By Carla Jenkins

To help you start as you mean to go on, here is my guide to the best music that is coming our way this year. There are several big names playing each month across the country to choose from. Harry Styles will play on 26th April, Diana Ross on 4th July, Elton John on 24th and 25th November and Celine Dion on 11th and 12th September, all at the SSE Hydro. Man of the moment Lewis Capaldi plays there too, for two nights on 5th and 6th March, and heads to Teca in Aberdeen on the 15th. Gerry Cinnamon takes to Hampden on 18th July.

There are the classic festivals that the musical calendar would be bare without. In Glasgow, we have TRNSMT in July, Tenement Trail around October-time, and the Great Western Festival in November.

Edinburgh is set to host Fly Festival from 16th May; Terminal V on 11th April and Summer Sessions again throughout August. And of course, there is Doune the Rabbit Hole from 17th July in Stirling, Eden Festival in Dumfries and Galloway 11-14th June and Kelburn Garden Party between 3rd and 6th July.

Phew. I’m glad that’s over.

We kick off January with another festival, Celtic Connections, which from 16th January to 2nd February brings over 300 events to showcase the vibrant roots music scene from across the world.

While some believe it to be reserved for trad and folk lovers, this couldn’t be further from the truth – a massive range of artists from different genres play in a variety of venues, big and small.

Hotly tipped are Anais Mitchell, SHHE, Rachel Sermanni, RURA and Fergus McCreadie. My personal highlights are Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5 in the Fruitmarket, Pictish Trail and Rozi Plain in Saint Lukes and Fat Suit in Oran Mor, all on 17th January. Hannah Read, Andy Monaghan (of Frightened Rabbit) and Cara Rose play the CCA on the 24th, and Eddi Reader will play the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the 25th.

Dovetailing nicely into that is Burns & Beyond, which will take place in Edinburgh from 21st January until 9th February. A celebration of both the birthday of Burns and Chinese New Year brings together acts like Edwyn Colins and KT Tunstall. On the 26th January, Assembly rooms will hold a night of music and entertainment in support of Tiny Changes, and in memory of Scott Hutchison.

Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh also has a big month, with their line up for Independent Venue Week including Kettle of Kites and Kapil Seshasayee on the 27th, Cloth and Annie Booth on the 29th, and Carla J Easton on 31st January.

Meanwhile, the Hug & Pint has its First Footing showcase – a new event bringing the best new music in Scotland to Glasgow’s best and smallest stage: think Nekkuro Hana and Vlure.

For the month of love, Mabel will be at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on 1st February, and Lana Del Rey is gracing us with her lovelorn new album at the Hydro on the 28th.

Anna Meredith plays Oran Mor on 8th February and Glasgow’s own Tom Walker and Vlure are playing in King Tuts (11th February) and the Hug and Pint (28th February).

Twin Atlantic take to Edinburgh’s Caves on 2nd February and Fat Sams in Dundee on 6th March, the latter where Tom Walker plays on the 12th and Marika Hackman on the 26th. Midge Ure plays the Perth Concert Hall on the 19th and The Big Moon play Summerhall on the 29th.

March is a biggie, with The 1975 lighting up the Hydro on the first day of the month, just after Lewis Capaldi on the 5th and 6th. It is also a big month for the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, with Jon Hopkins playing on the 4th, King Creosote on the 7th and Elvis Costello on the 10th. Lee “Scratch” Perry plays in Summerhall on the 29th.

Along with Harry Styles mania, April brings us the delights of Elbow at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on 10th and 11th April and at the O2 in Glasgow on the 14th. Mystery Jets play the Caves on the 16th, The Twilight Sad are in the Barrowlands on the 16th and 17th and Celeste takes to King Tuts on the 27th.

May will have Bon Iver in the Hydro on the 1st, and the fabulous RuPaul there on the 8th. Glasgow’s Catholic Action are at Saint Luke’s that night. June brings the powerhouses Dua Lipa on the 15th in the Hydro and Thom Yorke on the 19th in

the SEC.

As mentioned, TRNSMT will be most of the focus of July, with delights such as Liam Gallagher, Sam Fender, Aitch, Foals and Lewis Capaldi gracing Glasgow Green. Under fire for not having enough female acts on the line up – so far, only Rita Ora and Little Simz have made the bill – we can only hope that future announcements

bring more.

Playground Festival has announced that they too will return to Rouken Glen Park in 2020. Although marred by some teething issues with big queues and staff shortages, the inaugural Playground Festival attracted more than 14,000, who enjoyed performances from international acts including Groove Armada, Hot Chip, Django Django and Anna Calvi.

Running throughout the festival month of August in Edinburgh, the Summer Sessions will be returning although similarly, dates and location are to be released at the end of this month. Last year had the likes of Chvrches, Lewis

Capaldi, Primal Scream and The Snuts while The Cure took to the Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park.

September is gifting Scotland with the good grace of Stormzy, who will take to the Hydro stage on the 10th. After his stellar set at last year’s TRNSMT – as well as his good act of charity to the boy who broke his leg in the crowd – this show is easily going to be one of the biggest of the year. Celine Dion will follow on the same stage on

11th September.

In quite a refreshing take on the usual summer festival, October and November brings some of the best local and global acts to Glasgow, in the form of Tenement Trail and the Great Western Festival. The Great Western Festival 2019 had the likes of Squid, CHK CHK CHK, Free Love and Sacred Paws in venues like The Glue Factory, and Tenement Trail is renowned for its early showcasing of big names (see Lewis Capaldi and Sam Fender for reference) so I’m sitting tight to see what they do next.

Full circle, we are in the month of December. Deacon Blue are taking to the Hydro stage on the 4th, and there is nothing like a good boogie to Dignity to see out a cracking year of live music.

Go fourth, music lover, and fall in love with the music that Scotland is serving up this year.