Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the first two months of 2012, you should be all gigged out by now, but don’t think about pulling on those purse strings just yet until you’ve seen what March and April has in store for you lucky lucky people. There are gigs galore from some of the finest bands around, not to mention the first signs of summer with the first festival hitting our country. So here is your guide to some of our top picks for the next 2 months.

First up we have British boys, You Me at Six. A band that shot to fame faster than most and have since been trying to crack the music scene across the pond but fear not, the boys back in our towns with a string of sold out dates and support that rivals most UK tours with stateside boys, Mayday Parade. Our very own welsh beauties, Kids in Glass Houses and reggae ska band, The Skints. The tour’s first announcements were such a success that the band was made to add extra dates to this huge tour, which some tickets are available still. No doubt that every show is going to be phenomenal so make sure you get yourself down to watch Josh Francheschi and the boys bigger and better than ever before.

The end of March sees more of our home-grown talent as Enter Shikari have a few UK dates lined up. The band have risen since their success of 2007’s hit album, Take to the Skies begun the craze of the classic hand clap that is Enter Shikari. Back to 2012, and Rou and the boys have an amazing new album to tour with as album, A Flash Flood of Colour has had impeccable feedback from many. If any band is known for putting on an incredible show, it’s these guys and believe us when we say their show will be one you will never forget.

For all you slightly heavier fans out there, fear not, we cater for all as The Rock Sound Impericon Exposure Tour kicks off at the start of April. Bands on the tour are American Hardcore boys, Trapped under Ice who are also set to play this year’s Hevy Festival line up. Our very own hardcore boys, Your Demise who will also be joined by newer break through band on the scene, Basement who took the UK by storm last year as they toured with Title Fight. Lastly joining these three incredible bands are an almost out of place addition but adding some love to each show with their pop punk presence are Man Overboard. The boys were only here back in January and clearly can’t keep away as they’re back only 2 months later. Something even better about this tour, just because it’s a big fancy tour don’t expect some huge venues, this is going to be an intense tour as the rooms will be small and the crowds huge. Four bands not to be missed for under £20!

Mid April comes a tour from 2011’s break through band with Radio 1 coverage just to add too many of their successes, Scotland’s finest, Twin Atlantic. The band will be touring with similar named band, Lower than Atlantis, no doubt this tour will be huge as both bands are going to be on the radar for the most of 2012. If you can, see these now as we expect this to be the last of the small shows for both bands. If you don’t get chance to see Twin Atlantic fear not, if you are one of the lucky ones to hold a Blink-182 ticket you’ll get a chance to see them this June.

Next up comes a tour from Norfolk boys; Deaf Havana who have took the UK by storm since their release late last year, Fools and Worthless Liars. It’s taken them hard work and dedication but from the looks of the sales of this tour, it’s completely paid off as all the shows are on their last remaining tickets. The boys aren’t just getting any old support though; they’re bringing in American pop punkers, The Swellers along with them. The hype of this tour surrounds both bands as The Swellers don’t grace our lands all that often so this tour is sure to go down in 2012 history, you can catch the boys from the 18th April in Birmingham through to the 26th finishing up in London.

Returning for the second time this year already are female fronted, We are the In Crowd. After being received incredibly as support for All Time Lows UK tour this January, they are returning with other pop punk favourites, Every Avenue and The Summer Set. Although now used to playing the largest venues in our country, Taylor and Co are taking a step down and touring smaller venues as part of their grand return. Not only are they bringing such amazing support with them, the bands are touring around the real reason they’re back in the UK, to play Nottingham’s Hit the Deck Festival.

That’s right after truly establishing itself last year, Hit The Deck Festival returns and with a stronger line up. The festival takes place in and around different venues in the city, with the larger acts playing in the famous, Rock City venue. Bands you can expect to see at this year’s festival include: Deaf Havana, The Wonder Years, Kids in Glass Houses, Cancer Bats and Bury Tomorrow just to name a few. What’s the best part about the festival? Its only £20, what’s not to like so if you’re a bit strapped for cash this year and really want to go to a festival, here’s your chance with some awesome bands for a decent price.

There you have it, some of the UK’s finest up and coming gigs for you to get too for the next 2 months, but that’s not all there a few extras you might want to feast your eyes upon:

The Used will be touring with new album ‘Vulnerable’ released on March 26th

Lostprophets and support band Modestep are playing a 12 date UK tour.

We’ll be back in May to update you with all things gigs related, after all, this is when the summer will really kick off.

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TOUR CANCELLATIONS

Looks like our calendars might have opened up a bit! Futures have announced that their tour – due to start later this month – has been postponed until June due to recording commitments and Ticketweb have begun to issue refunds for Rufio & Allister‘s April tour. No statement has been released by the bands.

END OF YEAR ROUND UP

So it’s the end of the year and what a year it was! We thought we’d share our highlights, where America trips feature heavily, as do reunions (every one loves a reunion!) and festivals. Bella also shares her favourite albums of the year. We hope you all enjoyed your 2010 musical adventures as much as we did, 2011 has a lot to live up to!

