Ah, gigs. For most bands, it's the best way to advertise their wares; what better way to experience a record than to hear it performed in front of you by flailing piles of flesh and bone? It's the human element that we crave in music, unfolding before your eyes. Fortunately, instead of gambling on the day of an event or tossing and turning at night fretting over which band to see, Last.fm have provided a lifeline. Their gig guide assembles all the events across your city, putting the listings into a neat'n'tidy order so you can see the who, what, where, when (but probably not why) on any given evening. To make that decision process even easier, here's our recommendations for the week ahead. We're nice like that.


Nordic Giants: 20/02/14 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Brighton duo Nordic Giants have been schlepping the live circuit for years, building themselves a reputation as an act with one of the most moving live shows this side of Scandinavia. Fusing cinematic post-rock with fantastical atmospheres and the chilling caress of ambience, the pair take to the stage adorned in masks, feathers and a cowl of misty-grey fog. As their website quite rightly states: “the multi-screen visuals, powerful strobes and exquisitely timed accompaniment create a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.”


St. Vincent: 21/02/14 – Manchester Cathedral, Manchester

St. Vincent you say? Oh, and Glass Animals too? Well, colour us desperate to secure a place there. There's not much more that can be said to convince y'all gig-goers that this is an essential place to be Friday night, rather than sloshed down the local – it's got three impressive elements: St. Vincent, first and foremost, one of the most well-respected and accomplised musicians of a generation, playing cuts from her new, incredible record; there's also the impressive up-and-coming psychpop outfit Glass Animals (seriously – check out 'Gooey'). To top off this already delicious looking night, it's in a frickin' Cathedral.


Danny Brown: 22/02/14 - Coalition, Brighton

Another monumentally wise support slot decision here: Vic Mensa supporting Danny Brown. Two of the brightest, most impressive rap talents of recent years, teaming up, sharing a stage. Whoa. Brown's finally bringing his lauded Old record to the UK, ready to blow us away with one of the best hip-hop records of 2013.


Neneh Cherry: 23/02/14 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Swedish songstress Neneh Cherry's new album is shaping up to be another gem in February's golden arsenal of releases. The wildly accomplished Cherry has been wowing audiences with her stunning sounds for almost three decades – and she's bringing that to Portsmouth alongside her first solo album in almost 18 years, the Four Tet produced The Blank Project.


Lizzo: 24/02/14 - Birthdays, London

A steadfast favourite here at The 405, Minneapolis/Houston/Detroit rap prodigy Lizzo has already had a few jaunts in the UK since her sublime debut Lizzobangers was released at the tail-end of last year, but she's back once more for a flying visit to London. She's got some of the most impressive vocal skills of any upstart, performing with speed, fluidity, eloquence and a broad vocabulary. Her sounds just ooze charisma. If you want a lesson on how hip-hop should be done, head down to Birthdays.