dr Lynda S. Robertson – Vinilo Record Store

While it’s not technically a gig, December is off to a good start at Vinilo Record Store, one of my favourite spaces in the city for its listening parties, intimate acoustic gigs or just a browse through the crates. They’re hosting Dr Lynda S. Robertson’s photography from the punk scene of the early 80s. Head over to Vinilo at 7 pm for a previously unseen look at punk history.

More info here.


Wednesday 6th – DMA’s – O2 Guildhall

Next, we’re heading over to the Guildhall to welcome Britpop-inspired Aussies DMA’s, a festival staple who have supported all the indie greats, from Liam Gallagher to The Courteeners. Always ready to bring the energy, their headline slot at the Guildhall is sure to be a fun night. Get there early to see Stone and Mia Wray on support.

More info here.


Thursday 7th – Sundara Karma x2 – Vinilo Record Store & Engine Rooms

Good news for Sundara Karma fans – you can enjoy a double feature of the band in Southampton with two shows in one day. Start with a stripped-back acoustic show and signing session at Vinilo at 6, and then run straight to Engine Rooms for the anthemic main event. Whatever your vibe, you’ve got plenty of choices.

More info here and here.


Friday 8th – Skinny Lister – Engine Rooms

For some high-energy folk punk, get to Engine Rooms on the 8th for a rowdy, mosh-filled evening with Skinny Lister. Beloved by folk and rock fans alike, Skinny Lister have proven themselves to be an essential live band.  For fans of Frank Turner, Flogging Molly, Ant-Flag and Dropkick Murphys.

More info here.


Saturday 9th – Opus Kink – The Loft

Punk-jazz fusion, anyone? You might have seen Opus Kink hit the stage at The Joiners earlier this year, and they must have had a good time in Southampton since they’re back already to play at The Loft. From what I’ve heard, Opus Kink are an impossible band to categorise, blending together a variety of genres and moods to create something totally unique.

More info here.


Thursday 14th – The New Eves – Heartbreakers

If you’re looking for something really fresh, check out The New Eves at Heartbreakers. They’ve only got a few songs out on Spotify right now, but what’s there is really exciting. Mixing post-punk guitars with cellos and folklore, The New Eves are like a meeting of Bjork and Wet Leg. Tickets are less than a tenner so if you fancy some whimsical new music on a budget, look no further.

More info here.


Friday 15th – Sean McGowan – The 1865

One of the last gigs going down before the music industry goes into its yearly Christmas hibernation, Sean McGowan is a great note to end 2023 on. A long-time local favourite, Sean McGowan will be performing a full-band show at the 1865. If it’s anything like the time I saw him in those strange, socially distanced days of December 2020, you can expect a few festive flourishes amongst his typical folk-punk.

More info here.


Saturday 30th – Southampton Record Fair – The 1865

Again, it’s not technically a gig but the Southampton Record Fair is always worth highlighting. Take it from someone who just had to buy more CD storage because I’m incapable of leaving the record fair empty-handed. Taking place on the last Saturday of every month, the December edition will be a great way to spend an afternoon during those weird days between Christmas and New Year when time just disappears in a haze of festive chocolate and daytime TV. 


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