The reunions: From Something Corporate’s US comeback tour to the long awaited return of blink-182 to British shores, there has certainly more than a little nostalgia value to this year’s music memories for me. No complaints here and I am very much looking forward to seeing the reunions continue in to 2011 with Further Seems Forever confirmed for Groezrock and Rufio joining forces with Allister for their intimate UK tour in April.

The album shows: It may be true that nothing gold can stay but New Found Glory celebrating the anniversary of their self titled release with a full album tour reminded us all that pop punk’s not dead.

The best of British: With You Me At Six flying the flag on Warped Tour and albums by the likes of Straight Lines, Futures and The Xcerts cracking best of the year lists everywhere it’s definitely been a good year to be a British pop-punk fan. Look out for more of the same in 2011 with Francesqa, Deaf Havana, Cuba Cuba, Tiger Please and countless more holding it down this side of the Atlantic.

–Francesca

Bamboozle Roadshow: 2010, for me also, has been all about nostalgia. The bands I grew up listening to have made a glorious return to the scene, and I’ve been able to re-live that feeling that only came while listening to a walkman and three quarter length shorts. It started with Bamboozle Roadshow in Boston- my best friend and I made a pilgrimage of sorts to the festival, and it was easily one of my highlights. Something about (FINALLY!) seeing Simple Plan and Good Charlotte and singing my heart out as if no time had passed made me feel more closely connected to the music I love than I ever have.

Reading Festival: Of course, the pinnacle of my pre-teen pop-punk obsessed years (you know, those ones that preceded my adolescent pop-punk obsessed years) was blink-182. Being as young as I am, I never saw them before the hiatus. Reading Festival, for me, was the best music event of 2010 for that reason alone. Dubbed ‘pop-punk Sunday’ amongst friends, a bill that included Weezer, Limp Bizkit, my favourites All Time Low and blink-182 all on one day will be hard to ever top. I don’t think I’ll forget standing in a field, one thousand people back, singing and dancing to Dammit so much I could barely move or talk afterwards. 2011 will surely be fantastic, but I’ll always remember these moments in 2010.

— Beth

Slam Dunk Festival, Leeds: Slam Dunk is always a highlight, but this year’s line up was particularly brilliant. The queue for The Wonder Years had to be seen to be believed and with Alkaline Trio, New Found Glory AND My Passion all headlining separate stages there was definitely something here for everyone.   Slam Dunk is a gem in the UK festival calendar – after all, where else could you witness members of Set Your Goals and NFG crowd surfing to The Millionaires? Exactly.

Twin Atlantic, ABC Glasgow: 2010 was an amazing year for Twin Atlantic.  Not only did they support mighty acts such as blink-182 and My Chemical Romance, they also completed their biggest UK headline tour to date – which saw them sell out Glasgow’s ABC.  I can’t think of a band who deserve this success more than Twin and I can’t wait to hear what’s in store from them in 2011.

— Lucy

America, fuck yeah!: I took a trip to California in March with fellow CtrlAltRock blogger Fran and it was a music fuelled two weeks. We caught New Found Glory the day we arrived, made an appearance in The Audition’s video for ‘You Ruined This’, saw Something Corporate headline Bamboozle Left and also got to go to the AP tour, where I got to see The Summer Set at last (who really need to come to the UK soon!), saw some of my other American favourites Every Avenue and we even got a bonus acoustic set from All Time Low.

The Return of My Chemical Romance: So after what felt like forever, some of New Jersey’s finest were back on our radios after a rocky few months, which saw the departure of their drummer, Bob Bryar. Whilst I was sad to see Bob go, I was highly excited for their comeback. I loved that they had kicked the monochrome to the curb and excited to hear Danger Days, more so than I had been for it’s predecessor, The Black Parade. They whet our appetites with a mini tour in smaller venues in October, which warmed us up nicely for the arena tour they are going to bestow upon us early next year. My Chemical Romance polarise opinions, you either love them or hate them, it’s safe to say what camp I reside in.

— Beccy

Bella’s Top Five Albums of the Year;

This Addiction – Alkaline Trio: Trio have been in my most adored band list since I bought my first pot of black nail polish and no matter how my musical taste matures or changes, I always love everything they release. This Addiction is no exception to the rule, especially the acoustic versions of songs added in, they slay me. Though, Mister Skiba could probably record himself throwing potatoes at a wall and it’d make me giddy.

My Beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy – Kanye West: Say what you will about mister West. He’s the top of his game and pretty untouchable. Every time he gets out of bed he sets a trend be it musical or fashion or otherwise. He’s a little crazy, but also crazy good.

The ArchAndroid (suites || and |||) – Janelle Monae: Mind blowing voice. This album honestly needs to be heard to be understood.

I Believe You Liar – Washington: I had to get an Aussie on this list and what better way than with Meg Washington? No one else manages to be adorable and hot all at the same time. This is a collection of unashamedly dancey tracks. For fans that like real music and clever lyrics with their pop.

American Slang – Gaslight Anthem: These guys just make my heart happy. I can’t say enough good things.

Bonus album! – All Day – Girl Talk: Okay, so it’s technically 373 overlapping samples of other artists’ songs, but Gregg Gillis is a genius and the album is truly a danceable piece of art.