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Top bands will play in George Square this Christmas, and the variety of acts on offer will mean festive cheer for all.

Every Thursday night in December five of Scotland's best up-and-coming bands will take to the free stage in the square.

The shows, which are being promoted by Hear Glasgow, will be held within a heated marquee with seats. The audience can get drinks from nearby stalls, while the lights, big wheel and ice-rink will provide a suitably festive setting.

Scottish new music champion Jim Gellatly will host the events.

He said: "It really is a mixture of music. There's electro-pop from A Band Called Quinn, and Katie Sutherland will be playing her first gig under her own name rather than as Pearl and the Puppets.

"Folk-punker Shambles Miller is Scotland's answer to Frank Turner, and The Seventeenth Century always get people going."

And the DJ reckons the shows will expose the new bands' music to audiences that might not usually check them out.

"I think it will be a great chance to win over a new audience," he explains.

Here's who's playing...

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8

Acts Playing: Suspire, Connor Graham/Ashkhan, Cherry Grove, Miaoux Miaoux and Open Swimmer.

It's a Christmas present because-

Sugar Bowl by Open Swimmer is one of the catchiest pop tunes of the year.

One-man electronic expert Miaoux Miaoux is set to release an album next year, and his set should be crammed with material to get you moving your feet, while Suspire's post-punk and pop crossover has already seen them work with Echo & the Bunnyman guitarist Gordy Goudie.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15

Acts Playing: Selective Service, Shambles Miller, Tragic O'Hara, Sonny Marvello and A Band Called Quinn

It's a Christmas present because-

Louise Quinn and her cohorts have long mastered the knack of producing arty, stylish and clever pop. Castlemilk outfit Sonny Marvello are dab hands at eccentric pop, too, while one man army Tragic O'Hara's swampy take on the blues possesses plenty of fire and brimstone.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22

Acts Playing: Dave Jolly, Bigg Taj, Herculean, Black Bros and Bear Bones

It's a Christmas present because-

Bear Bones might be the best undiscovered band in Scotland. Their bittersweet pop is perfect for winters nights, while their soaring melodies should then lighten the gloom. Glasgow trio Herculean will provide a lively dose of stirring indie, and Bigg Taj will ensure that hip-hop is well-represented with a distinctly Scottish flavour.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29

Acts Playing: Katie Sutherland, Kith & Kin, The Frets, The Seventeenth Century and GoGoBot

It's a Christmas present because-

Formerly known as Pearl and the Puppets, Kirkintilloch singer Katie Sutherland has now decided to go under her own name. Her hummable pop has survived the transition intact, though, and the singer still has much to offer. Speaking of pop, GoGoBot's manic style has won them many admirers, while the Seventeenth Century's mixture of folk and brooding post-rock is captivating.

A series of gigs in association with Celtic Connections have been booked in for every Saturday leading up to Christmas, with this Saturday seeing fast-rising local alt-folk act Kitty The Lion playing, supported by Dead Man's Waltz.

Finlay Wells and Sorren MacLean take the stage on December 17, backed up by Chasing Owls, while Christmas Eve itself will see talented songstress Jo Mango and electronic meets Gaelic music combo Niteworks play.

l The Hear Glasgow gigs take place every Thursday in George Square, from 6pm to 9pm. Admission is free.

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